Dancing With The Stars: How did the Stars and Pros Handle the Switch Up


This season on Dancing with the Star, ABC added in the all new Switch Up challenge in which America had the chance to choose the celebrity / professional dancer pairings they would like to see.

The Switch Up will give the viewers the chance to see which stars have serious dance abilities and which stars are falling back on their professional partner’s talents. The Switch Up also allows viewers to see different sides of the stars with their Switch Up partner and the way their temporary partner teaches them the weekly routine.

The show opened with a killer group number featuring the professional dancers as well as the celebrity dancers. Julianne Hough joins the judging panel as a guest judge for the evening – any guesses as to who Julianne targets tonight for their choreography? Now let’s get to the dancing:

Candice Cameron Bure & Tony Dovolani

The new pairs are being revealed as the show goes on throughout the night. Kicking the night off is the pair of Candice and Tony. The two have really good chemistry and their personalities really click. Candice looks like she’s having more fun this week in rehearsals than in any other rehearsals to date. Their dance is fun and well choreographed. While the audience loved the performance, the judges were not to impressed giving Candace a combined score of only 28 out of 40.

Dance: Quickstep

Score: 28/40

Carrie Anne Inaba: 7

Len Goodman: 7

Julianne Hough: 7

Bruno Tonioli: 7

James Maslow & Cheryl Burke

Cheryl defiantly hit the jackpot this week, trading in the oldest competitor in competition – Drew Carey – for a younger, better looking celeb in James. James and Cheryl danced the Tango and the two looked really good together. Their dance was intense and very passionate. He managed to get a 35 out of 40 from the judges – a score that I felt was lower than deserved.

Dance: Tango

Score:35/40

Carrie Anne Inaba:9

Len Goodman: 8

Julianne Hough: 9

Bruno Tonioli: 9

Drew Carey & Witney Carson

For Witney this week literally switched up the way she taught and the style she choreographed – Witney went from having the youngest competitor in the competition to the oldest. The two had a cute grandfather, grandchild chemistry. Witney put together a routine that fit Drew’s fun and charismatic personality and the routine was really fun to watch. Drew & Witney managed to score a 33 out of 40 – three points more than Drew & Cheryl scored the previous week. Of all the Switch Up pairs, I have to give Drew and Witney credit for showing the most improvement between the two professional dancers.

Dance: Cha Cha Cha

Score: 33

Carrie Anne Inaba: 8

Len Goodman: 8

Julianne Hough: 9

Bruno Tonioli: 8

Macy’s Stars of Dance

Macy’s Stars of Dance returned this week, with the full routine being put together by Derek Hough. The routine look was stunning and showed doubters just why Derek has an Emmy.

Danica McKellar & Maksim Chmerkovsky

These two really lacked chemistry – which is surprising as Danica went from one Chmerkovsky to another. Maks is more strict  in his teaching technique, where as Danica and Val have a more relaxed rehearsal process. Their Jive was average, and I agreed with Julianne that the choreography suggested Maks phoned in this week so he can get back with Meryl – the dance was average at best.

Dance: Jive

Score: 32

Carrie Anne Inaba: 8

Len Goodman: 8

Julianne Hough: 8

Bruno Tonioli: 8

Charlie White & Peta Murgatroyd

Charlie struggled the most with the Switch Up, going from a very technical teacher in Sharna to a more in the moment, plan the routine as your rehearse type teacher. Due to a lack of hip action, Len and Carrie Anne both knocked their scores down wanting to see more Rumba in the routine. Thankfully the Switch Up is only a one week event, and Charlie gets to return to Sharna next week.

Dance: Rumba

Score: 33

Carrie Anne Inaba: 7

Len Goodman: 8

Julianne Hough: 9

Bruno Tonioli: 9

Amy Purdy & Mark Ballas

It looks like Derek’s social media pleas worked as Amy was paired with Derek’s close friend, Mark, for the Switch Up event. Mark struggled this week with his choreography not sure what to do or how to work around Amy’s limits. You could see Mark’s uneasiness in Amy’s Salsa ability as he kept hold of her for the majority of the dance. Mark’s uncertainties really affected the outcome of the dance this week. While Amy received a solid 34 out of 40, I can imagine Amy will be more than ready to get back to Derek next week.

Dance: Salsa

Score: 34

Carrie Anne Inaba: 9

Len Goodman: 8

Julianne Hough: 8

Bruno Tonioli: 9

Cody Simpson & Sharna Burgess

Cody really struggled this week as he went from being paired with the young and laid back Witney to the older and more technical Sharna. Sharna worked with Cody to better improve his technique and frame and her work was evident in the dance as Cody showed improvement in his frame. However this week Cody fell to the bottom of the leader-board with a score of 31 out of 40.

Dance: Foxtrot

Score: 31

Carrie Anne Inaba:

Len Goodman:

Julianne Hough:

Bruno Tonioli:

NeNe Leakes & Derek Hough

The Switch Up could not have come at a better week for NeNe than this week. Given Jazz, NeNe hit the jackpot by being paired with Derek – who is know for his unique and stunning choreography. Derek choreographed a tribal themed dance to a Beyonce hit, and for the first time in the competition, NeNe looked like she was comfortable and having fun. I feel like the judges were a little harsh on NeNe and that she deserved at least one “9.” My main question is now that Derek has raised the bar for NeNe, can Tony live up to the pressure and keep raising that bar. I

Dance: Jazz

Score: 32

Carrie Anne Inaba: 8

Len Goodman: 8

Julianne Hough: 8

Bruno Tonioli: 8

Meryl Davis & Val Chmerkovsky

Surprise, surprise, fans voted for the Chmerkovsky brothers to switch partners. Meryl as usual is stunning and learns the routine quickly as Val teaches it to her. Their Argentine Tango was full of passion and intensity and the judges rewarded her with the highest score of the night – 39 out of 40. I don’t think it matters who Meryl is paired with, as she is a skilled dancer that picks up the routines at a fascinating speed. However, I feel that the judges clear favoritism – for a lack of a better word – toward Meryl could end up hurting her. Look at how many judges’ favorites exit the show shockingly early – Sabrina Bryan, Brandy, and Kristen Cavallari all left earlier than the judges expected.

 

Results Time

To no surprise, there was no elimination this week. Next week the show will take the combined totals from last week and this week and factor in the viewer votes for both weeks. The couple with the combined lowest votes will be leaving next Monday.

So the Switch Up wasn’t as big of a disaster or game-changer than I hoped it would be, but hey it was fun while it lasted. Let me know what you thought of this week’s Switch Up challenge in the comments below.

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