‘Dancing With the Stars’: JoJo Siwa & Jenna Johnson Chmerkovskiy React to Second Place

Jenna Johnson, JoJo Siwa in Dancing With the Stars
ABC/Eric McCandless

There was incredible buzz over JoJo Siwa and pro dancer partner Jenna Johnson Chmerkovskiy winning this year’s Dancing With the Stars competition as it would have been the first time a same-sex pairing not only competed on the dance competition reality show but also won the coveted mirror ball trophy. However, in a last-second shocker NBA player Iman Shumpert, who showed incredible growth over the season, and his partner Daniella Karagach were announced as the winners!

TV Insider was among a group of reporters who chatted with Siwa and Johnson Chmerkovskiy after the show. Read one for the couple’s reaction to coming in second place and why it’s still a big victory.

One of the most heart-warming comments during Siwa’s journey was DWTS judge Bruno Tonioli telling the singer/dancer that he wished she was around when he was growing up as LGBTQ+ role models were mostly non-existent. “A lot of people have said that to me and it never gets any less anytime I hear it,” Siwa shared. “It means so much it means that kids who are young today do have me and that’s something I really appreciate.”

Many had predicted Siwa and Johnson Chmerkovskiy to win but Siwa is not devaluing how much effort it took to make it to the finals and come in second place. “Out of 15 incredible couples, who are all talented in their own way, we got second,” Siwa enthused. “I will take it. [Being here has been] an honor since day one.”

Siwa and Johnson Chmerkovskiy weren’t the only same-sex pairing on the floor. The duo used same-sex duos in their freestyle routine. “I was so proud of that,” Siwa says. “I was crying in my little egg before I went out and I had a talk with myself and said, ‘Pull it together really fast!’ I was just so happy yet sad because I knew everything was going to be over in two minutes.” Siwa adds that in those 120 seconds she felt as if her life was “on fire and I’m so grateful for that.”

Jenna Johnson, JoJo Siwa in Dancing With the Stars

ABC/Eric McCandless

Asked if she were a little bit disappointed that she wasn’t going home with the mirror ball, Siwa paused and then, Johnson Chmerkovskiy jumped in and said with a good-natured laugh, “Yes! I’ll be the honest one for us.”

“Of course,” Siwa admitted, “no one’s going to be like, ‘YEAH! I got second!! Woo-hoo!!’ but…we got second — [so] it is awesome.”

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Once host Tyra Banks announced that Shumpert and Karagach had won, confetti came down from the ceiling and cast members raced to the stage to congratulate the victors. “That’s really a testament to what the show is,” Johnson Chmerkovskiy says. “Win or lose — we’re a family. [We] all rushed to the floor to celebrate Daniella and Iman. It was amazing.”