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Strictly Come Dancing viewers have gone wild for Johannes Radebe after an opening number that featured him leading a trio of male dancers dressed in sequins and spike heels.
As usual, the pro dancers performed Saturday night’s opening routine, but for the first time ever it starred three of the male dancers - Radebe, Gorka Marquez and Giovanni Pernice - in sequinned outfits, make-up and high heels, dancing with some of the other men in the group as part of a tribute to Priscilla Queen of the Desert for musicals week.
It comes in the same series that featured the first ever same sex couple competing, Nicola Adams and Katya Jones, who had to drop out when pro dancer Jones developed COVID-19.
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) December 5, 2020
I’m LOVING this dance to the amazing Priscilla Queen of the Desert. I’ve see the film 110 times and the stage show too. #Strictly
— Lorraine (@reallorraine) December 5, 2020
What a spectacular opening to the show. Johannes, you are a #Strictly ICON!
— Bobby Seagull (UK Libraries Champion @CILIPinfo) (@Bobby_Seagull) December 5, 2020
Radebe also starred in the first same sex routine last series when he performed with fellow pro Graziano Di Prima.
Fans of the show couldn’t get enough of the opening dance.
— Marianka Swain (@mkmswain) December 5, 2020
If there is anything that could correct 2020, it’s Gorka, Johannes and Giovanni in drag! Bloody love it!#Strictly
— Georgia (@GeekGManners) December 5, 2020
Johannes is the best thing to happen to #Strictly in ages! I could not love him more!
— Alexis🤶 (she/her) (@MissLexisaurus) December 5, 2020
The routine followed an emotional speech by Andrew Lloyd Webber as he watched the celebrities rehearse at the London Coliseum.
He said: “COVID has had a devastating effect on musicals, theatre and any kind of live entertainment and our wonderful theatres which were such sources of joy have been empty for months now.
“We’re here at the London Coliseum, it’s the home of the English National Opera, a fabulous, fabulous building that wants to be full of life. None of us can wait until theatres are full again.
Watch: Craig Revel Horwood talks filming Strictly in lockdown
“I think Strictly is the perfect tonic for the country at all times but I think right now, Strictly paying tribute to musical theatre is exactly what we who have been working in this business for so long is exactly what we want.
For one night only, musicals are back where they belong.”
Host Claudia Winkleman added: “With so many theatres sadly closed at the moment, tonight our couples will pay tribute to some of the world’s best-loved musicals.”
Featured musicals included Little Shop of Horrors from Maisie Smith, Phantom of the Opera from Bill Bailey, and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie from Jamie Laing.
Watch: Who are the Strictly Come Dancing contestants?