JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson – the first same-sex pairing ever in the long-running ABC show Dancing With the Stars – got a perfect score last night as Siwa dressed up as the evil clown Pennywise during their jazz performance.
Dancing to Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” Johnson wore a yellow raincoat, a reference to Georgie from the Stephen King novel It.
The women got 40 out of a possible 40 points from the judges on the Halloween episode.
“If ever a dance captured the flavor of a book, that was it,” said judge Len Goodman.
Throughout her segment on the show, Siwa stressed how much she – like a lot of queer people – loves dressing up for Halloween.
“I don’t like to be mean, I don’t like to be scary, however on a night like tonight I get to be terrifying,” she told the judges. “Oddly enough, I feel so like myself right now.”
This is the pair’s second perfect score on the season so far; they got a perfect score last week for their Grease-themed fox trot performance.
Siwa is not the first LGBTQ person featured on the show. Olympic figure skaters Adam Rippon and Johnny Weir, fashion commentator Carson Kressley, tennis player Martina Navratilova, singer Lance Bass, and comedian Margaret Cho have all competed on Dancing with the Stars, but they were all paired with an opposite-sex dancer.
The show is broadcast during primetime on a network channel, getting millions – and sometimes tens of millions – of viewers who might not see much LGBTQ content on a regular basis.
“It’s going to be tricky, but it’s going to give so much to people out there — people of the LGBTQ community, people who feel just a little different. It’s going to give them a sense of happiness,” said Siwa when her appearance on the show was announced.
Siwa is a kids-pop sensation, known for her appearances on reality television shows like Lifetime’s Dance Moms, her hit songs directed at a younger audience like “Boomerang,” and her positive presence on social media. She came out earlier this year and later introduced the world to her girlfriend.