Dancing on Ice’s The Vivienne defies bigots and secures place in final: ‘History in the making’

The Vivienne and Dancing on Ice partner Colin Grafton smiling at the judges.

Drag Race UK winner The Vivienne has defied the bigots by sashaying her way into the final of ITV’s Dancing on Ice.

Last night’s semi-final (5 March) got off to a rocky start for the British drag queen, as she stumbled while taking to the ice for her solo skate.

Some people took to Twitter to share their delight at watching her fall to her knees, but she made a remarkable comeback later to be voted straight into the final three.

Fans expressed their joy at seeing her redemption, particularly considering the backlash against drag that is currently fuelling a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ hate in the UK and the US. 

Writing on Twitter, one fan said: “The fact that The Vivienne went straight through to the final off the back of a public vote proves that the greatest majority of the public aren’t falling for the trans/drag/queer moral panic. Heartening to see.”

The Vivienne is the first drag queen to perform on the show, which first aired in 2006, marking a big moment for drag culture in the UK. 

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In addition to winning over fans with her stunning performances, the drag superstar has used the mainstream platform to champion the LGBTQ+ community.

Speaking to hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, The Vivienne revealed why it was particularly important for her to perform in the semi-finals.

“To be able to do this, especially now at a time where drag is fully under attack, to show that drag is nothing but entertainment,” she said. “We’re nothing to be feared, we just want to have fun.”

Despite falling, The Vivienne wowed the judges with a captivating skate to her personal choice, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” alongside skating partner Colin Grafton.

Before heading out on to the ice, the All Stars 7 queen shared the emotional reason behind her song choice.

“As a young boy, I fell in love with The Wizard of Oz, because it made me feel anything was possible,” she began, revealing that she auditioned for the role of Dorothy in her primary school play.

“I knew I was different, but I didn’t know what it was. Seeing Dorothy, who knew there was a bigger world out there than Kansas, struck something with me.

“I came out at 14 and moved to Liverpool when I was 16 and quickly found my tribe. It was like a big sigh of relief. Then I saw drag queens, and I thought, ‘Wow, I’m really in Oz now!’

“This song means so much to the LGBTQ+ community. It is a beacon of hope. It spreads the message that you can be in one place that doesn’t feel great at the minute, but, over the rainbow, whatever journey you’re on, you will come to this beautiful world of technicolour.”

The Vivienne was awarded 39.5 marks out of a possible 40 by the judges, her highest score so far.

Fans now have their fingers crossed that she will skate her way into first place next weekend, defying those who are trying to shut drag queens out of public life.

The Dancing on Ice final airs on Sunday, 12 March.