Probably the biggest regret of my life is that I didn’t start recapping just Jojo Siwa’s parts on Dancing with the Stars for my series ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Review: Only Jojo Siwa’s Parts: A Series until week four. In writing about Jojo’s appearance on the ABC dance competition program week after week, I’ve finally found a line of work as a writer that fulfills me. And it’s almost over as soon as it began. Anticipating the loss of this remarkable 90 seconds of dancing every week even brought me close to pressing play on this clip of children dancing medium-sensually to Meghan Trainor’s “Me Too” from Siwas Dance Pop Revolution, a youth-oriented competition show Jojo hosts with her mom Jessalyn.
Luckily for my career, Jojo and her partner Jenna performed twice this week, and the first was a “redemption dance” in which the two plaid-clad wonders went back and perfected an Argentine Tango from week 3 for which they initially received low marks.
One of the judges must mentor them, and they wonder who it might be. It’s Len, this British tyrant with no apparent credentials, though admittedly I have not Googled him.
Channeling his fellow countryman Lisa Vanderpump who once said that her restaurant Villa Blanca is where you take your wife and SUR Restaurant (Sexy Unique Restaurant Restaurant) is where you take your mistress, Len explained where Jojo and Jenna went wrong in week 3 — it was their stilted sensuality. As you might recall, the judges are becoming prouder by the day about Jojo’s budding interest in becoming a barely legal sex symbol.
“The ballroom tango is like a person dancing with their wife. The Argentine tango is like a person dancing with their girlfriend,” he says. The girls go “Whoah hooo.”
“What I would like to see overall is the feeling that it is a little bit more oozy,” Len says. “For that little snuggly bit, I’d really get it in there!”
Jojo’s wearing confusing teal shorts, and she promises they’re gonna work really hard.
Smash cut to the redemption stage, where Jenna and Jojo are each wearing trilby hats that make them look like Pete Doherty when he went to rehab in 2007.
The camera zooms in, and America’s sweethearts are now looking exactly like Kristen Bell and Cher in Burlesque, a film that asked us to believe that the two of them were feuding contemporaries who came up in the scene together despite their 34-year age gap.
Despite their jaunty little hats, I unfortunately found this dance quite boring, though maybe it’s because I was primed for a Wagon Wheel Watusi level of wow. There was one good part where Jenna scaled a chair and then scaled Jojo.
At one point, the camera pans to also-ran Olivia Jade in the audience, who looks like she’s fighting back tears. That’s the sort of ooziness I like to see.
Anyway, they got a perfect 10/10 redemption score from all of the judges. Of course, who cares. I’m not here to ask for forgiveness, and I don’t think Jojo is either.
But the night isn’t over. They’ve still got a Lewis Capaldi song to dance contemporarily to. The song is special to Jojo because she lost her grandfather recently. He seems like a nice man, but when they flashed this image on the screen, grampa in his I’m a Siwanator tee and cardigan, I couldn’t help but think “that bitch stole my look.”
The Lewis Capaldi song Jojo and Jenna dance to sounded to me that it was about a lover gradually losing interest in your face, body, and personality, which seemed like an inappropriate tribute to Jojo’s grandfather.
When I looked up the lyrics on Genius, verified annotations from Lewis Capaldi, the bard himself, corrected my thinking: it was about losing a loved one to suicide.
In that moment, those highlighted words screamed out at me: YOUR INTERPRETATION OF THE WORLD IS INFORMED BY WHAT’S HURTING YOU RIGHT NOW, AND IT IS NOT OBJECTIVE TRUTH. Total wake-up call for me, and that’s the second thing I now owe to Jojo Siwa’s grandpa.
The dance was stunning and had a genuine narrative arc. As Capaldi crooned, Jenna and Jojo subverted the conservative-coded DWTS stage by exploring each other’s bodies.
It told the story of someone holding onto a life they’re ready to leave behind for the sake of those who need them. It was quite an evolved emotional register for Jojo, who up until a few weeks ago was making hyperpop about haters and YouTube videos with James Charles. I was impressed. As Len said to Jojo, “I’ve got underpants older than you. And yet you dance with such maturity.” OK, someone send Len some new underwear; Parade will send a pair to anyone with like 800 Instagram followers.
Derek Hough, my enemy, does a thing I hate where he fake-flirts with Jojo’s grandma in a cloying and condescending way, as if him deigning to talk in her general direction is an honor for her. Not now, Derek. She’s experiencing a profound loss. Go make out with your sister or something.
Another perfect 10 all around for our principessas of the underworld. That’s 80 out of 80 possible points. They are so good at dancing. If they don’t win I’m going to kill myself and there’s nothing Lewis Capaldi or anyone else can do about it.