Is this the most moving moment we’ve ever seen on Dancing With The Stars?

To watch these big men unashamedly show how upset they were is more profound than we can imagine.
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They’ve done it again.

A week ago we wrote about how powerful it was to see huge Kiwi sporting stars like Manu Vatuvei and Glen Osborne – revered among New Zealanders for being ‘hard’ men – showing their emotion on national TV.

Former Warriors player Manu had been reduced to tears on Dancing With The Stars after performing a foxtrot to Elton John’s, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me; former All Black Glen Osborne had performed a waltz so intense his audience had been moved to tears.

“What Manu and Glen have been able to show New Zealanders, perhaps better than any mental health campaign encouraging men to speak up, is that men shouldn’t feel they have to hide their emotions,” we said. “And we should be encouraging and supporting our boys and men to do it more often.”

Last night these big men did it again, holding hands – literally holding hands – as they waited to find out who would be eliminated from the show, and then hugging like brothers after the judges reluctantly announced they would be sending Glen home.

It was an emotional end to the show, with co-hosts Dai Henwood and Sharyn Casey visibly upset, and the judges also in tears.

Some would say that neither contender deserved to be in the bottom two but there they were, accepting of their fate and stoic in their show of sportsmanship. Even more moving, they were exhibiting the kind of emotion that Kiwis too little associate with what it means to be a man.

There were no shows of bravado-ism or trivialising how they felt – just two men of mana allowing us to see that they were upset – that they cared about one another and they cared about being eliminated from a ballroom dancing show.

“I’m so happy that they’re on this show because they’re both so comfortable showing their emotions,” judge Rachel White said. “They don’t care about that, and what they show this country as role models is incredible.”

In a climate where too many men struggle with their mental health, feel ashamed to show their emotions or struggle to express them, the actions of Manu and Glen cannot be underestimated.

Once again, this show has proven itself to be so much more than light-hearted entertainment. Behind the sequins and the spray tan there is heart and there is truth, and these rare, precious moments show us how imperative it is that we change the way we treat our men.

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