Another first for Israel – this time not in the science or high tech fields – but in the area of the progressiveness of its society.
Israel will be the first country to allow two people of the same sex to dance as a couple on the popular “Dancing with the Stars” reality competition. Called ‘Rokdim im hakohavim” in Hebrew, the Israeli version is just one of 30 that “Dancing with the Stars” franchises out around the world. But until now, there has never been a same-sex couple competiting on any of the shows.
The chosen Israelis are TV presenter, sportcaster and openly gay woman Gili Shem Tov and professional dancer Dorit Milman.
“The challenge to dance with a woman in a public contest interested me because it’s unique and has never been done before. Because I share my life with a woman and have a family with her, to me this is the most natural thing to do,” Shem Tov told the BBC, which has taken an interest in the Israeli series.
The couple will swap “leading” roles in their dances, according to the report. “I have realised that dance is about co-ordination and energy between two people, whether female or male,” Shem Tov said.
The news about Shem Tov and Millman has overshadowed what would have otherwise been a big deal for the local gossip columns – that American pinup celebrity Pamela Anderson will be making a guest appearance on this year’s show as a guest judge, along with doing some dancing.
The former Baywatch actress has been a contestant on the American version of the show, and clearly knows her way around the dance floor. But it’s unclear whether she’s prepared to be upstaged by the duo of Shem Tov and Millman.
Raz Meirman became famous in his young years. His first job was a model, and he was featured in worldwide pageants and contests. He also took part in Rokdim Im Kokhavim, the Israeli version of the Strictly Come Dancing / Dancing with the Stars franchise, and was eliminated before the season finale.