JoJo Siwa on New Holiday Music, Recovering From COVID-19 and Her Recent Breakup (Exclusive)
By Liz Calvario
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JoJo Siwa has had quite an eventful 2020. While many celebrities have been forced to put their careers on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic, the 17-year-old dancer and singer continues to treat fans to new music and projects.
With the holidays in full swing, JoJo dropped a festive new single and music video for “Where Are You Christmas,” featured on her latest EP, JoJo’s Rockin’ Christmas. She even took a risk with some of her songs on EP.
"I picked my favorite Christmas songs and one of them is obviously 'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town' and the other one was 'Where Are You Christmas' [by Faith Hill]," she shared. "Everyone at first was like, 'Where Are You Christmas? That's a lot of singing and a very hard song to sing.' I was like, 'I know.' Abby [Miller] taught me back in the day on Dance Moms, you gotta be able to put your heart on a platter and be ready for somebody to stab it. And with this song, I was like, we're gonna push myself and it might not be the best version of 'Where Are You Christmas' ever, my voice might not sound like Faith Hill…but I'm JoJo and I got the 6-year-olds that love it and that's all that matters."
"And then with the original, 'It's Christmas Now,' I want to take a song that people already know and just remix it full Christmas," she continued. "And it's funny to me that teenagers on TikTok are like, 'This sounds just like 'High Top Shoes.' And I'm like, it literally says it's the Christmas remix. It is 'High Top Shoes.'"
The internet sensation has been hard at work, but ahead of the holidays she did have some unexpected downtime when she and her family all tested positive for COVID-19.
"I did end up getting it, the big, dreaded COVID-19. It got through my whole family," JoJo told ET's Lauren Zima while promoting her new music, adding that luckily they had mild symptoms. "We had headaches, we were tired, we had shortness of breath, we had all the things. All my family actually lost their taste and smell, but all have it back. But I never did."
JoJo revealed that she was the last family member to contract the virus after her parents and brother tested positive and all are feeling better. "Everyone who gets this virus, it's gonna affect them differently," she shared. "We were all, like, three days apart."
Another bump in the road for JoJo was breaking up with her boyfriend, Mark Bontempo. The former Dance Moms star said they ended on good terms, and just needed to focus on themselves.
"Everything's still OK, we're still good," she assured. "I am single as a Pringle right now. But Mark and I did break up. We were together for three months and it was great. We had fun, we drove through Taco Bell, I think, 450 times. We had some really fun nights. We never actually had any hard times, we never fought, we never were mad at each other. It was honestly a great time. It just, we had to work. He had to do some things in his life that I wanted to be there for him, but he had to be there 250 percent for himself. And I didn't want to take away from him being able to be there for himself. So I was like, 'Listen, we can be friends.'"
"And when I ended the relationship I was like, I don't want to just say 'let’s be friends' and then let’s not. Like, let's be friends and let’s make it normal," she noted, adding, "He deserves nothing but greatness."
Dating's not on JoJo's mind right now, but if she does find a new person to call her own, she's not opposed to it.
"My life is so figured out…My career is so like, 'Boom, this is what's happening,' and I just have to keep running forward on that track. And so for me, on the relationship side of things, it's more just like a fun thing," she said, elaborating. "If it comes around, great. And if it doesn't come around, also great. I have so much with what I'm doing right now that if anyone wants to join the party, I'm down!"
At the end of the day, all JoJo looks for in a significant other is, "In a couple words: Nice, cares about me, and is there for me through thick and thin…What's most important to me is just somebody who genuinely, really, truly cares about me."
Working from a very young age, JoJo has built a glitter-covered, bow-wearing empire. She understands that life in the limelight has its ups and downs, heartbreak and sacrifices -- as well as unwanted criticism.
"I have been hated on for so much stuff that that stuff is almost like I am used to it and it does not bother me," JoJo expressed when talking about life as a child star. "I am like, this is just another hater that has nothing to do with their day, that is just having fun on the comments section. It does not matter. But I definitely have gotten more love from teenagers."
She also understands that people will continue to criticize her look, adding that when people say, "'Jojo is a giant toddler,' it does not affect me."
"I realized now that I was put on this Earth for one reason and that one main reason is to perform and to make other people happy," she explained. "I can't even explain the sense of 'This is what I'm supposed to be doing' when I'm performing. It's the most perfect feeling."
Of course, there have been many other child stars whom she has looked up to and followed their journey. But one surprising celeb whom she relates to the most is none other than Paris Hilton.
"Honestly, the person who I kind of felt the most 'she gets it' is with Paris Hilton, because she is like, 'I don't know how to explain it to people' and I am like, 'It is crazy, I know exactly what you are saying because I don't either!'" JoJo explained. "We are not a character, but we just have another side."
Meanwhile, it's a great time to be JoJo Siwa, who couldn't be more excited to close out the year.
"I love the holidays, it's such a fun time of the year!" JoJo relished. "It's fun because [there's] always something happening. For us, it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year -- and you just always have something to look forward to!"
JoJo’s Rockin’ Christmas is out now. For more on JoJo, see below.