Courtney Act Was Robbed of the Crown on Dancing With the Stars Australia

courtney act

Courtney Act took second place for the 16th season of Dancing With The Stars Australia finale on Monday. Performing with their partner Joshua Keefe, the drag queen, performer and reality television star lost out to actor and radio presenter Samuel Johnson.

Act maintained a consistently high level of performance each week, repeatedly outpacing every other performer on the leaderboard. In fact, since the season’s debut in February, they were given the top score every week except during week four for a Samba, and even outscored Johnson and his partner Jorja Freeman in the finale. During week 6, Act and Keefe also won immunity, a feat that no other pair accomplished across the season.

In the finale, the former Australian Idol, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Celebrity Big Brother contestant pulled out all of the stops including a wig reveal. The drag performer opened up the show in an encore performance of their quickstep, which received a score of 29/30. Then they came back out for a freestyle that incorporated jive to Janelle Monae’s “Make Me Feel.” It was during this number, after emerging in a seemingly Cruella de Vil black and white number, that came the aforementioned reveal as Act and Keefe both swapped into neon colored looks. The tricks — and talent — got the pair a perfect score of 30/30. But, it was more than just about high scores for them, Act also sought to surface conversations about gender.

 

 

 

 

“The first time I saw two men ballroom dancing together I was changed,” she tweeted a few days before the finale. “It confused my brain in the best possible way and broke apart a limiting expectation that I didn’t even know was there. Of course two men can dance together.” With the tweet they posted photos from the semi-finals where they performed out of drag for the entirety of the performance. It marked the first time there was a couple both presenting as male, performing together on the Australian franchise though Nyle Dimarco had preceded them on the American version.

“We’ve been a same-sex partnership all season, but oddly it felt less controversial being dressed up as a girl dancing with a boy than it did to be a male presenting couple,” they continued. “I hope for people who saw two men dancing together for the first time they saw something beautiful.” They went on to point to Billy Porter as a style inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But it was more than just the semi-final performance. Though Act mastered every dance style on the show, their tango was an explicit message about coming to terms with their own gender. On week three they performed to Joe Jackson’s 1982 track “Real Men,” in a show that saw them come out of drag on stage. In the accompanying intro video they talked about coming to terms with being genderfluid and hoping to portray that on stage.

Finishing in the top two adds DWTS to a string of notable reality television spots Act has had. Last year they also hosted the UK’s first bisexual dating show with The Bi Life. According to reports, they are also is working on a late-night talk show.

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