JoJo Siwa became the first contestant in “Dancing With the Stars” history to pair up with a partner of the same sex. During Monday night’s premiere of the ABC reality show, Siwa hit the dance floor with Jenna Johnson, a professional dancer and choreographer.
When the producers of the show offered Siwa the chance to dance with a partner of the same sex, Siwa didn’t hesitate to accept, calling it a groundbreaking opportunity. According to Siwa, she saw the show as a way to inspire others. “What I love to do is make truly being who you are easier for kids,” she said.
Not only did Siwa and Johnson make history, but the two also managed to receive the highest score of the night out of 15 other pairs of contestants. The pair performed a high-energy foxtrot to “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet, landing an impressive 29 out of 40 points for their first score.
The show consists of four judges: Len Goodman, Derek Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli, as well as Tyra Banks as the show’s host. Banks was quick to express her admiration of Siwa last night.
“JoJo, you’re changing the world. You’re a leader,” Banks said. “There are little kids looking up to you like, ‘Oh, my gosh. If she can be herself, I can.'”
The show’s other couples consist of returning pros paired with big-named celebrities, like Olympic champion gymnast Suni Lee, Spice Girl Melanie C, NBA Champ Iman Shumpert, and many other stars.
While many viewers argue that Siwa’s dance experience gives her a clear advantage over other competitors, Siwa disagrees.
“I explain it as a football player trying to play basketball. I also think, too, I’m going to be judged a lot harder,” she said.