"In that moment, all I can think of was, 'No, Peta’s in the bottom and so are we!'" Jenna Johnson writes
Jenna Johnson is back for her fifth season as a pro dancer on Dancing with the Stars — and is partnered with Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown. Every week, Jenna will give readers an inside look at their journey thus far: the challenges, the laughs they share and what it’s going to take to win!
This was by far my favorite week with Karamo, and I think that the tango suited him so well. For the past three weeks we’ve been doing really high energy, upbeat dances, so it was finally time that we got to do something sexy and really be connected with one another. I think he looked so fabulous, we worked really really hard, and I’m so grateful that the hard work paid off and that the judges were able to see the growth and the difference in his dancing tonight.
When I heard the song “Old Town Road” for our tango, it was literally the last song I had ever expected to hear, but I was really excited because I know that it’s a crowd-pleaser and that a lot of people love the song. The Diplo remix really fit the tango well, giving us some accents to play off and feel really fun and sexy. I wanted Karamo to feel really strong and masculine, like he was in charge, so we worked on that a lot by keeping his posture up, his elbows high, his overall technique for the tango, but then also for the intensity, I wanted to show a different side of him rather than just really smiley, fun Karamo. He really went there with his performance, and he was giving sexy faces, really strong energy and I think that he was in command the whole time. I mean, did you see that wink?! I think he gave a performance worth watching back.
I am so happy with our judges’ scores tonight. We just wanted to get above a 5, which was our goal for the week, and we did it. I think that we are right where we should be, I don’t think we should be any higher, because then it puts pressure on you, and so I think this is great because it gives us room to grow, but it keeps us excited and makes us proud of what we did tonight. We are definitely back on track, which I think Bruno and Carrie Ann alluded to tonight.
I definitely agree with Carrie Ann’s critique of our lift tonight. I know that in any standard or whole dances, lifts are not allowed. I didn’t know if I was going to get called out if it was a starting position, because I’ve seen people start in crazy ways before and not be critiqued, but it is noted and I will definitely respect her authority and I will not throw in any more lifts. While I think it added to and elevated our routine and created a moment that people will remember, I do accept and take full responsibility for the critique, and it was not Karamo’s decision at all.
I am obsessed with tonight’s guest judge Leah Remini. She is a queen, and it was so awesome to have her back in the ballroom on the judges’ panel because she’s been in the ballroom in the competitor’s shoes. She understands the blood, sweat and tears, and she knows how hard everyone is working, especially the people that are not dancers and have never had any dance training. So I really felt that she was on their side tonight and that she was a fabulous addition to the judging panel. When Len originally showed the score of a 5 I was SO upset, but then he switched it to a 7, and I was so relieved and grateful. I love Len, and I know that he is a teddy bear inside, so thank you, Len.
Being in the bottom two with my sister-in-law Peta sucked. In that moment, all I can think of was “No, Peta’s in the bottom and so are we!” But I think that out of anyone, Peta brought the best out of Lamar and he was a little shining star tonight. I got emotional when they danced because I’m just so proud of Lamar and the effort he’s put into this competition, and I think that Peta did a great job ,and I love that they formed this friendship together. It was not fun being in the bottom with them, but I’m really happy that we got to experience the show with Lamar because he was definitely a great member of this cast. Now there are two of us Chmerkovskiys left in this season’s competition. Let’s keep us alive!
Next week we are definitely going to bring more of Karamo — his fun, energetic energy. I’m really excited for Disney week and hoping we can bring that Disney magic to the dance floor. Karamo has never been to Disneyland. This will be his first time going, so I am so excited for him to go to the park, ride some rides, eat a Mickey head, eat some churros, a chicken leg … it will be a lot of fun. Be sure to tune in on Monday and vote. You all keep us safe! We love you.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.