ABC’s Dancing With the Stars is back for Season 29 along with long-time judge Bruno Tonioli. Tonioli has been in a long-time relationship with partner Jason Schanne since 2010, according to Hello! magazine.
Tonioli is known for his larger-than-life personality as well as his time coaching and judging dancing contestants on TV. His love life, however, isn’t something he often opens up about, generally staying out of the public eye in that regard.
Tonioli grew up in a Catholic household and has previously said he dealt with bullies growing up in an interview with The Mirror.
“When I was 10, I knew there was something different about me,” he said at the time. “Everyone was football-mad, but I just wanted to watch musicals and see art. It was frightening. I really WAS the only gay in the village.”
He said he dealt with people threatening him because of his sexuality while growing up and has said that fame makes sexuality less of an issue.
“It’s horrible how money and fame can make you acceptable while, if you’re not famous or rich, it’s not acceptable,” he said in the interview.
Tonioli Has Been in a Relationship Since 2010
According to multiple sources, Tonioli has been in a long-term relationship with Schanne since 2000. The Cinemaholic reported that the couple had a commitment ceremony in 2012 but are not officially married.
In 2019, Tonioli expressed annoyance at people not accepting two men dancing together on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, which he has been a judge of for quite some time.
It's hard to believe after such progress in society and many other topics going on that over 200 people felt so upset they complained when 2 men danced with each other… I just don't know what to say… Very sad. #bbcstrictly
— Bruno Tonioli (@BrunoTonioli) November 21, 2019
“It’s hard to believe after such progress in society and many other topics going on that over 200 people felt so upset they complained when 2 men danced with each other… I just don’t know what to say… very sad,” he wrote at the time.
The Sun reported in 2017 that Tonioli was “seen on a romantic date” with then-29-year-old British model Matt Law, and sources indicated they were an item, though Law said at the time they were just good friends.
Fans Love Tonioli’s New Look
Prior to the start of Season 29 of DWTS, Tonioli showed off his new look, which includes gray hair. He told The Sun in August he believes he looks like George Clooney while his hair is gray.
He told The Sun that quarantine and COVID-19 have given him the chance to change up his look and “reinvent” himself.
“I couldn’t go to the hairdressers, so I grew out the roots and I looked demented, so then I shaved it off, grade one all over, which made me look even worse, like a murderer or a nasty guy off EastEnders,” he said. “But now it’s a bit longer it looks nice and I’m keeping the grey. I feel liberated and I’ve had a lot of compliments.”
Tonioli will be a judge physically on Dancing With the Stars this season and appear virtually on Strictly Come Dancing for the first five episodes of the show, as they film simultaneously and there are many travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19, The Sun reported.