The latest “Dancing With the Stars” twist, the “Switch Up,” had celebrities trading in their professional dance partners for partners voted on by fans through Twitter. The switch lasted for only one week. And as described in an April 7 post on E! Online, the new switch up couples were surprising to watch!
The intro packages for most couples showed they were all a bit nervous about changing partners almost halfway through the season. The established couples already had a developed rapport and understood how each other worked best. This had to be relearned in 7 short days. Nowhere was that more challenging than with Mark Ballas and Amy Purdy. Her unique situation provided a learning experience for Mark as he consulted with BFF and Amy’s regular partner, on how best to work with her physical challenges.
Juliette Hough returned to the ballroom as a guest judge and added her own bit of snap to the evening. It was revealed that there would be no elimination this week as the score and votes from last week would be added to this week’s and one couple will be eliminated next week based on the combined 2-week totals.
The pairings weren’t officially revealed until during the show, though news of most of them had leaked out via social media prior to the airing. Here are how the couples were paired, listed in their order of appearance, and how they did.
Candace Cameron Bure (originally with Mark Ballas) danced with Tony Dovolani. Scores dropped form last week as the couple did a jazz routine to ‘Ballroom Blitz’ that earned a 28 for the week and a two total of 60 out of 80.
James Maslow (originally with Peta Murgatroyd) danced with Cheryl Burke. His intro package showed him being playfully protective of his original partner which only fueled speculation that he and Peta have resumed their dating relationship. James’s inability to maintain proper posture led to some of the evening’s most comical judges’ comments.
Juliette: “Maybe next week Pet can help you with tucking your pelvis.”
Bruno: “Get your buttocks under control.”
James scored a respectable 35 which gave him 71 out of 80 for the 2 week total.
Drew Carey (originally with Cheryl Burke) danced with Witney Carson and there were plenty of age jokes as Witney traded the youngest contestant (Cody Simpson) for the oldest currently on the show. Bruno described their Cha Cha as a cross between Elvis and Liberace. Len said “I haven’t had that much fun in a minute and a half since I was a teenager.” Drew earned a 33 which gave him a grand total of 63 out of 80.
Danica McKellar (originally with Val Chmerkovskiy) danced with Maksim Chmerkovskiy performed a jive that according to judges’ comments, needed more jive content. Juliette even accused Maks of phoning in his routine so he could get back to dancing with Meryl Davis. The couple got a 32 which gave Danica a 68 total.
Charlie White (originally with Sharna Burgess) danced with Peta Murgatroyd were among the more promising couples but the judges again felt the rumba did not have enough rumba content. It also contained a prohibited lift. Charlie earned a 34 which gave him a total of 70 out of 80.
Amy Purdy (originally with Derek Hough) danced with Mark Ballas performed a salsa. While it is hard to be critical of anyone dancing on 2 prosthetic legs, the number was a little flat. Amy earned a 34 to give her a total of 70.
Cody Simpson (originally with Witney Carson) danced with Sharna Burgess did a Foxtrot that challenged Cody. The 2 Aussies bonded over their shared heritage but noted their age difference also made things challenging. Cody was electric and entertaining but needs to embrace the demands of ballroom and step out of his usual performance mode. He got a 31 which gave him a 66 total.
NeNe Leakes (originally with Tony Dovolani) danced with Derek Hough dressed in tribal attire for a jazz number that Len called her best dance so far. Derek’s training got her a 32.
Meryl Davis (originally with Maksim Chmerkovskiy) danced with Val Chmerkovskiy and again earned 10s, proving she’s good with any professional. Their paring was the most requested on Twitter and with good cause. Len called their Argentine tango ‘the best dance of the night’. Carrie Ann told Meryl “you are in a class of your own…untouchable.” The night’s score was 39 which gave Meryl a 78 for the 2-week total.
In addition, Macy’s Stars of Dance returned to the ballroom with Derek Hough choreographing and performing. The flamenco style routine was a masterpiece of precision and control. Speaking of control, Derek will have creative control of the Macy’s routines for the whole of season 18.
What did you think of the Switch Up twist? Did you like it or did you prefer the original pairings? Sound off in the comments!
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