I’ll be honest, “Dancing with the Stars” took so long to introduce a same-sex couple that I was worried the producers would limit what they’d be able to express on the dance floor, but I’ve already been impressed with JoJo Siwa‘s journey on the show. We saw her and her pro partner Jenna Johnson in fast-paced dances, and then a mature Argentine tango, and on “Disney Heroes Night” she was dashing as “Cinderella’s” Prince Charming, shaking up the show’s usually rigid gender expression. Watch her Viennese waltz above and read what the judges had to say about it below.
Len Goodman: “Well, you danced a couple of bars of reverse turns. A couple of bars of natural turns in hold, which to quote another song is just about the bare necessities. However, having said that, it was beautifully danced. Your footwork was fantastic. I enjoyed watching you so much. Well done.”
Derek Hough: “As [host Tyra Banks] mentioned before, the Mickey Dance Challenge is a set piece of choreography that everyone has to incorporate into their routines, and you guys did that so beautifully and it just fit right in. And you know what, I remember last time I was judging you I mentioned that more isn’t more and tonight you proved that. You were so clean, so elegant, it was just a breath of fresh air.”
Bruno Tonioli: “JoJo, Jenna, you two are a dream come true. This was a Viennese waltz for the 21st century, full of charm, grace, elegance, and always so beautifully executed. And the Mickey challenge added some extra magic.”
Carrie Ann Inaba: “I am so proud of you. You just showed the whole world that girls can do anything guys can do. And sometimes, maybe even better. That was amazing what you were doing. What I loved the most, I just have to say, is you toned it down and you were the frame for Jenna to shine tonight. Well done.”
Siwa and Johnson were the first couple of the night, but the judges weren’t shy with their scores. They got the first nines of the season from Hough, Tonioli, and Inaba, as well as an eight from Goodman, giving them a total for the night of 35 out of 40. It wasn’t quite enough to put them at the top of the leaderboard (“The Office” actress Melora Hardin beat her by one point), but it may be one of the best remembered performances of the night.