‘Dancing With The Stars’: Jenna Johnson On Why She Thinks The Judges Were Hard On Karamo Brown

Earlier this month, Jenna Johnson-Chmerkovskiy said she felt the Dancing With The Stars judges were being “especially tough” on her dance partner Karamo Brown. The pair received a 16/30 after their dance to “I’m Still Standing” from the Elton John biopic Rocketman. Johnson told PopCulture that she “definitely thought [Brown] did not deserve fives” from Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman that night.   

Jenna Johnson and Karamo Brown | David Livingston/Getty Images
Jenna Johnson and Karamo Brown | David Livingston/Getty Images

“I think they’re especially tough on him right now,” she told the publication. “I’m not sure why.”

Prior to the start of this season of Dancing With The Stars, judges Inaba, Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli warned the dancers that they’d be giving out lower scores at the beginning of this season than they had in the past.

Jenna Johnson thinks the ‘DWTS’ judges were ‘especially tough’ on Karamo Brown because he had potential

In an interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet following their elimination, Johnson says she thinks the judges gave Brown a hard time because they wanted to see him grow. And it worked.   

“I think because they saw that he had potential and they wanted to see him grow, which I completely understand,” she responded when asked why she felt the judges had been, at times, hard on Brown.

“I will say, to this point, I think Karamo was the most improved and did show the most growth. I think because they were hard on him that pushed him. I’m grateful for the critiques. I think they were hard on him, at times, but I think, ultimately, it gave him that burning fire to come back and be stronger, be better, and to improve,” she continued.  

Jenna Johnson on her and Karamo Brown’s elimination

Despite their elimination, Johnson says she wouldn’t change anything about the work she and Brown put in. 

“I don’t think that I would have done anything differently. I think that I truly did my best as a partner and as a teacher. I think that this show is really unpredictable and you can never be too comfortable. You never know what’s gonna happen and I think now the past two weeks there have been two shocking eliminations with Sailor and Val first, and I wasn’t really expecting us to go either last night. But I think that that’s just the nature of the show,” she said, adding that fans can’t get too lax with their voting if they want to see a pair advance. 

“I think it’s important that even though fans might think that we’re getting votes or we’re getting OK scores, it ultimately relies on our fans to keep voting,” she said. 

As Johnson closes this DWTS chapter with Brown, she wants their supporters to know she’s very thankful.  

“I’m just really, really grateful for all the support Karamo and I received this season. I want to thank all of the fans. I want to thank Dancing With The Stars for, again, giving me a moment to shine this season, and for giving me a great partner, and continuing to give me my dream job,” she said.

Read more: Jenna Johnson Says Karamo Brown Would ‘Queer Eye’ The Cast Of ‘DWTS’