Dani is not only a singer and dancer, he has also recently started teaching Dutch to LGBT refugees. Although the fact that he likes boys is no problem for his mother, Dani knows that not everyone is equally accepted. “My first boyfriend was from Syria. That’s when I first experienced being gay in a Middle Eastern community,” he says candidly.
“I thought that was so terrible and it affected me so badly. He was disinherited and later he was engaged to a girl: all to please his family. (…) I want them to know they are not alone. ”
His current boyfriend also came to the Netherlands as a refugee because it is illegal to love a man in his native country. “I want the people who come from those countries – who don’t even know what it’s like to be in a country where it’s allowed, I want to be there for them and help them,” said Dani. He dedicates the audition to anyone who cannot be themselves.
The song he chose is ‘Hallelujah’, by Leonard Cohen. Only Dani gives it an Arabic touch. “It’s kind of a token of respect to religion: you don’t have to be homophobic just because you’re religious.”
Anouk is the first to press for his singing skills and would love to go to the final with him. “Your voice made me so happy. I immediately felt it in my body and that doesn’t happen very quickly”, she clearly tells him with a lump in her throat. “It was sometimes so small and very fragile (…) It was just really nice to watch and listen to.”
Anouk is not always enthusiastic about the participants. Earlier this season she had fierce criticism of a number of candidates.