Dancing With The Stars 2019: Courtney Act Blitzed Her Grand Finale Performances
Although she didn't score the mirror ball trophy, Courtney Act left the competition with a bang.
After Constance Hall claimed the third place spot on the Dancing ladder, it was just Courtney and Samuel Johnson left at the top. Sam ultimately took home the trophy and $50,000 for his Love Your Sister charity -- but Courtney left us with some seriously impressive final performances.
Courtney and her pro dance partner Joshua O'Keefe were the first couple to perform in the finale -- choosing to revisit the old Hollywood glamour of their quickstep, and earning a near-perfect score of 29 from the judges.
“It was nice to come back and revisit this, it’s like an old shoe!" Courtney said of the familiar performance they polished up for the finale.
Amanda noted that the first time around, Courtney was just "loving herself sick" on the ballroom floor. "I think I love myself even sicker tonight!" laughed Courtney.
Their final dance was freestyle, which meant pro-dancer Josh handing the reins over to his "unicorn" Courtney for a bit more creative control over the choreography.
“I think Josh has lost his marbles, giving me responsibility for the grand finale!” said Courtney.
But the risk paid off with their final dance earning them a perfect 30, and Craig Revel Horwood's only 10 of the evening. Their performance to “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monae featured some daring wig and costume changes, and some particularly creative use of glow in the dark fabric.
The dance was bittersweet though, marking the end of Courtney and Josh's dancing journey.
“We broke so many boundaries and rules and expectations,” said Courtney of her time on Dancing With The Stars with Josh, adding that the pair had become close friends.
“I’m going to miss him a lot,” Josh said, tearing up.
Courtney was repping Black Rainbow as her charity throughout the comp, a social enterprise that supports Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQI+ young people.
Courtney told 10 daily early on in the competition that she intended to use her platform on Dancing With The Stars to create a difference and be a strong ally for Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders who identify as LGBTQI+.
"In 2019, I feel like the way forward is to not just think about ourselves, but about people who are different from us and think about how we can all amplify each other's voices," she told us.
Throughout the competition, Courtney has used her voice, and her choreography, to bring conversations about gender and sexuality to mainstream TV.
Her stunning Week 3 tango told the story of her coming to terms with her gender fluidity, realising that she didn't have to pick a side on the gender binary.
"Masculinity was so ingrained in me and I was taught that men had to be men and women had to be women," she said in an interview ahead of the dance, "it always felt like a battle because I wanted to be Barbie and I wanted to be Ken all at the same time."
She went on to perform a contemporary dance to Radiohead's "Creep" in which she opened up about the difficulties of gender fluid dating. And in the semi-finals, we saw her perform for the very first time as Shane Jenek.
Shane and Josh fused the styles of tango and foxtrot to Britney Spears' "Toxic" -- performing the first same-sex dance ever on the Aussie series.
Shane gave a shoutout to his parents for loving him unconditionally as a queer child after the performance, saying he "didn't know how that has impacted me in my life because I know so many people who were not as fortunate".
"I just hope that if people can see my parents loving their queer son, then, hopefully, they can love their queer children as well," Shane told Grant Denyer.
Fans of Courtney's were heartbroken their queen didn't take home the trophy, but applauded her unforgettable exit -- and even Sam paid tribute to Courtney as "the better dancer".
Courtney and Josh, it's been a real pleasure.
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