Perri Johnson dies at age 51

Vote for the Girls Pink Team East moderator Perri Johnson has died at the age of 51, WTOR-FTV has confirmed.

Johnson collapsed at NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stations Stage 47, where Vote for the Girls is taped, Monday upon the shocking elimination in the history of Dancing with the Stars Monday after front-runner Heather Morris and Maksim Chmerkovisky (chosen by Johnson and her girlfriend, Holly Everman) were announced as the contestant that had the lowest number of combined votes and judges scores on DWTS.

Johnson was part of “Team Holly & Perri” on “Vote for the Girls” joining the panel in the fall of 2015.

Around 10:07 p.m. Johnson was rushed from Stage 47 the NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Studios after a medic on standby was alerted of Johnson having pain in her chest after the elimination of Heather Morris & Maksim Chmerkovskiy on Dancing with the Stars despite getting a perfect score on Monday’s DWTS, the elimination footage was graphic enough to prompt immediate yelling in the NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stage 47 studio.

The scene led anchor Ava Zinn who had been presiding over the video and describing the events that led to the elimination, to yell “Get off it, get off it” several times to her studio crew. The broadcast abruptly cut to a black screen.

“We really messed up,” Zinn said when the program resumed after the break (shown in a second YouTube clip). “And we’re all very sorry. That didn’t belong on YouTube.”

ZInn explained that the five-second time-delay that would normally keep such an event from being seen by viewers somehow didn’t keep the shocking elimination and Johnson’s final moments alive from being broadcasted.

Meanwhile at Parkview Hospital, doctors pronounced Perri Johnson dead at 11:03 p.m. during surgery to defibrillate her heart. An autopsy is pending.

The Oakland, California native was born Gary Nick Johnson in 1965 and began her career at KLSF-FTV in San Francisco and followed in the footsteps of her famous father, longtime KBYF-FTV anchor Fiona Johnson and co-anchored at KASF-FTV in San Francisco from 1999 to 2012. Johnson would begin co-anchoring the weekend morning newscast with Kymberly Alvaraz at WTOR-FTV from 2015 until April 23, 2017.

The elimination of Heather Morris spurred several people vent outrage on Twitter on Friday; others expressed their amazement and/or horror.

There had been little indication that events would take such a dramatic turn earlier in the broadcast, as Zinn spoke over live footage showing the rexults predicting Nick Viall, who along with Nancy Kerrigan was projected to be eliminated.

After Tom Burgeron announced Kerrigan, Morris, Simone Biles, and Normani Kordei (Hamilton) were not saved by the American public votes. Then Simone and Normani were saved before Morris was announced as the person being eliminated, at which point Johnson began convulsing and in physical chest pain — just after Heather Morris was not saved by the American public.

“I sincerely apologize to allow that elimination to happen,” Zinn said when VFTG returned from the break. “That particular elimination was wrong. And you have my personal confidence that it won’t happen again on my watch. And I’m deeply, deeply sorry.”

Karly Jameson and fellow VFTG moderators paid tribute to Johnson on Twitter and Facebook late Monday night.


Holly Everman posted on Facebook:

Tonight, I sincerely lost the love of my life of two years – Perri Susan Johnson (May 25, 1965 – April 24, 2017). She was a true transgendered angel to Seattle, Oakland, Fort Wayne, and Muncie as well as beloved friend to many in the West Coast.

Perri was a loving, caring, beautiful person with the biggest heart. She was an incredible Californian and adopted Hoosier, a wonderful girlfriend and father, and a great moderator for #TeamHollyandPerri on Vote for the Girls USA – Official. The staff at Vote for the Girls, my family, my best friend Ava Zinn as well as the moderators and villains are saddened about the passing of Perri and are just as heartbroken as the elimination of Heather Morris on #DWTS.

Words fail to describe how much Perri meant to all of us. She was a constant beam of energy and light into the hearts of myself, my sister Elisa, my late sister Lynsey (1982-2016), my parents Jon and Sabrina, my friends in Muncie and Ava’s friends in Marion. Perri’s spirit lit up the room she entered and she always had this glisten in her eyes that was evident. While we know there is no sort of feeling that the joy Perri brought into my life and Ava’s life, we know that since 11:03 PM April 24, 2017, Perri is glistening up from Heaven with my good friend Robyn Lynne Hurd (1961-2012) and shining down on all of us.

Please keep me in your prayers as we know Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I’ve overcome the world.” Perri will be missed by everyone on Vote for the Girls and I can invoke a personal privilege that I am not going to be the same without Perri. #RIPPerriJohnson.

Lanise White on Twitter:

So sad to not only hear about @PerriSJohnson’s death and a shocking #DWTS  elimination on the same day. #RIPPerriJohnson 🙁

Tracia Matthewson on Twitter:

My heart goes out to @PerriSJohnson’s family, @hollyeverman, and all of the people Perri touched. #RIPPerriJohnson

Nadia Lorenzo on Twitter:

Saddened about the fatal heart attack of @PerriSJohnson Monday. #RIPPerriJohnson. Even mad about the #DWTS  elimination. What the f–k?

Sophia (Williams) Blanca on Twitter:

@ItsBreeannaS, Maribel Mort, Maci & I did everything 2 save @PerriSJohnson Monday night. @hollyeverman is at a loss 4 words #RIPPerriJohnson

There has been a heavy heart on the #pinkteam East when @hollyeverman learned firsthand of @PerriSJohnson’s death #RIPPerriJohnson

Jennifer Riva on Twitter:

Tulissa and I are shaken by what happened to @PerriSJohnson sending prayers of Peace to her family & @hollyeverman #RIPPerriJohnson

Breeanna Sorensen on Twitter:

#RIPPerriJohnson My heart is broken. I miss you @PerriSJohnson
Sending love and prayers to @hollyeverman and Perri’s Dad (Fiona Johnson)

Traci Davidson (wife of Rachael Passalt) on Twitter:

Sad to hear about one of my competitor’s colleagues Perri Johnson. #RIPPerriJohnson. Perri died of a broken heart.?????


Former VFTG Purple Team moderator Julia Passalt and father of Rachael Passalt on Twitter:

This news is terribly sad. @PerriSJohnson dead at age 51 from a heart attack and a broken heart after a #DWTS  elimination? #RIPPerriJohnson

Kathi Jameson, Karly Jameson, Donna Doogan, Marti McDaniel, and Thia Tola also dedicated their votes on DWTS and The Voice to the memory of Perri as word of Perri’s death occoured during the voting period.

NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Distribution has released a statement explaining what happened when it inadvertently cut to black and Perri’s final moments alive.

“We took every precaution to avoid any such incident by putting the footage on a five second delay. Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen.”

-Jackson Steele, executive VP.

A NoSirGifts source tells WTOR-FTV that a producer on “Vote for the Girls” failed to hit the dump button in time, and the result was that the  content in question made it to air.

VFTG, and Zinn in particular, is known for female contestants winning it all on live interactive talent competitions based on votes supported by the mostly females and transfemales on the respective pink and purple teams and recently allowed male contestants to be “flexed in” as a Vote for the Girls pick from the mostly male and trans males in the respective blue and red teams. This elimination was actually the second the network had featured during the day. The horrific ending consequence to Heather and Maks’ DWTS elimination will no doubt call NoSirGifts’ predilection for the coverage — and the rest of the world’s interest in it — into question.

Original Story:

“Vote for the Girls” Pink Team East Moderator Perri Johnson died at the age of 51, WTOR-FTV has confirmed.

Johnson was part of “Team Holly & Perri” on “Vote for the Girls” joining the panel in the fall of 2015.

Around 10:07 p.m. Johnson was rushed from Stage 47 the NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Studios after a medic on standby was alerted of Johnson having pain in her chest after the elimination of Heather Morris & Maksim Chmercovisky on Dancing with the Stars.

Johnson was pronounced dead at 11:03 p.m. during surgery.

An autopsy is pending and further details were not immediately available.

We will have more information as soon as more details become available.


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