JoJo Siwa reflects on how historic Dancing with the Stars turn changed her life

JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson perform an Argentine tango during Britney Spears week on Dancing with the Stars

JoJo Siwa is still gushing about her time as half of Dancing with the Stars first same-sex duo, saying it helped her feel “less scared of myself”.

Siwa and her professional dancing partner Jenna Johnson were clear frontrunners early on in the competition after several stellar performances that wowed the judges and fans alike.

Despite a flawless performance to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” at the finale, Siwa and Johnson took second place in the series after narrowly being defeated by former NBA star Iman Shumpert and his partner Daniella Karagach.

Even though she didn’t take home the top spot, Siwa told ET that she will look back on her time on Dancing with the Stars with only fondness. The 18-year-old social media personality even shared that she “had no idea” about the overwhelmingly positive impact that being the show would have on her life.

“I feel like I’m just more self-aware, and I feel like I’m more confident,” Siwa explained. “I feel like I’m less scared of myself.”

She added that she has kept close ties with Johnson since leaving the show, saying her former dancing partner helps her “come out of my shell”.

“I came out once again! Second time around,” Siwa joked.

JoJo Siwa smiles as she attends iHeartRadio 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2021

JoJo Siwa attends iHeartRadio 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball 2021 presented by Capital One at The Forum on 3 December 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty for iHeartRadio)

JoJo Siwa has frequently praised Johnson’s dancing skills and has openly fawned about their close friendship, which developed throughout their time on Dancing with the Stars.

Speaking backstage at the finale, Siwa told ET that she was ultimately disappointed to take second place. But she shared that she would “take second” place “every single day” if it meant she “got to make the friend that I did in Jenna”.

“It’s worth so much to me, and I’m so grateful forever,” Siwa said.

And the affection is mutual as Johnson said she was able to “dance to my fullest” alongside Siwa.

“I feel like most of the time on the show, you’re worried about your partner, and you wanna make sure your whole focus on them,” Johnson explained. “With JoJo, I didn’t have to worry.”

She continued: “I just got to dance myself, and it was the most fulfilling three months of my life.

“I got to dance every day, and I love it.”