JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson are thrilled at their Dancing With the Stars journey. While the pair came in second at the end of Monday’s season 30 finale, the friendship and connection they’ve forged over the past three months is something they feel they’ll have forever.
“I will take second every single day if that means that I got to make it to the finale. If it means I got to make the friend that I did in Jenna,” Siwa told ET’s Lauren Zima backstage after the finale. “It if means that I got to have the experiences and life changes that I’ve had in the last 10 weeks.”
“It’s worth so much to me and I’m so grateful forever,” she added.
While the pair were the frontrunners since week 1, and earned the most combined points of any couple this season, Monday’s finale proved to be a showdown between them and the dynamic powerhouse pairing of Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach.
While it was Shumpert and Karagach who walked away with the Mirrorball trophy, Siwa and Johnson couldn’t have been more excited for the champions.
“Iman, for some reason, has been like our big brother in this whole competition, so if there was anyone who we wanted to win, it was Iman and Daniella,” Johnson shared with a smile.
Siwa and Johnson pulled off some impressive performances in their final night of dancing. First they delivered a fusion routine that incorporated tango and cha-cha into a dance set to “I Love It” by Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX. The number nabbed them their first perfect score of the night.
They raised the bar even higher with their powerful and life-affirming freestyle, set to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” that earned them their second perfect score of the evening.
Siwa admitted that, if Lady Gaga saw the performance or responded to it, it would feel like “a dream has come true.” However, she really hopes the dance turns out to be an inspiration for anyone watching.
“Whether Gaga sees it or a little kid at home sees it, who thinks they might love someone who is the same gender as them, as long as someone in the world is seeing this and smiling, that’s all I want,” Siwa shared.
Siwa and Johnson — who are the first same-sex dance couple in the history of the show — were met with resounding praise after their “Born This Way” performance, and the judges got personal and emotional when reflecting on the importance of the routine.
“Honestly, I wish you were around when I was a kid,” Bruno Tonioli shared with the 18-year-old star. “It would have made it so much better for all of us.”
Carrie Ann Inaba also praised Siwa, sharing, “When I watch you dance, all I can think of is that I feel safe with the future. Because you’re such an incredible role model. With role models like you, we’re going to be OK.”
“Hearing those things like that never gets old, never gets unappreciated, never gets any less,” Siwa told ET after the show. “It means more and more every time somebody says something like that to me. Honestly, I just am so grateful that, with the younger generation, that I have a platform to be a voice for them and to be a person for them to look to, and to see, ‘She’s a girl, she was in a relationship with a girl, she’s not weird.’ It’s as simple as that.”
For Johnson, getting to be paired with a star as talented on the dance floor — and as friendly — as Siwa was a real treat.
“It was such an amazing season because I really got to dance to my fullest,” Johnson said. “I feel like most of the time on the show, you’re worried about your partner and you wanna make sure your whole focus is on them. With JoJo, I didn’t have to worry.”
“I just got to dance myself and it was one of the most fulfilling three months of my life,” she added. “I got to dance every day and I love it.”
Check out the video below for more on Siwa and Johnson’s Dancing With the Stars journey.