Jordin Sparks Reveals How ‘American Idol’ Prepared Her For ‘DWTS’: ‘I Thrive Under Pressure’

Jordin Sparks is no stranger to live competitions. The singer explained how her 'American Idol' experience was beneficial to her in the ballroom.

Jordin Sparks Brandon Armstrong
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Jordin Sparks has won American Idol, and now she’s ready to win Dancing With the Stars. Jordin started off DWTS season 31 with the first performance of the night alongside partner Brandon Armstrong. Jordin revealed if she was intimidated at all performing first.

Jordin Sparks Brandon Armstrong
Jordin Sparks and Brandon Armstrong during the ‘DWTS’ premiere. (Disney+)

“Give me the pressure. I thrive under pressure,” Jordin told reporters after the premiere. “Look, on American Idol, I’m used to the way that this kind of goes. It’s really long days. It’s doing rehearsals over and over again… For me, I thrive in a live performance environment. So the audience, the lights, the cameras, the outfit, the makeup… the switch just goes on. You know, so this might not be the same way that I have performed but it’s a stage nonetheless.”

Jordin and Brandon performed a cha-cha to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody [Who Loves Me]” by the late Whitney Houston. The pair earned a 26 out of 40 with the judges. Jordin’s first performance was a tribute to the singing icon, who was her co-star in the 2012 film Sparkle.

“I didn’t get to know her for very long. But the time I did spend with her really, really impacted me, and I’ve carried it with me since,” Jordin said. “Look, I’m still loving her and admiring her all these years later, so I know she would be really, really proud if she was in the audience. She would have been standing up, and she would have been screaming just like all of us. She was so supportive.”

Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in ‘Sparkle.’ (Everett Collection)

Jordin and Brandon are still in the competition after the first elimination. Sex and the City alum Jason Lewis and Peta Murgatroyd were the first couple of season 31 to be sent home. Next week, the DWTS pairs will be taking on Elvis Night. Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Disney+.

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