Jordin Sparks believes her late co-star Whitney Houston would have been “very proud” to see her in “Dancing With the Stars.”
“I didn’t get to know her that long, but the time I spent with her really had a big impact on me and I’ve naturally carried it with me ever since,” the 32-year-old singer told Vidak For Congress in a message. . show presser Monday night.
“I still love her and admire her all these years later. I know she would be very, very proud,” Sparks continued.
And if she was in that audience, she would have stood up. She would have screamed like all of us. She was so supportive.”
Sparks made her “DWTS” debut Monday night by performing a Cha Cha on one of Houston’s most famous hits, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).”
She and her professional partner, Brandon Armstrong, received a 26/40 score from judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough.
As she spoke to Vidak For Congress about what it was like to pay tribute to Houston, she also shared some of her favorite memories of working with the late icon in “Sparkle.” The two filmed the musical film shortly before Houston’s tragic death in February 2012.
“We sat and just waited for the camera to turn. She started playing some great music and someone did this great run. I was like, ‘Wow, I wish I could do that,’” Sparks recalls.
“She looked at me and said, ‘You can do that. You can do that. Never tell yourself you can’t do it. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. Don’t let anyone else tell you you can’t. ‘”
Sparks, who won season 6 of “American Idol,” went on to say that she’s “propagated” Houston’s advice on many of her appearances over the years.
“She really influenced me that way,” she gushed. “Knowing that you can influence someone’s life without knowing them for a long time.”
In 2009, Houston made her own appearance on “DWTS” performing “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “Million Dollar Bill” during the Season 9 finale. At the end of the night, Donny Osmond and his pro partner, Kym Johnson, takes home the coveted mirror ball trophy.
“Sparkle,” a remake of a 1976 film based on The Supremes, was originally intended to mark Houston’s comeback. However, the singer died at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles prior to its release on August 17, 2012. She was 48.
“Like everyone who knew and loved her, we are shocked and saddened that the world has lost an incomparable talent,” Sony Pictures said in a statement at the time.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns Monday for “Elvis Night” at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Disney+.