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Gay Dancing With The Stars finalist: I believe in polyamory

Gay Dancing With The Stars finalist: I believe in polyamory

Italian TV personality Giovanni Ciacci is preparing for what is sure to be one of the nerve-wracking nights of his life. This weekend, he will be one half of the first same-sex couple to participate in the grand final of Dancing with the Stars.

The stylist and designer has been competing over the last couple of months on the Italian version of the show: Ballando con le Stelle.

Raimondo Todaro and Giovanni Ciacci
Raimondo Todaro and Giovanni Ciacci (Photo: Rai)

He and professional dance partner Raimondo Todaro faced early criticism from the critics but won over the TV voting audience. Tomorrow, they will compete against two opposite-sex couples in the final.

Ciacci was born in Siena, Tuscany. He is currently splitting his time between Milan and Rome. Ballando is made in Rome, while his own show, Detto Fatto, is produced in Milan.

Ahead of this week’s final, he spoke to GSN about his participation in the show, as well as a little about his own hectic life.

Giovanni Ciacci and dance partner Raimondo Todaro
Giovanni Ciacci and dance partner Raimondo Todaro (Photo: @giovanniciacci | Instagram)

‘The brother I never had’

Ciacci says that when he joined the celebrity dance show, he was delighted to be paired with Todaro, who has won the contest on five previous occasions. However, despite his dance partner’s skills, he didn’t seriously think the couple would last more than a couple of weeks.

‘I thought I was going home after the second episode, but thankfully I managed to go through the final because of the public vote. I would never imagined all this from the Italian audience.’

Italy is traditionally very Catholic. However, in many ways, it is an accepting and tolerant society. GSN has run previous stories about former gay porn, Ruggero Freddi, who is now a maths professor at a top university in Rome.

Dancer Todaro is a father to a young child with his partner, Francesca. Early on in the show, he and Ciacci were criticized for not displaying great chemistry together. They countered this by returning with a passionate rendition of the tango – winning approval from both judges and audience.

Ciacci says he was hoping to be paired with Todaro, who he describes as ‘the best dancer in our country.

‘He teached me how to move and get known my body. Raimondo is the brother I never had. He is so beautiful, that natural beauty that only Sicilians have. In his eyes I see the colors of his beloved island and I enjoy his company very much indeed. I hope that after Ballando we can keep working together in other projects.’

Pressure to succeed

Ciacci admits that on the week the two danced the tango, he seriously considered quitting the show, and posted a message saying so on Instagram.

‘There was too much pressure on me … the thousands of messages of love I received persuaded me to stay in the competition.’

Ciacci is a busy man. His involvement in his two TV shows means he’s been commuting between Milan and Rome constantly for the last four months. He’s also been working on a book about Italy’s first trans woman and juggles a busy personal life.

‘I’m not single. I have two official boyfriends, Pietro and Stefano. I believe in polyamory,’ he tells GSN.

In recent weeks, he has met a third man – an Ethiopian man living in Italy who he claims is distantly related to the Ethiopia Royal Family. The relationship has been widely reported in the Italian press.

‘Raimondo introduced me to the Ethiopian prince who is now the best friend of the other two my boyfriends.’

A controversial figure, Ciacci admits he likes to be provocative. This has sometimes led to criticism from the Italian LGBTI community. However, his starring role on Dancing with the Stars has made him an unavoidable gay presence in living rooms across Italy.

His willingness to discuss his polyamorous relationships seems not to have harmed his appeal.

‘This is a clear provocation as the Italian tabloids started talking for the first time about gay love – the Ethiopian prince and I. Infidelity is in my nature but it would be funny to become the first gay to marry royalty!

‘I’m having fun. I hate monogamous life.’

The grand final of Ballando con le Stelle will air on RAI1 this Saturday (19 May).

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