JoJo Siwa and dance partner Jenna Johnson Chmerkovskiy made it through another round of “Dancing With the Stars” (DWTS) with a little help from Janet Jackson and a sexy rumba.
Siwa and Johnson made history this year when they debuted as the first-ever same-sex pair in the American version of the popular dance-off reality show. They were among the top eight couples dancing in Monday’s episode, which began with a flashy salsa number followed by the rumba.
The salsa performance included a lift where Siwa held Johnson upside down and spun the pair around. “I’m, like, I don’t think that JoJo signed up for the show thinking that she was going to be lifting another human week after week,” Johnson told Yahoo! Entertainment after the performance. “But we both have had to sit down and be, like, if we want to compete with the other couples who are doing these lifts, doing these spins, we also have to do them.”
The couple then faced off in a rumba to Jackson’s “That’s the Way Love Goes” against Johnson’s husband, Val Chmerkovskiy, and his partner, Olivia Jade. Yahoo! reports that Johnson had previously expressed concerns over a rumba, saying that it required a lot of chemistry and she didn’t know if she “would be able to pull it off, honestly, with another female.” They did pull it off, however, with judge Carrie Ann Inaba saying that “the passion and chemistry was palpable!”
In a video posted to Instagram following the performance, Siwa admitted that the night’s two dances were “a challenge. Two dances that we didn’t know if we could pull off,” she said before adding, “and we did, and we were inspired, and we were motivated and we did it.”
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In a later post, which included a video of the salsa performance, Siwa called the dance “A DREAM,” Johnson a “legend,” and the choreography “NEXT LEVEL.”
“This dance was a push, and it was HARRRDDD for me,” she added. “We worked, we cried, we bled, we did a bit of it all this week and it was WORTH it. So happy.”
The couple now advances to next week’s semi finals.