It’s only Week 4 of Dancing With The Stars, but apparently it’s already time to tantalize – or some might say torture – restless viewers with The Switch-Up, one of Season 18’s most controversial gimmicks. (Wait, wasn’t getting rid of poor Brooke Burke Charvet enough?)
We’ll find out soon enough whether America will be turned on (or off – as in switching channels) to this Twitter-generated, one-week-only, partner-swapping gamble, but hey, tonight’s live show did include the sexed-up return of the (mostly shirtless) Macy’s Stars of Dance and guest judge/two-time Mirrorball champ) Julianne Hough. So yeah, there was that.
What the two-hour extravaganza didn’t showcase was the latest elimination, which won’t happen until next week, when another star (and his or her original partner) will be sent home, based on last week’s and this week’s votes. Got that, everyone? Nobody’s the least bit confused yet, right? Riiight.
Let’s high-kick right to the (elimination-free) highlights:
DANCE OF THE NIGHT: Charlie White’s was-it-or-wasn’t-it rumba split the judges, NeNe Leakes’ jazz dance let out her inner Beyonce, but for my money, here’s the top dance of the night:
Meryl Davis and Val Chmerkovskiy: Switching Chmerkovskiy brothers (this was the most requested Switch-Up couple of the night) certainly didn’t faze Meryl, whose Argentine tango exploded with passion, energy and precision. Len kept it simple (“that was the dance of the night”), Julianne turned green (“I would love to dance like you…it was stunning”) while Carrie Ann perhaps summed it up best: “You two are in a class of your own; you’re untouchable.” In a clear case of saving the best for last, this dance was also one point shy (due to Len’s ‘9’) of perfection.
Amy Purdy and Mark Ballas: This might be the night Amy moved from merely being a DWTS inspiration to actual Mirrorball contender. Julianne (who admitted her ‘8’ score may have been a screw up) admired at Amy’s fleet footwork and other assets (“she’s a fierce-ass, tight-assed girl,”) while Bruno marveled at every step (“I was looking for something wrong! I couldn’t see it.”) and Carrie Ann fessed up to having a major girl-crush (“I’m in love with your middle section” ). Keeping with the judges’ oddly anatomically inspired feedback, Len summed it up this way: “Your bottom is the top.” This scored a pair of 8s (what’s up with the low scores, Julianne and Len?) and a pair of 9s.
James Maslow and Cheryl Burke: Proving he’s more than just this season’s shirtless hunk, James’ tango inspired Julianne to label him the “total package” but warn that he tends to “tuck his pelvis” and (gasp!) stick his butt out. But that didn’t seem to bother Bruno (“I have no problems with your pelvis at all”) or Len, who philosophized that “dances are like fire — some should warm and some should burn. This was burning hot!” This earned a string of 9s and an 8 from Len.
And with that, it’s your turn. What did you really think of The Switch-Up? Was Charlie and Peta’s dance really a rumba? Sound off in the comments!