It’s time to switch things up on Dancing with the Stars. The nine remaining stars are all trading out their pro partners for new pairings for one night only. Will the new couples thrive or undo any forward momentum the partnerships have created?
In addition, Jessie J. is on hand as a guest judge and this week’s styles are truly insane. We have Broadway, Hip-Hop, Bollywood, the Jitterbug and even a Burlesque routine. It should be interesting to say the least.
LIVE…from Hollywood…this is Dancing with the Stars!
Guest judge Jessie J. opens the show with a Bang-Bang that burns up the stage.
There’s no elimination, so the scores and votes from tonight will be added to the scores and votes from last week for next week’s elimination. That lessens the impact of the Switch-Up.
Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Allison Holker: Bollywood
On the bright side, Allison actually has some experience with this style. Cheryl puts a lot of pressure on Antonio’s new partner to get high scores. This style makes no sense on the show. It’s fun and high energy, with some cool moments where Allison stands on his shoulders and it ends with Antonio being lifted into the air. But these two aren’t in sync at all and it seems like they’re just doing their own thing the whole time.
The judges liked the enthusiasm and facial expressions, but they point out how little they were in sync. Carrie Ann Inaba liked his confidence. She’s way too nice this season and she throws Allison under the bus for messing up. Jessie J. adds nothing of value, like most guest judges.
Judges’ Scores: 8+6+7+7=28
WTF? I don’t think Jessie J. understands how this show works at all. That’s kind of hilarious, because the guest judges are usually overly nice. I feel badly for Antonio, because I’m sure the producers are going to yell at her and she’ll be much more generous for the rest of the night.
Bethany Mota and Mark Ballas: Hip-Hop
Mark is a goofball and Bethany has no idea what “swag” is, but she know she needs it. Sadie texts Mark a lot during the rehearsals. Mark and Derek are competing to have the most fun with their swapped partners. The routine is OK and Bethany once again hits all of her steps, but she continues to have a big problem with flow. I don’t see that much swag or attitude in Bethany.
Bruno Tonioli points out that she missed a few changes. Carrie Ann thinks Bethany has tons of swag, proving once again that she’s going senile this year. Len Goodman needs to come back to put her in her place. Jessie J. loved the attack while Julianne Hough takes the opportunity to diss her brother’s teaching style.
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8+8=32
That score seems right. It couldn’t have been that swaggy if Carrie Ann thought it was as good as Antonio. Also, that’s the second time in a row a star’s score went down a point with the new partner. Mark thinks he got burned with the score.
Jonathan Bennett and Peta Murgatroyd: Jitterbug
Let’s see what Peta can do with a man more than 40 years younger than her original partner. She decides to be very strict to help bump his scores way up from that awful 24. The dance is pretty rough around the edges and some of the lifts aren’t that good, but I definitely think there are some decent parts. Carrie Ann points out that there were moments of greatness, but a lot of missed steps and wrong bits. It made Jessie J. feel very uncomfortable. Yikes, she is brutally honest. Everyone was just worried for Peta’s safety.
Judges’ Scores: 6+6+6+6=24
Ouch, Jonathan is stinking up the ballroom. He’s definitely a goner next week.
Alfonso Ribeiro and Cheryl Burke: Flamenco
Let’s be honest, Alfonso is the only good male star this season, so it’s nice that he’s with the longest-running female pro this week. She’s going to push him very hard and is looking for revenge since Witney got her partner last time and gave Drew Carey his highest score. Cheryl is fantastically brutal in rehearsals.
Wow, this routine is fantastic! We know Alfonso can do the cool Jazz thing, but Cheryl brings out a much more serious, technically proficient side of him we haven’t seen before. It was intense and powerful. The judges loved the actual chemistry between these new partners and the new side of Alfonso, but Julianne thought it was TOO intense.
Judges’ Scores: 8+9+9+8=34
Huh, I’m shocked by those 8s.
Janel Parrish and Artem Chigvintsev: Burlesque
While the teenage girls swap BFFs Mark and Derek, Janel and Lea are trading hot Russians. Janel is quite happy to do Burlesque and molest Artem as much as possible. They’re also dancing to a Jessie J. song, which makes it a little awkward. Burlesque is code for “fancy stripper,” and this dance delivers. It’s hot, steamy and full of amazing lifts. When it’s done, Janel apologizes to her dad.
Julianne thoughts it was too raunchy and sexy and not cheeky like Burlesque should be. Well, since this show has NEVER done this style before and it’s not even an actual ballroom style, it’s hard to complain about it. Carrie Ann agrees that it wasn’t funny enough.
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8+9=33
Bruno gives his usual 1 point bonus for a shirtless dude.
Michael Waltrip and Witney Carson: Disco
His best score was for his most serious dance, so doing a silly Disco number seems like a giant step backwards. To his credit, Michael knows that going from Alfonso to him is a huge downgrade for her. Witney foolishly thinks 8s and maybe 9s are doable.
Michael is dressed like Burt Reynolds, Witney is giving a sexy car wash and yet the whole thing is just dull. Jonathan may be terrible, but at least he tries really hard. Michael is just ambling around. Bruno thought there was no polish and he missed every step. Carrie Ann says that if you can’t dance, you should make people laugh, so at least she did that. Jessie J. tries to be polite by calling it consistent. Tom Bergeron translates Jessie by saying “It happened.” The judges are so over his awfulness now that it’s week 5. It’s just a shame Jonathan might go next week instead of Michael.
Judges’ Scores: 5+5+5+5=20
Ouch, 5s in week 5? That’s insane. I can only guess that they’re trying to sabotage him and save Jonathan, which I hope happens now that Michael is at the bottom of the leaderboard. Being worse than two straight weeks of all 6s is not good.
Tommy Chong and Emma Slater: Mambo
You’d think leaving Michael would be an improvement, but Emma has to get advice from Peta on how to deal with Tommy’s memory problems. Tommy seems more confused than usual and it’s not that impressive. The longer this season progresses, the worse he seems to get. Carrie Ann criticizes the slow-tempo song for hurting the groove. Jessie J. liked how comfortable and chill it was. The judges are getting very harsh. I get the sense that they just want to have a triple elimination next week and cut Jonathan, Michel and Tommy all at once so we can get to the good stuff.
Judges’ Scores: 6+6+5+6=23
Holy crap, even the pros are complaining about how mean the judges are being.
Sadie Robertson and Derek Hough: Charleston
Sadie is happy to be with Derek because he’s just like Mark. Exactly, that’s why this isn’t much of a switch. Derek enjoys farm life and shooting guns. I actually prefer this a lot more than anything either of them have done this season. Sadie is definitely a superior dancer and partner compared to Bethany and Derek is better at bringing out her actual dancing instead of Mark, who focuses more on story. The judges like it a lot.
Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9+9=36
That makes sense. For once, I’m not that angry with Derek getting big scores.
Lea Thompson and Val Chmerkovskiy: Broadway
This is my dream pairing, the star I most want to win with the pro I most want to win. Lea and Val spy on Janel and Artem, with both sides trying to make the other jealous. Val’s idea is to have his first kiss of the season to take it away from Artem.
The concept is truly insane. Lea is a nurse at a retirement community, with Val and other pros dressed as old people who start dancing. It ends with a big group routine of pros in grey wigs and walkers. It’s so crazy that it works. Julianne thought Lea was a little uneasy, but everyone loved how “whackaoodle” the concept was. Jessie loved her acting.
Judges’ Scores: 9+8+8+9=34
Damn, Jessie J., that was low. She’s probably been the harshest guest judge ever.
Next week is the hottest night of the year with Pitbull and one couple will be eliminated. Based on the combined leaderboard, Michael, Jonathan or Tommy will be going.
74: Alfonso Ribeiro
73: Sadie Robertson, Lea Thompson
69: Janel Parrish
65: Bethany Mota
57: Antonio Sabato, Jr.
51: Tommy Chong
48: Jonathan Bennett
45: Michael Waltrip
(Image courtesy of ABC)