JoJo Siwa’s Dancing With the Stars casting already made a splash, alongside the announcement that she would be part of the show’s first-ever same-sex dance pairing. On last night’s premiere, she officially made history, dancing the quickstep to Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” (a perfectly chosen song) with her partner Jenna Johnson. “I’m really, really proud,” Nickelodeon star Siwa, who is queer, said ahead of the performance. “I came out in early 2021 and what I love to do is make truly being who you are easier for kids.” And she had reason to be proud after the performance too, earning the highest score of the night, 29 points out of 40, for her energetic outing. Judge Bruno Tonioli called the performance “a groundbreaking moment” afterward, adding, “I’m so high.”
The season 30 premiere also saw debuts for a cast including former Bachelor star Matt James and influencer Olivia Jade. Amanda Kloots performed for the judgment of her former The Talk co-host Carrie Ann Inaba, who said her tango — dedicated to late husband Nick Cordero, who died from COVID-19 complications last year — “brought tears to my eyes.” Former Beverly Hills 90210 star Brian Austin Green made his debut with a familiar face beside him: his own girlfriend Sharna Burgess, with whom he danced the foxtrot to Silk Sonic’s “Skate.” (“If I mess this up, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sharna left me,” Green joked ahead of the performance, before earning a score of 24.) Sporty Spice Melanie C danced her cha-cha to “Wannabe” by her group the Spice Girls, of course. And Jade, who was infamously caught at the center of the college admissions scandal with her parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, performed her salsa with support from older sister Isabella Rose in the audience. “I’m not trying to pull a pity card,” Jade said ahead of her performance, which Inaba lauded as “the start of a brand-new chapter.” Dancing With the Stars returns next Monday, September 27, for the first elimination — when Karate Kid and Cobra Kai star Martin Kove looks to be in trouble, after earning last night’s lowest score by far, a 13, for his paso doble.