Dancing With the Stars duo Karamo Brown and Jenna Johnson had an especially difficult second week. Ahead of their September 23 performance, both the Queer Eye actor and his partner dealt with fairly intense illnesses that left them drained and struggling to give 100 percent, both at practices and during the performance.
During their first week on the show, Brown and Johnson performed a high-energy salsa to "Juice" by Lizzo. While the audience loved the dance, the judges were left wanting more. Carrie Ann Inaba called the dance "underwhelming" and Len Goodman echoed their sentiment by telling the couple they were disappointing. Despite their less-than-glowing remarks, the judges gave Brown and Johnson an overall score of 17/30. It wasn't the best number of the night, but it did mange to keep the pair safe from this week's elimination. While the second week should be a slightly easier experience for the newly paired stars and professional dancers, health issues prevented Brown and Johnson from entering the second performance with confidence.
In her weekly article on People, Johnson gives an overview of her journey thus far, complete with plenty of behind-the-scenes details about her and her partner. This week, Johnson didn't hold anything back. She explained that both she and Karamo were under the weather this week. Johnson herself had been battle bronchitis for three weeks, which interfered with her ability to breathe normally. Brown broke out in a 103-degree fever prior to their performance, and spent most of the day before their dance throwing up. Johnson used the opportunity to congratulate Brown on his commitment, explaining to readers that he pushed through and continued to work hard, proving that he's serious about the competition.
Despite their individual health issues, Brown and Johnson managed to pull out respectable scores on their week two quickstep. They received two sevens and an overall score of 19/30, plus plenty of positive feedback from the judges. In the rest of her blog, Johnson detailed her desire to make Brown shine throughout the rest of the season, acknowledging that his star power really speaks to the judges. She also teased next week's performance, stating, "It’s going to be drama. It’s going to be colorful, wild, a production. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m excited for you all to see."
Knowing that both performers were dealing with bouts of illness makes Brown and Johnson's week two performance on Dancing With the Stars all the more impressive. The quickstep can be difficult to master on a good week, but Brown and Johnson happily skipped around stage with no indication of their prior health struggles. Their ability to push through a situation that might cause other dancers to quit shows their deep dedication to the competition and their desire to make a splash, no matter what the outside circumstances may be.