The former Great British Bake Off champion, 32, has been a regular at the top of the Strictly leader board week-on-week, squashing all doubt that a same-sex pairing ‘wouldn’t work’.
However, despite being a master on the dancefloor, John has said he was so petrified of being trolled by homophobic critics he initially wanted to be paired with a straight male.
‘As soon as I found out [I was dancing with Johannes], I felt a little bit anxious,’ he told Attitude magazine.
‘I think as gay people, we have to choose the places we go to, we have to choose the people we speak to, who we even look at, because we have been conditioned to kind of expect hate and flack.
‘So honestly, I was quite anxious about it. I knew that it was an important thing to do, that it was hopefully going to change the way TV is, change the way that children feel when they watch TV — it’s massive — but I was expecting to get a lot of hate, like [people] sliding into the DMs and saying, “You’re disgusting” and that kind of thing.’
He added: ‘At first, I said, “Can you put me with a straight partner?” because I [believed] that that would be the only way it would be accepted, and then, about a month before we were partnered up, I [thought], actually, I want it to be Johannes; it has to be Johannes… it would be wrong for it to be anyone but Johannes.’
Now, however, John and Johannes have gone on to form one of the tightest bonds on Strictly ever, and dance in front of millions each Saturday without any sign of fear from trolls.
Ahead of this weekend, John joked he’s afraid the pair’s Rumba will spark complaints.
Appearing on Steph’s Packed Lunch, the 32-year-old teased that the routine is ‘very sexy’.
‘The dances we’ve done so far have been very masculine, very powerful, a pally one with the American smooth,’ he told host Steph McGovern, as well as guests Anton Du Beke and Janette Manrara.
‘Whereas this is our first intimate dance. I’m a little bit worried about that because – of course we have intimacy, me and Johannes, we have that relationship – but you’ve got to let yourself go, as Janette and Anton have both said.
‘You have to just accept that it’s close. And I’m a bit worried about what people might say about it. It is still two 6ft 2ins blokes getting close and cuddly.’
Strictly Come Dancing airs Saturday at 6.45pm on BBC One. Read John and Johannes’ full interview in the latest issue of Attitude.
Credit: Original article published here.