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27/02/2019 11:53 GMT | Updated 02/03/2019 12:45 GMT

Why Strictly Come Dancing Really Missed A Trick Not Signing Up Courtney Act

Our loss is Australia's gain, as she is currently smashing it Down Under.

Last year saw former RuPaul’s Drag Race star Courtney Act riding the crest of a big wave.

After winning the penultimate series of Celebrity Big Brother in February, Courtney went on to host her own inclusive dating show, The Bi Life, and front her own Dragzine Christmas special for Channel 4, as well as playing sell-out shows across the country on her own UK tour.

PA Archive/PA Images
Courtney Act won over British TV audiences on Celebrity Big Brother last year

Now boasting a huge army of British fans, the Australian star seemed like an absolute shoo-in for another of our biggest shows, Strictly Come Dancing.

Courtney – real name Shane Janek – had made no secret of her desire to do it either, telling the Daily Star last June: “I hope the BBC would be open to it. They love a stunt casting. Surely it’s time for the BBC to do it.

“I would want to be Courtney and dance with a male partner. And then half way through the series I’d come out as Shane and there would finally be same-sex dancing on the show. I’ve seen same-sex ballroom dancing and it’s just as fabulous.”

So imagine our disappointment when last year’s Strictly came and went without her on the line-up – only for her to be announced as a contestant on the Australian version, Dancing With The Stars, instead.

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Courtney is paired up with Joshua Keefe on Dancing With The Stars

Courtney’s appearances on Dancing With The Stars have already gone down a storm, and there’s little denying BBC bosses really missed a trick not getting in there first.

The lack of same-sex partners here in the UK continues to be a much-discussed issue, and so far, producers have resisted introducing them, deciding to stick with what they have called the “traditional ballroom format” of male and female pairs.

With the Aussie version becoming the latest around the world to now embrace same-sex partnerships (Courtney/Shane is dancing with professional Joshua Keefe), the UK has been left behind yet again, passing up on the opportunity to make history.

But not only that – they’re missing out on a cracking dancer too. 

Courtney has so far proven to be dance-floor dynamite, topping the leaderboard during the first two weeks of the competition. 

For her first dance, Courtney and Joshua took on a Jive to Portugal. The Man’s Feel It Still. The routine bagged her 23 points out of a possible 30, as well as high praise from the judges.

The usually hard-to-impress Craig Revel Horwood (yes, our very own Mr Nasty is a judge on DWTS too) even remarked: “Clean, precise and I would say that’s the dance of the night.”

Courtney’s latest performance saw her transform into Geri Halliwell for a Spice Girls-themed Cha-Cha-Cha to Wannabe, which earned her 21 points – a mark only equalled by fellow contestant Jimmy Rees.

With her poise, technique and enthusiasm, Courtney looks set to go far in the competition, and has even promised to donate her prize money to help Black Rainbow, a charity that supports the indigenous LGBTQ community, should she win.

Sadly for us though, her success on DWTS means we’re now unlikely to ever see her take to the floor on Strictly, as never before have we seen an international contestant cross over onto our version.

As the pool of celebs willing to appear on Strictly continues shrinking now it’s entering its 17th series, Courtney Act could have been a huge signing, and undoubtedly would have helped attract more millennials to watch the show.

Instead, our loss is very much Australia’s gain.

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