Week 5 of Dancing With the Stars heralded the return of the wonderful, dreadful and totally unnecessary “Switch Up.” In other words, we were treated to brand new celeb-pro pairings — all chosen (how else?) via your Twitter votes! — apparently intended to provide a much-needed jolt of energy and intrigue to ABC’s legendary ballroom.
Whether you view this “innovation” as a welcome breath of air freshener or an gag-inducing momentum-breaker, Monday’s live show also dazzled (Jessie J.’s super sexy show opener), dribbled (lots of ho-hum clip segments) and showcased yet another guest judge … none other than Jessie J., who wielded her paddle like she’d been doing it for umpteen seasons!
With no elimination this week to frazzle our nerves, let’s high-kick right to the highlights:
DANCE OF THE NIGHT | Sadie Robertson and Derek Hough: Looking utterly resplendent in silver, Sadie’s high-energy, modern Charleston transported us right back to the 1920s. Jessie J. called the dance really “clean” with great lines, while Julianne nit-picked about some early missteps, but focused mostly on the positive: “That was so great. Every week you come out here and show this different side of who you are.” With a quartet of 9s, this dance topped the night.
RUNNER-UP FOR DANCE OF THE NIGHT | Alfonso Ribeiro and Cheryl Burke: Dancing a sizzling and sexy Flamenco, Alfonso left his “Carlton” persona in the dust (literally!) with this passion-fueled performance. Julianne praised the new pair’s obvious chemistry and connection, saying “I’m so glad we got to see this side of you.” Bruno called their chemistry “scorching” and equated it to “lust in the dust” before reminding Alfonso to keep a clearer separation (“lift and separate”) between the neck and shoulders, a must for the Flamenco. A pair of 8s and 9s seemed just about right.
MOST CRIMINALLY UNDERSCORED | With tonight’s cavalcade of mostly disastrous-to-mediocre dances, I’d say everyone pretty much got exactly what they deserved, wouldn’t you?
CO-WORSTS OF THE NIGHT | Michael Waltrip and Witney Carson: This Disco disaster may go down in the DWTS hall of shame. If these comments are any indication, the judges have apparently had their fill of Mr. Waltrip’s ballroom exploits: “I don’t think you did one step on time,” said Bruno, while Carrie Ann added, “When you can’t dance, make us laugh … you had me giggling, but I don’t want to giggle anymore.” Julianne’s terse, pointed “It’s week 5 and it’s getting a little uncomfortable,” comment was music to my ears. Amen, sister! Somehow, the quad of 5s felt almost generous.
Jonathan Bennett and Peta Murgatroyd: “I was holding my breath and not in a good way,” said Julianne, whose opening comment on Jonathan’s catastrophic jitterbug was only matched by this zinger from Jessie J: “It made me feel like uncomfortable, I was nervous … like before you go down on a rollercoaster…eeeeh!” The dance earned charitable 6s from each of the judges.
And with that, it’s your turn. Who had the dance of the night in your opinion? And who should be headed home next week? Do you like the “Switch Up” or should it be switched off? Sound off in the comments!