The Wiggles' John Pearce Is A Total Zaddy. Here's What You Need To Know

Since bursting on the scene in the early 1990s, The Wiggles have become one of Australia's biggest entertainment exports. After two decades of entertaining preschoolers with such earworm singalongs as "Fruit Salad" and "Dorothy the Dinosaur," in the 2010s The Wiggles started bringing in some fresh blood — most notably Emma Watkins, the first female member of the group. When Watkins departed in 2021, The Wiggles expanded even further, and John Pearce was one of the newbies.

Pearce, in fact, has become a breakout Wiggle — and he's not just popular with the children he's been hired to entertain. As Australia's pointed out, Pearce's social media posts, showcasing his chiseled physique, have been getting parents hot and bothered. Some of them, in fact, have even taken to sharing their unwholesome thoughts as comments on Pearce's TikToks. "And once again, I'm a wiggles fan 15 years later," wrote one fan in a post's comments section, as reported by Today, while another quipped, "I don't remember the fruit salad being this yummy growing up." Audiences will get their first chance to see Pearce live when The Wiggles launch their U.S. tour in September 2023.

So just who is the new Purple Wiggle who's poised to break the internet? The Wiggles' John Pearce is a total zaddy. Here's what you need to know, so read on to find out.

Purple Wiggle John Pearce has become a TikTok superstar

John Pearce was an early adopter of TikTok, where he typically shares videos in which he dances, clowns around, and even showcase snippets of his gruelling workout regime. Since he became a member of The Wiggles, Pearce's TikTok page has exploded; as of late January 2023, he's acquired over 350,000 followers, while his posts regularly garner viewership in the millions. One video, in which he's demonstrating his athleticism while wearing pants and a tank top, generated an eye-popping 4.6 million views (and counting). Another, which features Pearce mouthing dialogue from the Ben Stiller comedy "Zoolander," has been viewed more than 5.7 million times. 

"It is insane to think, you know, something that I created online for a bit of a laugh, and something that I've done for fun has taken a turn," he said during an appearance on Australian morning show "Sunrise." Asked if he had expected the kind of response he's been getting from moms, Pearce admitted, "No, I didn't." 

His TikTok videos, Pearce explained in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, were merely meant to entertain. "And obviously it's entertained a lot more than what we expected," he joked. "It kind of escalated from there and now I'm talking to you guys ... it's really crazy."

His hilarious response to becoming a 'thirst trap'

Thanks to the massive number of views he's been pulling in with TikTok, Purple Wiggle John Pearce has been labelled a "thirst trap" by the media. Pearce, however, has somewhat tried to downplay that particular aspect of his fame — understandable, given that he was hired by The Wiggles to entertain young children in a G-rated fashion. This dichotomy became apparent in fans' videos about him on TikTok, including one in which a mother is seen cleaning up toys when she spies Pearce performing with The Wiggles on television, with text reading: "when you turn on the tv for your toddler and notice the new purple wiggle."

"I'm just making fun, quirky content that I enjoy and the people around me enjoy, and just keeping it Wiggly, keeping it myself," he explained to Entertainment Tonight. According to Pearce, he typically doesn't read the comments to his TikTok posts, but he suddenly found himself doing that once he realized he'd been dubbed an online sex symbol. "I was getting messages from friends and family. I was getting articles sent to me, left right and center," he said. "[But] it's all been positive and it's just about bringing happiness to people around the world." 

In another interview, with NBC News, Pearce joked about discovering he'd suddenly attracted a separate fan base who weren't preschoolers. "It's definitely opened up a whole new world of followers," Pearce admitted.

His wife is 'cool' with his new heartthrob status

One particular fact about John Pearce may prove devastating for some of his most ardent fans: he's married. In October 2019, he and longtime love Jessie tied the knot. In 2022, Pearce took to Instagram to celebrate the couple's third wedding anniversary. As a married man, Pearce was asked by Entertainment Tonight's Cassie DiLaura how his wife feels about his sudden status as the hot Wiggle. "She's super positive, like she's a really cool girl," Pearce said. "She's always been like that since day one, we've been together for over 10 years now."

As Pearce noted, his wife is so "cool" with his becoming an internet thirst trap that she's even started leaving her own comments for his videos. "She'll jump on board and start writing in, jumping on the train with everyone else in the U.S. and around the world," he added. 

Fans don't have to look too hard on Pearce's TikTok to see his spouse, given that she participates in many of his videos. One of these, posted on Christmas Day 2022, featured the couple donning sunglasses to show off their dance moves to Lady Gaga's "Bloody Mary," while another features the couple's exuberant dance moves to George Ezra's "Green Green Grass."

John Pearce's dance group won Australia's Got Talent

While John Pearce's role as the Purple Wiggle has certainly brought him an unexpected degree of fame, that's only partially true in his native Australia. That's because Pearce has been a celebrity since 2010, when he was part of a dance group called Justice Crew that won the fourth season of "Australia's Got Talent."  

According to the group's website, Justice Crew was formed as a dance troupe in 2009 by John Pearce and his twin brother, Lenny Pearce, along with Lukas Bellesini, Paul Merciadez, Solo Tohi, and Samson Smith. Winning "Australia's Got Talent" not only put the group on the map; their television fame also allowed them to transition from dance into music when they were signed by Sony Music Australia and began recording their songs, becoming bona fide pop stars Down Under.

Appearing on Australia's "Sunrise" morning show, Pearce was asked if, because of his roots in television talent contests, he felt like he deserved the sudden burst of fame he was experiencing. "I think it still doesn't feel real," Pearce admitted. To wear the famous Wiggles shirt, he confessed, felt a lot like Halloween dress-up. "I still pinch myself," he said. "... It's a costume at the end of the day, and I grew up with The Wiggles, so watching them as my idols growing up and now representing The Wiggles ... it's just a full-circle moment."

His group Justice Crew was huge in Australia

After the Justice Crew guys were signed to a major label as recording artists, they tasted some serious success. As their website pointed out, their single "Boom Boom" soared to No. 1 on the Australian charts, eventually certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association six times. Justice Crew, however, was not a one-hit wonder. Their next singles were also hits, with "Best Night" and "Everybody" going double and triple platinum, respectively. Subsequently, another single released by John Pearce and his bandmates, "Que Sera," also shot to No. 1 — and stayed there for nine weeks, making the performers the first Australian artists to spend that many weeks on the charts since 1983.

The group faced a bit of turmoil in 2014 when Justice Crew member Emmanuel Rodriguez, aka E-Man, was asked to leave. Pearce addressed Rodriguez being fired, hinting that there was a personality conflict. "It's a long story, but in a nutshell, in a group not everyone gets along," Pearce told the Herald Sun. "... You've got to be a team player because we're a team."

Justice Crew also proved to be a popular live act, and toured with such top-tier names as One Direction, Chris Brown, Kesha, Pitbull, and Janet Jackson. In fact, the group toured continually during the 2010s. In 2019, Justice Crew released the single "So Long," and that same year headed to America to compete on "America's Got Talent: The Champions." Unfortunately, Justice Crew wound up being eliminated in the first episode.

He's a certified personal trainer

In his role as Purple Wiggle, John Pearce is seen as the "strong" member of the group, encouraging kids to get active and fit by displaying his own strength. That comes through in The Wiggles' tune "Big Strong John," which has become something of a signature song for Pearce. "It's really exciting, and for young kids, young boys especially, they really pick up on the break dancing and the athleticism that I try to bring to The Wiggles, and it's kind of cool they see me as the 'Spider-Man' or the superhero of The Wiggles," Pearce told NBC News.

That's not surprising when one discovers that Pearce is also a licensed personal trainer, registered as both a master trainer and a nutrition coach with the Australian Institute of Fitness. That knowledge base has been key for Pearce as he strives to maintain his own fitness in the midst of his busy schedule as a Wiggle. 

"I believe that having a holistic approach to overall health is the key to a healthy body," said Pearce of his fitness philosophy in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. In addition, Pearce explained, that philosophy continues to evolve along with his ever-growing knowledge base.

He's in the midst of getting a degree in nutrition

As John Pearce's passion for fitness grew, he became particularly interested in the role that nutrition plays in overall health. In fact, he takes nutrition so seriously that he decided to attain a university degree in the subject. "I'm studying a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Nutrition, which is on top of touring with The Wiggles," Pearce told the Daily Telegraph

Melding wise food choices with exercise has been the key in maintaining the physique that has made him a sex symbol. "That involves a balance of quality nutrition and enjoying the foods you love in moderation combined with a consistent fitness routine," he said of his wellness approach. Profiled by the Australian Institute of Fitness, Pearce stressed the importance of consistency in both diet and exercise, in order to maintain optimum health. "Watching what you eat doesn't need to be boring, be smart with how you diet as you should be able to maintain it for life," he advised.

Pearce has also shared his nutrition advice on social media. "Get lean without becoming a robot," he wrote in an Instagram post, maintaining that good nutrition should be top of mind. "Don't forget to live your life like a human," he added.

He competed in Australian Ninja Warrior

"Australia's Got Talent" isn't the only reality show in which John Pearce appeared. In 2017, he competed in "Australian Ninja Warrior," which put his athleticism to the test even more than dancing up a storm with Justice Crew did. In fact, he was competing on the show against another member of Justice Crew, Samson Smith. At the time, Pearce jokingly indicated to Australia's Channel 9 that he would emerge victorious over Smith. "I think being under pressure makes us perform better," he said. 

Pearce was no "Ninja Warrior" dilettante; he examined other iterations of the show, perhaps including "American Ninja Warrior," in order to familiarize himself with the obstacle course and see how winners navigated it. "It was very nerve-racking," Pearce told the Daily Telegraph. "You know that there's only one small mistake and it's all over." Sadly, all that work was for naught — as a recap site noted, both Pearce and Smith wound up ditching into the water while attempting to overcome the Bridge of Blades. 

A TikTok user cheekily referenced Pearce's shirtless "Ninja Warrior" appearance by writing, "Mums, google 'John Pearce Ninja Warrior'. You're welcome."

He joined The Wiggles as part of a mega-expansion aimed at increasing diversity

John Pearce, who is of Filipino-Australian heritage, wasn't the only addition to The Wiggles when he joined in 2021. Pearce was hired alongside three other Wiggle newbies: dance phenom Tsehay Hawkins (who was only 15 when she joined the group); Chinese-Australian dancer Kelly Hamilton; and Taribelang and Djabugay dancer Evie Ferris (the second female First Nations Australian Ballet member). The Wiggles also introduced three non-binary characters: Shirley Shawn the Unicorn, Officer Beaples, and a puppet named Bok.

The additions were not arbitrary. According to Wiggles co-founder Anthony Field, the moves came about in order to promote diversity. "As society has evolved, we have embraced the need for diversity and inclusiveness and want children all over the world to see themselves reflected on the screen," he shared in a statement (via "It's so important that The Wiggles continue to evolve along with our society. This is the first step towards shaping The Wiggles for the next 30 years, taking us in a direction that truly represents and serves our community more inclusively."

Field was also adamant in ensuring that the new additions to the group remain authentically themselves, including Pearce. "John actually wears a lot of jewelry and bling, and I didn't want to change that because that's who he is," Field told Australia's ABC News.

He's volunteered for Australia's State Emergency Service (SES)

An interesting fact about John Pearce can be found on his LinkedIn profile. In addition to information about his role in The Wiggles and his personal training, Pearce also noted that he's been a volunteer for Australia's State Emergency Service (SES). As he wrote, he volunteered with the unit covering the Ashfield and Leichhardt districts in Sydney. As part of his volunteer work with the organization, Pearce explained, "we assist the local and broader community in storms, floods and support the other emergency agency when needed."

According to the official website, there are about 9,000 volunteers who spring into action to assist their fellow citizens, primarily when areas are hit with storms and flooding. Other aspects of the SES volunteering include various rescue efforts, while volunteers in remote and rural areas may receive specialized training from the Ambulance Service of New South Wales to become Community First Responders.

The sage advice he'd give to his younger self

Having celebrated his 30th birthday in 2021, John Pearce packed a lot into his twenties, including, of course, joining The Wiggles. Back in 2017, when he was still a member of Justice Crew and had yet to be tapped by The Wiggles, he was asked in an interview with Headspace to share the advice he'd give to his younger self. "Be confident, don't listen to negativity, and follow your gut in what you want to do," he said.

In that interview, Pearce also opened up about the lessons he'd learned along the way, opining that when things don't turn out the way you'd hoped, it doesn't necessarily indicate failure. "I have learnt that whatever happens, happens for a reason and that everything will turn out how it should in the end," he said.

In a different interview — this one with the Daily Telegraph — he shared some words of wisdom which he continued to heed: "The best advice I was given was from my dad, and it was to seize every moment of every day and live in the present moment and not take life too seriously."