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Jenna Johnson knew the pressure would be on for Season 30 of “Dancing With the Stars” — but never anticipated an injury to happen this early on in the competition.
The pro dancer, 27, exclusively told Page Six that she had to take a day off from rehearsals Tuesday after hurting her knee during her and JoJo Siwa’s history-making routine at the end of Monday night’s premiere.
“I should have known that there was going to be a flaw in the system, but no one had ever done this before. I slipped on JoJo’s dress, and both my feet actually came out from under me,” Johnson said of her live TV mishap. “While I was in that process of trying to squeeze and not fall … my knee kind of tweaked, kind of slipped out of place, came back in.
“Very unfortunate, but there’s no way that I would miss out on week two!” she confirmed. “They made me take a day off to just rest. So, icing the knee, but I feel fine. I did some therapy last night.”
Johnson shared that Siwa, 18, FaceTimed her twice Tuesday to check in — and to make sure she was practicing her week two dance correctly.
“She is the sweetest human in the world,” Johnson gushed. “She’s just, like, star student, already practicing at home.”
Johnson admitted to Page Six that she initially felt like the incident took away from Siwa’s highly anticipated premiere night. The two are making history this season as the first same-sex dance couple to compete for the mirrorball trophy.
“Obviously, I’m so disappointed because I feel like I took away from JoJo’s moments, because this was such an epic night for us, for ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ for her,” Johnson explained. “But I think that even with this stupid little slip-up, [JoJo] did incredible. Even with that fall, I think it highlighted her, because it showed what a great partner she is.”
Despite Season 30 being Johnson’s sixth time competing with a partner on “DWTS,” the “So You Think You Can Dance” alum revealed she was “so nervous” ahead of Monday’s premiere due to the added pressure of being paired with a female celebrity.
“I have never felt those kind of nerves that I did [Monday] night … I didn’t know what to expect,” she confessed. “I was so nervous for [JoJo], and for people’s responses, because this is very different and this is a very big step forward.”
Johnson said that all her nerves went away, however, as soon as their partnership was officially announced on live TV.
“I just felt at peace, and that was very reassuring to me. That like, ‘This is what I’m supposed to be doing right now, and this was meant to be,’” she recalled. “If JoJo has this courage to do this very scary thing, then I can as well. So it was all sorts of emotions, but it was very, very thrilling.”
Johnson said Siwa’s “infectious” energy is already rubbing off on her in rehearsals, too. The Utah native credits her dance partner for already “changing” her life in a variety of ways.
“JoJo’s told me that since she was little, she’s just always been really open, to everything. For me, that’s been a big lesson because I think sometimes I can be a little bit judgmental or a little bit hesitant,” Johnson explained. “To see her just be so accepting and loving of anyone, anything, whatever you believe, whoever you want to love, whoever you want to dance with, has been so awesome and really inspiring.
“I hope to have that new sort of outlook on life moving forward,” she added. “And I hope to do this season justice with JoJo. I don’t take this role lightly; I’m very, very excited to see what we can produce.”
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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