DWTS: Mark Ballas on Rooting for Chaz Bono, and the Trouble With Same-Sex Partners

Mark Ballas may be paired with reality staple Kristin Cavallari for the latest installment of Dancing With the Stars, but that doesn’t mean his loyalties sit solely with her. Talking with TVLine Saturday night in Los Angeles at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony, the two-time DWTS champ expressed a soft spot for one of his Season 13 rivals: Chaz Bono.

“He’s a lovely person. He’s putting himself out there. He’s going to go for it. I’m rooting for him,” said Ballas, adding it was “whack” that Bono has endured a flurry of negative comments for being the show’s first transgender contestant. “This is a dance show at the end of the day. It’s not politics. It’s a dance show. He’s going to do great, and he’s lovely. So good luck to him.”

Dancing With the Stars Names Season 13 Couples: Who’s Most Likely to Win?

Ballas also addressed the idea of whether or not DWTS might ever feature a same-sex couple, a topic that’s received renewed attention since openly gay contestant Carson Kressley was paired with Anna Trebunskaya instead of a male pro. “Is [a same-sex pairing] possible? Yes,” said Ballas. “But in my opinion and in the opinion of most professional dancers who really are well-versed in this sport, it puts you at a disadvantage. Because if you put two women together, a woman’s never going to be able to lift another woman over her head like a man. And if you put two men together, no matter how hard you [try], a man is never going to be able to move like a woman. At the end of the day, we’re judged off how the man moves, how the woman moves. So you’re giving yourself a handicap. But am I up for it? Totally. I’m not against it at all.”

And what about his own prospects for this year’s mirrorball trophy? Ballas, who’s finished third for the past two DWTS seasons (with Chelsea Kane and Bristol Palin respectively), sounded optimistic. “It’s going great. [Kristin] is lovely. Like ray of sunshine, up for the challenge, listens to me, has zero ego, and completely just goes for it.”

Ballas said he’s been working hard to get Cavallari to straighten her legs, but thus far she’s proving to have a good sense of rhythm and hasn’t suffered any injuries. “Not yet,” he added. “Thank God!”

Are you excited for Season 13 of Dancing With the Stars? Sound off with your thoughts below! And for all my reality recaps and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV. (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. XSE Drake says:

    This article was lovely.

  2. rod says:

    you gotta love mark

  3. Templar says:

    I have no problem with same sex dance couples, but for an exhibition opposite sex works better due to the logistics. Visually, the waltz means flowing dresses, ballet means lifts and carries etc. And gymnasts shouldn’t be paired with basketball players.

    • sara says:

      i agree. i’m a huge gay rights proponent but in dancing, which is an old artform, same-sex pairing wouldn’t work as well. but i am all for invention new and innovative sports/events/activites featuring same-sex and opposite-sex pairings!!! :D

  4. Spencer says:

    This is awesome! I love Mark! It’s true, I am all supportive of same-sex-marriage, but same-sex-dance partners would NOT work!

  5. Jenna says:

    Mark is a stand-up guy and I love what he said. But…I keep looking at the pics of Chaz and shaking my head. As my granny used to say, he’s a heart attack waiting to happen. Am I the only one worried about Chaz’s health?

    • Federico says:

      Then this show is going to do good for him, isn’t it? :D
      Wish him the best of luck, even if i don’t really like him (he is the most humorless celebrity i know).

      • shaun says:

        Poor Lacey though….kinda thrown under the bus again.Most of her partners are just brutal.

        • satirex says:

          It *has* seemed to me that they aren’t very egalitarian with the distribution of celebs to the pros on this show. Every round it seems like the same 4 or 5 pros get the celebs who have a genuine chance to win, and the rest get the older contestants, or the silly contestants who never take the dancing seriously, or the physically “less capable” stars.

      • Jason says:

        Couldn’t agree with you more about him being completely humorless. I’m not a fan of the guy and it has nothing to do with his sexuality. Its because whenever I see him in interviews I find him incredibly uncharismatic and bland.

    • Anna says:

      For me,seeing Chaz perform when he’s so out of shape is a bigger concern than his gender. I felt the same way when Woz performed awhile back. I’m also not a fan of seeing 80 year olds try to keep up.

  6. QJ201 says:

    Would have been more insightful if he had told the truth: There are already plenty of gay people in dancing and they pair with opposite sex partners. The show is no different from the real world, LOL.

  7. chris says:

    Mark is right about the same sex couples. It wouldnt work. Didnt think about all that but I wouldnt be surprised if ABC still went with it one season for extra publicity and ratings.

  8. NoSleepTillBrooklyn says:

    Who are these “stars”? Who is this Kristin person and what did she ever do to become a star? The entire show is now ridiculous because of these celebrity-whores.

  9. Meg says:

    I think they had same-sex dance partners on the UK version of the show. But I think Mark has a valid point.

  10. Rich says:

    Kudos to Mark. If more people had the attitude you did, the world would be a better place.

  11. Phyllis says:

    Its there choice to be gay, but, I’d like 4 them to get there own gay show . then those who want to watch can, and me I wont.

    • really? says:

      Should they have separate lunch counters and bathrooms, too? Gay is not a choice. Based on your comment I’m assuming you’re straight. Did you wake up and decide to be straight, or were you always attracted to members of the opposite sex? I’m guessing you didn’t actively make that choice. It’s the same thing with gay/bisexual/transgender people.

      • Prof Domman says:

        You have got to be kidding? God created man and woman. Not Adam and Steve!! Humans are the only creation on earth that have sex for pleasure. Do you observe the male deer and elk having sex with another male? No! Because sexual intimacy is Holy in Gods eyes.

        Animals have sex for survival and not with each other. What if we are all gay and lesbian? We would cease to survive.

        Why do lesbians require a male apparatus to have sex? If they were truly lesbian they would not require a male dildo.

        • KHemphill says:

          Actually, Prof Domman that is incorrect. Look it up in Wikipedia under “Homosexual behavior in animals”. Get your facts straight before quoting the bible…which I seem to recall has some very strange concepts of intimacy and holiness for god’s eyes…

    • KS says:

      Being gay is biological. Would you wake up one day and choose to make your life harder and to face prejudices? People choose to be gay no more than they choose the color of their skin.

    • Sean says:

      Not cool Phyllis. This is the wrong decade for that kind of thing.

    • lil Jo says:

      See that’s where you’re wrong… it’s not “there” choice, it’s “THEIR” choice.

      It’s seems you aren’t just ignorant in your thoughts, you’re also ignorant in the use of the English language. And I’m not being the grammar police, I’m just saying if you choose to mock something at least have to common sense to use the proper words. It just makes you look dumber then you already look.

      • whatevs says:

        Instead of wasting your time trying to find opportunities to feel superior, you should probably try typing a sentence with all the words spelled correctly. Just saying.

  12. jill says:

    Do you wake up every morning choosing to be straight? No one can choose to be straight, just like you can’t choose to be gay or trans or bi. If you ask most gay people, they will tell you they knew very early on in life that they were different from others and liked their same sex. And I know 2 people who as kids, I suspected them to probably be gay…didn’t come out until they were adults, because of fear of people like you.

  13. Heidi says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Chaz has not completed his transformation, so essentially he and Lacey are a same sex couple. I know that he is on medications that give him a more manly appearance, but how about strength for lifts and such???

    • Sean says:

      Regardless of his “equipment”, Chaz identifies as a man and is undergoing the transformation. We regard people by their sexual identities, so we regard he and Lacey as opposite-sex partners. For the strength aspect, I’m not sure. He’s a big dude already, but I think they do conditioning exercises, don’t they?

    • JoMarch says:

      @Heidi: Great point! I was all supportive of Chaz and how brave he was, because I thought he had completed the operation, now I just see him as a lesbian on steroids. Recently, there was all this publicity about a “man” who gave birth, when it was really a woman who had had her breasts removed and was on male steroids. PUH-Lease! To @Sean: If I identify myself as a clock, or a car, am I a clock or a car? There are definite criteria for being a man and a woman, one of which is genetalia, so Chaz, is NOT, technically a man, and Heidi’s right, Chaz and Lacey are a same sex couple. If Chaz wants to be considered a transsexual, then he needs to complete the transition.

      • Khemphill says:

        Wow JoMarch….great that you are such an expert! Since you are such an expert then I’m sure you know the great expense, pain and difficulty of completing the transition to male, right? So then you also know that some transmen choose not to do the bottom surgery to save themselves the cost and the pain of a surgical proceedure that is not completely perfected. Genitalia is not what defines a man… or say a man who lost his penis in an accident suddenly isn’t a man? or say someone born with a defect is not a man? There are two things that make a man….hormones and genetics…a transgender person can currently only affect the hormone situation…maybe if we are lucky one day the genetics can be altered to make it so that transgender people can feel comfortable in their own skin… to be happy with the person they see in the mirror every day…to finally have the world acknowledge what they have known all along. I think it’s great you are such an expert on the subject that you can appreciate the difficulty someone in this situation is going through. Compassion is a wonderful thing!

  14. Punstressak says:

    I’ve seen a same sex couple do a Latin dance when auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance. When I say it wasn’t pretty, I mean that literally, not as a slam. It just didn’t *look* as nice as it would’ve if one of the partners had been a woman. It wasn’t a bad dance, both were, if not pro, up to that level. I don’t recall if it was a Paso Doble or Argentinean Tango. But when you’re being judged on the movement, no, it won’t work.
    I don’t understand why everyone’s all worked up over Carson. Lance Bass was paired with Lacey; they even did that whole routine to “I Kissed a Girl (And I Liked It)” as a very tongue-in-cheek dance.
    And that’s all I’m going to say on that subject.

  15. Punstressak says:

    Rereading my comment, I want to add there were, IIRC, two same sex paso dobles on SYTYCD this past season (or maybe one was two seasons ago), one two males and one two females. Because of the way the dances were choreographed, the two men as a fight and the two women were the two powerhouses from this past season, Sasha and Melanie, both dances were gorgeous to watch and brilliantly danced.

  16. Seriously? says:

    This whole controversy is ridiculous and I for one will not watch the show. God made you. Pure and simple. Our bodies are meant to reproduce using one male and one female. You were either created as a man, or as a woman. No if’s, and’s, or but’s!
    This whole “I think I was meant to be something else” is an excuse and quite frankly has become sort of a fad.
    “Chastity” Bono disgusts me!

    • christianssm says:

      It’s closed minded people like you that disgust me. Unless you’re close to the person it’s none of your business. Don’t like…don’t watch. But there’s no need to share your hate with the world.

      • Seriously? says:

        LMAO!!! Awww….did I hurt your feelings?

        By the way, I’m not close minded. Please explain to me how a female who has a surgery to have a penis attached and takes hormone pills will ever be able to “provide sperm” and create a family? Oh wait, they can’t! Instead, they’ll have to go and buy “sperm” from a sperm bank that took donations from men that God created in order to reproduce.
        I already said I wouldn’t watch the show and last time I checked, this great country of ours (founded by God fearing people) created the 1st Amendment that states I have the freedom of speech. This is a forum that welcomes both postive and negative feedback. If you can’t handle someone challenging an epidemic that is affecting our society than crawl back under the rock you’ve been hiding under. LOL!!!!

        • buccaneer says:

          Did christianssm say you can’t post here? No. So I don’t know why you’re bringing up the 1st Amendment. He’s just voicing his disgust at your comment. And now so am I. Yes, you *are* close-minded. So what if Chaz won’t be able to create a family the traditional way? There’s plenty of couples out there that can’t, even those that had the right “equipment” from the start. Doesn’t make them lesser people.

          Also, LOL at your “crawl back under the rock” comment. You’re basically telling him to shut up. After you’ve just mentioned the 1st Amendment. Oh, the irony.

        • JoMarch says:

          God-fearing? Really, what’s up with folks like you that we have to fear God? What about loving God and the people he created. ALL the people he created. I’m disappointed that Chaz has been getting all this publicity for his sex change, when he really didn’t do a complete “change”, but that was his choice,and none of my business, ultimately. I’m not disgusted by him or his life style. There’s so much violence and pain in this world, can’t get my panties in a bunch over Chaz Bono.

  17. Clara says:

    It may be true that two men would have trouble with some dances, but as far as two woman and the whole lifting thing that would depend on the woman, you put a small woman with a bigger woman then theres no problem, and if their strong anyway it also want matter, as far as a man not being able to move like a woman while dancing thats a silly, I have seen plenty men move like a woman while dancing, like female impersonators for instance,all of what he said is just an excuse to not do it, but Chaz Bono still has the same body as he did when he was woman, he is no stronger now then he was before he became a man,so in a sense they are having same sex dancing on it, of course for me I don’t really care sense I never watch this show anyway, most of the so called stars aren’t STARS at all, or are has beens its boring!

  18. grace says:

    israel had same sex couple

  19. Champaigne says:

    Hello, Everybody, I just can’t believe all the hate and ignorance on these comments, I know we all are entitled to our own opinion, but, my goodness hasn’t anybody ever heard of, Some things are better off left unsaid. Who cares if Chaz hasn’t had the surgery? How do you know if he has or hasn’t? What difference does it make any way? if those who don’t want to watch him being on there, exercise your right to change the channel or turn the TV off. Did you watch it when ( in my opinion) the worst two people and dancers that were ever on there, were Bristol Palin and that Kate Gosselin, neither could dance at all. and with Palin coming in 3rd. place, was unbelievable but not entirely unexpected, that was a political move. I’ve watched the show since it started, I LOVE the show. I’ve picked the winner for the last 7 years. We need to stop worrying so much about other people’s lives, spend more time getting our own lives in order. What ever choices that we make in life, we will either be rewarded or punished when judgment day comes, we aren’t the ones to be judging others. Also, about having babies, not every couple are able to have children, I was married for 20 years and I wasn’t Blessed to have any. That doesn’t make me any less of a woman or a person, I’m sure that we all know people that should never have had any kids at all. they sure don’t deserve them. also, lots of people go to sperm donating organizations because they really want to have kids. People, Don’t Begrudge people because they are different than what we think they should be. Let others be who they are and you be who you are. We should Celebrate Diversity, It’s our differences that makes us so unique. Two Iconic Songs, ” IMAGINE ” by John Lennon, ” Let it Be ” by the Beatles. A lot of people know what their preferences are and who out there has a right to say anything about it. So it’s their life NOT yours. Please keep your hatred and ignorance to yourselves. this world is already filled with enough of it. You can’t fight hate with hate, but when you resist it, it loses power, What ever happened to the POWER of LOVE, instead of the LOVE of POWER ???You live your life the way you choose and let others live their lives the way they choose. Is their way of life hurting you in anyway?? NO, so let it be. Everybody, just Stop & Think before you Speak. ” Words Once Spoken Can Never Be Forgotten “. Have A Blessed Day. Champaigne

  20. Sue says:

    I am 64, a Christian and married female. I am saddened at some of the responses. I do not always agree with peoples life choices, but it there choice to make and I have no right to judge them for it.

    First the show is about people who are not professional dancers progressing with the help of pros. If they are not big name celebrities, who cares.

    It is a joy to get to see people have fun regardless of whom they are. I have enjoyed DWTS every year, thinking this season will be boring, but finding out it was great entertainment to see who really improved.

    I will always enjoy the show for the dancing competition, and not be part of the gossip and judgmental crowd

  21. Betty says:

    I love DWTS and always feel uplifted and entertained. Mostly are froth and bubble but fun to watch. “Life is mostly froth and bubble; Two things stand like stone: Kindness in another’s trouble, Courage in our own.” Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833-1870) Poet

  22. Jeannae says:

    To Mr. Ballas,
    To me, you are by far one of the most talented and powerful dancer/choreographer regardless whether you are gay or straight. I agree that it was a tremendous challenge for “Chaz”. However, it’s disappointing that you find more “courage” in an unfit transsexual than a permanently disfigured war Veteran that risked it ALL who literally glowed with integrity and graciousness. Why is/are sexual orientation issues more important??
    Looking forward to watching you and Kim dance again. YOU HAVE MY VOTE!

  23. jeannae says:

    My apologies, I meant Kristin- you two are elegant together. Best of luck!