“Dancing with the Stars” saved the best for last during the season 30 premiere on Monday night, September 20. At least, the judges thought it was the best. JoJo Siwa topped the leaderboard on night one while making history in the process. Watch her quickstep above.
Siwa was one of the first two contestants announced for the season, and with that announcement came the news that she would be the first “DWTS” contestant ever to compete with a same-sex partner. It certainly took the show long enough to get there after same-sex performances had been featured on “So You Think You Can Dance” and “World of Dance” over the years. I mean, it took longer to get same-sex dancing on “DWTS” than it took to get same-sex marriage in America.
But it’s still a big deal on this more conservative-leaning show, and it was surprisingly moving to watch Siwa and her pro partner Jenna Johnson perform at the end of the night. Siwa herself came out as queer in 2021, which makes this even more meaningful since the 18-year-old YouTube star is bringing LGBTQIA+ representation to the dance floor as well. She and Johnson might have gotten a little too excited on the dance floor, however, as Johnson ended up losing her footing in the middle of their routine.
The judges still raved about their performance, though with Bruno Tonioli praising their “freedom of expression” and Derek Hough telling her, “You were born for ‘Dancing with the Stars.'” She received sevens from Tonioli, Hough, and Len Goodman, as well as an eight from Carrie Ann Inaba. That was the only eight given out in the season premiere, and if I’m being honest it’s a little sketchy to give the night’s highest score to the only routine with an actual fall, but I don’t think the overenthusiastic scoring should take away from what a gratifying performance it was otherwise. What did you think?
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