Due to a weeks-long tour de force of LGBTQIA+ allyship on my part, Jojo Siwa is now the most famous woman on earth, and your friends and your mother regularly report her comings and goings to you. Which is why you already know that she came in second place on the 30th season finale of Dancing with the Stars last night. Brooklyn Net Iman Shumpert won.
Did Shumpert deserve the mirrorball trophy? I don’t know, since my smash hit Gawker series ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Review: Only Jojo Siwa’s Parts: A Series only requires me to watch Jojo Siwa’s parts of the dance competition. It’s not for me to know if Iman is a better dancer, or if Jojo deserves the hand of Iman’s wife and the mother of his children Teyana Taylor more than he does. That’s not what the spirit of DWTSR:OJSP:AS is all about.
Let’s dive into the specifics of this episode with the same kind of resilience and stage-smiling in the face of physical hardship that Jojo brings to the show every single week.
Every finalist got a Real Housewives intro card last night, which was a nice touch. The has-beens like Melora Hardin and Suni Lee and Olivia Jade did an elaborate dance, but I wasn’t paying attention. Again, that isn’t in my job description. I was busy crushing up three Adderalls and melting some Dippin’ Dots to pour into my morning cold brew so I could go write with peak precision today.
Jojo’s first dance with Jenna was a cha-cha tango fusion to the indelible tune “I Love It” by Icona Pop featuring Charli XCX. This song always gets me amped. With a single synth tone, it takes me right back to 2012, when I was a junior in college in upstate New York applying my dark fuchsia lipstick in the gender neutral communal bathroom for a night out in Bean boots, balancing my work as a women’s studies major with my passion for routinely drinking too much alcohol because I was afraid to talk to boys without it.
But back to Jojo: She starts the dance perched atop a giant J. I was so wowed by the pyrotechnic displays that the dancing became a bit secondary for me. Immediately, my brain went to memeing.
For example, “Me, when Jojo Siwa has to tell me she let me down because she lost season 30 of Dancing with the Stars.”
Or “Me, when Jojo Siwa asks me if I like her new look at the AMAs.”
I’m not saying these are my best work, I’m just saying it’s where my mind went.
Jojo and Jenna threw their skirts off when the song, censored, proffered that “you’re from the ‘70s, but I’m a ‘90s chick. I love it!” Jojo was born in 2003, and Jenna in 1994.
I don’t care! I love it!
I don’t mean to be the woke police here, but I have long found this song troubling because Madre Monster says she doesn’t care if “you’re black, white, beige, Chola descent, you’re Lebanese, you’re Orient.” Am I allowed to type one-third of those words? I find it interesting that ABC-Disney couldn’t handle “‘90s bitch” but they’re allowing hate speech.
Anyway, Jojo reclaims it, and House of Gucci comes out on November 24.
Now here comes the hard part: Amanda and Alan are voted off first.
Kidding of course. Iman and Daniella take home the mirrorball instead of Jenna and Jojo.
Tyra stands in the middle of the stage, alone again. Jojo disappears. My enemy Derek Hough, who has been felled by exposure to the novel coronavirus, celebrates in a sparsely decorated modern farmhouse model home.
As soon as Tyra announces the winners, the Dancing with the Stars soundstage erupts into a mess of lamé, and Jenna and Jojo get lost somewhere in that confusing roil, no doubt masking their sore hearts under hyper-enthusiastic congratulations to Iman. Jojo dissipates into the crowd, and I worry I’ve lost her forever. But as the confetti weighs down Iman and Daniella, now hoisted in the air on the shoulders of their former competition like bar mitzvah boys or high school football champs, I swear I catch a glimpse of Jojo. She’s looking away from the cameras, and the whole rinky-dink hokey ABC apparatus offering injured athletes and retired soap stars a second shot at fame, and into the middle distance. She’s beyond all this. She lost this celebrity dance battle, but she’s on the right track baby, and she’ll never lose the war.