During a conversation outside of Dodger Stadium for her new Facebook Watch show, JoJo Goes, which premiered Thursday, ET wanted to know if Siwa made any suggestions before the network ultimately selected Leah Remini. For Siwa, it was all about familiar faces.
"I wanted to suggest to the producers so bad Abby Lee [Miller] but then I was like, 'I don't think that they'd think it was a good [idea],'" quipped Siwa. "I was like, it was kind of a joke but also it would work out so well. She is a dance brilliant genius. I was like, 'But they're in such a state of like what the hell are we gonna do now' that I'm like maybe [I] shouldn't tease them with that right now. Maybe shouldn't."
Abby Lee Miller was embroiled in controversy during her run as a dance coach on the hit Lifetime show Dance Moms. She pleaded guilty in 2016 to charges of bankruptcy fraud and bringing $120,000 worth of Australian currency into the country without reporting it. She was originally sentenced to a year and a day in prison, but her stay was cut short after eight months, due to ongoing health issues.
Then, in 2020, Lifetime canceled its plans to air her new reality show, Abby's Virtual Dance Off, after the reality star was accused of making racist remarks to Adriana Smith, and her daughter, Kamryn, who appeared on season 8 of Dance Moms. Miller apologized for the remarks. Additionally, it was announced that Miller would not be returning to Dance Moms if the show was renewed for a ninth season, though the ninth season was never greenlit.
It's easy to see why Siwa is fond of the dance coach who helped her find stardom. Back in February 2021, Miller told ET she was in awe of Siwa and expressed support after the then-17-year-old dancer came out and shared her story with the world.
"I'm very proud, I'm very proud," Miller told ET, before being asked how hard it might have been for Siwa to hide her sexuality. "I don't think she hides anything really. I think maybe she just didn't know."
"I have a lot of students that struggle with their sexuality. I will be honest, mainly guys that dance for me throughout the years. Some have come to me and said, 'You know, without you, I would've committed suicide,'" she shared. "To hear that as a teacher, it is shocking and also very loving and kind and that I know that I did that for that child…And what you do in your private life is your business. But JoJo didn't really have a private life."
Nearly a year prior, Siwa defended Miller and even thanked her for all she's done for her and others.
"Listen, Abby is Abby ... you either go to Abby's studio, you work for Abby; Abby doesn't just go pick up people off the street and be like, 'You're working for me.' That's not how it works," Siwa explained to ET. "You go to Abby, you know what you're getting into. So it makes me really, really upset that I am one of the few -- there's only a few people -- that really, truly thank Abby, and are thankful and grateful for what she's done for us. Because without her, Dance Moms wouldn't be a thing."
"And without that, none of us would have a career. Like, Dance Moms is where I got my start," she added. "That's where Maddie [Ziegler] got her start, that's where Kenzie [Ziegler] got her start, Kalani [Hilliker], Paige [Hyland], Brooke, Nia [Sioux], Chloe [Lukasiak], Kendall [Vertes]. I mean, that's where everyone got their start."
"I pitched Allison Holker, [Stephen 'tWitch' Boss'] wife 'cause I was like, 'I’d be so cute if it was, like, tWitch, me, Allison,'" Siwa said. "I was like, 'That’d be such a squad.' I saw somebody posted today Debbie Allen. I was like, 'That would be so cool.' Obviously, a lot of people have been suggesting that [SYTYCD co-creator and longtime judge] Nigel [Lythgoe] comes back and he's such a big part of the show, so I think that would be really cool. I mean, I think my mom on the panel is a great suggestion."