“Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Gleb Savchenko is making history in season 31 by being part of the first male same-sex pair — though there is a twist, because his partner is famous drag queen Shangela (non-drag name DJ Pierce). Presumably, Shangela will be performing in drag. But either way, there is a contingent of fans that is outraged about the casting choice.
Fans Are Vowing Not to Watch, With One Even Saying, ‘Shame on You, ABC’
On social media, some “Dancing With the Stars” fans are upset about the pairing, vowing not to watch and saying shame on ABC for casting a male same-sex pair — though the show is now airing on Disney Plus.
“I will [come back] when DWTS goes back to men being men and women being women,” wrote one fan on Facebook.
“I won’t pay Disney, not because of money but I don’t like that they’re now a ‘woke’ company. Their ethics, morale and politics are totally changed. Walt would be rolling over in his grave,” wrote another fan.
To that comment, one fan replied, “Pretty sure your children could learn acceptance of others from this performer, something they’re clearly not gonna learn from you.”
There are also some fans who feel sorry for Savchenko for this pairing and one who even thinks that it’s a “secret” that Shangela is a man in drag.
“Wonder how Gleb feels about Shangela’s secret that is (Shangela is really a guy aka. DJ Pierce),” wrote that fan on Facebook.
“Poor Gleb. Not fair that his partner is also a man,” wrote another fan.
“Poor Gleb, having to dance with a man wearing dresses,” wrote a third fan.
Still, a Lot of Fans Say They’re Tuning in Just For Shangela
Shangela, who is a three-time “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant and also frequent guest star on the show, is bringing with her a huge fanbase, some of whom are coming to “Dancing With the Stars” for the first time because of Shangela.
“First season I’m watching just to support this queen!” wrote one fan on Facebook.
“I haven’t watch in a while but this Season I’ll be glued to my TV wishing you nothing but the best Shangela. I’m here for it ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜,” wrote another fan.
“I’ve never watched this show before. I think it’s dumb. BUT I WILL BE WATCHING TO CHEER ON SHANGELA. A QUEEEEEN,” wrote a third fan.
“Literally only watching this season for Shangela!!! Halleloo!!!!” wrote a fourth fan.
“I may have to start watching again to see Shangela compete!” wrote a fifth fan.
And one fan thanked Team Sheb for making history on the show, writing, “Shangela and Gleb making history. Thank you DWTS! Thank You Gleb Savchenko for being an ally to the LGTBQ Plus community. And thank you Shangela for being a wonderful example of who we are!!!”
For his part, Savchenko is super excited about the partnership. He wrote on Instagram, “Did I tell you I have THE COOLEST partner this season?!
@itsshangela I’m so proud of the hard work you’ve put in already and can’t wait for everyone to see you dance. @dancingwiththestars #DWTS premieres in 5 days on @disneyplus.”
Furthermore, even before “Dancing With the Stars” cast its first same-sex couple in season 30, pairing pro Jenna Johnson with popstar JoJo Siwa, Savchenko told Mr. Warburton magazine that he actually wanted to be part of a male same-sex pair in season 29, but the producers wouldn’t let him.
“I can’t wait for [same-sex pairs]! Last season when Johnny Weir got on the show I was like, ‘Johnny, you HAVE to be my partner, but they ended up not doing it. They’ve done it before in Australia with Courtney Act and in the UK with Nicola Adams and they were both amazing!” said Savchenko, adding that he recognizes that there is a “strong male/female dynamic in dance, but if you have two men doing the same thing it would look awesome and be so fascinating.”
“I would love to do it, but it would have to be with the right partner,” said Savchenko.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season on Monday, September 19, on Disney Plus.