Belfast Telegraph

Michelle Visage says last Strictly dance was about changing lives

The star said she would cherish her Strictly experience.

Michelle Visage with her dance partner Giovanni Pernice (Ray Burmiston/BBC)
Michelle Visage with her dance partner Giovanni Pernice (Ray Burmiston/BBC)

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

Michelle Visage thanked Strictly Come Dancing for giving her a platform to teach “that there is more to life than the binary” as she was eliminated from the competition.

The US star – known for being a judge on reality series RuPaul’s Drag Race – received her marching orders on Sunday’s results show following a dance-off against Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard.

She posted a lengthy message on Instagram afterwards saying her last dance with her professional partner Giovanni Pernice was “about shedding light on a group of people who deserve recognition and would otherwise not get it”.

“I’ve learned in this life you must take big risks in order to affect change,” she told her 1.4 million followers.

“Gio and I chose our couple’s choice to Vogue to bring a part of the underground gay ballroom scene to a massive show like Strictly.

“We are SO proud of the dance we did, but for me, it wasn’t about judges scores.

“It was about shedding light on a group of people who deserve recognition and would otherwise not get it.

“I owe my life to the LGBTQIA+ community so as an ally, I try to bring attention to them, their love, their struggles, in any way that I am able to.

“In this instance it happened to be through dance and hear this: Voguing IS dancing.”

Visage went on: “THANK YOU SO MUCH to EVERYONE for all the love you have shown me on this strictly journey.

“Welcoming this 51-year-old mum into their lives through their telly weekly, voting for us, letting this American know she’s welcomed into the British Public has meant SO much to me. I am BEYOND grateful.

“Through this experience I have made great new friends and a partner in Giovanni who will be in my life forever. This experience has been one I’ll cherish FOREVER.”

She wrote in the caption that she was “overwhelmed” by all the messages of love and support during her time on the BBC show.

“THANK YOU @bbc and thank you @bbcstrictly for allowing this woman to live her dancer fantasy and to give me a platform to try to teach everyone that there is more to life than the binary,” she said.

“That we ALL need to be accepted for who we are as individuals.

“We have one life to live, let’s do it in love and not hate….. KEEP DANCING I know I will!

“Thank you x3!”

Visage also shared a series of pictures of her and Pernice, as she paid tribute to the dancer.

“WE WERE MADE FOR EACH OTHER!” she said.

“There is NO ONE I would’ve rather done this with than YOU.

“You are my magical Italian Virgo and I’ll miss seeing your face everyday. I’ll miss laughing in your face everyday. I’ll miss everything about our time together but you know what? You are stuck with me for life now!

“Thank you so much for standing my by side.

“We helped a lot of people by doing our final dance and THAT’S what matters most.

“DANCING CAN CHANGE LIVES AND WE JUST DID IT ON NATIONAL TV!

“I LOVE YOU SO MUCH GIOOOOOOO.”

Strictly continues on BBC One.

PA

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