‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Switch-Up Week

I personally love when Switch-Up week rolls around on Dancing with the Stars. I like to see how excited everyone is to work with someone new, even though they have to pretend to sort of hate it. Although last night a few people flat-out admitted that they were having a better time with their new partner. I’m looking at you Paula! Then performance night arrives and they can’t help but be TICKED if their original person is getting better scores. Everyone likes to put on a good face, but TV does not lie. And neither does my DVR when I rewind to make sure that was a definite eye roll. Let’s break down the dances, shall we?

The night begins with an elaborate door dance featuring our contestants, pros and JV dancers. There were lots of fish faces and flailing hair extensions and pelvic thrusts and samba rolls. Welcome to the ballroom. And welcome back Tom! We missed you! But not as much as special guest judge MAKS! Spoiler: His shirt stayed on the entire time. Ugh.

Tamar and Louis
Advice from Val: Don’t talk back.
Dance: Samba
Louis admits that he is pushing Tamar hard this week because he knows she can handle a more difficult routine. That’s code for: Val’s been phoning it in. It was a flirty samba with a marching band theme. The JV peeps and Louis were wearing white band uniforms like the ones you are imagining in your head right now. But Tamar took it a step further and had the wardrobe department make her a feather band uniform. YES PLEASE. Louis choreographed a decent routine, but the JV kids were distracting to me. The judges thought they looked disconnected, which was true. Tom chastised them for wearing white after Labor Day. This is why we love the Berg.
Score: 29

Allison and Hayes
Dance: Viennese Waltz
Song: “I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor
Sweet Hayes struggled through his pre-package. His voice cracked not once, but twice. Hooray for puberty! Allison took the role of Mama Bear and even though they were dancing a smooth, slow waltz, my butt remained clinched for the safety of the baby. I do not like grey tuxedos, but her ice blue Elsa dress made me happy. There was a grand staircase and all sorts of extra stuff that wasn’t needed. The judges thought it was “meh” which is a pretty accurate description.
Score: 31

Paula and Mark
Dance: Jive
Song: “Shake” by The Supremes
Paula was nervous to have Mark as her partner because he’s “so edgy.” Fortunately for Paula, he  dressed her up as a 1950s housewife who waits around all day for the randy milk man to show up. The routine was 2% jive and 98% regional music theater production. When the phrase “spank me first and then kiss me square on the mouth” is uttered in rehearsal, you can’t help but have high hopes. Sadly, they were dashed. It was playful but still boring to watch. Even when Mark lifted Paula’s skirt, I found myself itching for the fast forward button. Somehow, the judges agreed that it was the best dance ever. Take that Louis!
Score: 26

Alek and Emma
Dance: Rumba
Song: “Let It Go” by James Day
Alek and Emma are toooooootally sitting in a tree right now. He is digging her chili in more ways than one. Remember when Lindsay tried to pull out Alek’s sexy side a few weeks ago? Emma was able to do it by walking into the rehearsal studio. There was a lot of touching on because, you know, it’s the rumba. Emma gave Alek full permission to grab away. This included stomachs, rib cage, butt and a few accidental boobs. The dance was flowy and pretty. Both were in pink even though it wasn’t Wednesday. His smile seemed genuine. He executed the Dirty Dancing drag (trademark pending) and ended in a leg straddle move that morphed into him laying on top of her on the floor. Maks thinks Alek is a dark horse. He encourages Alek to let his hands go wherever because that’s the rumba. Amen brother! Sadly, everyone hated it and they only received a score that was TWO HIGHER than PAULA. Crazy.
Score: 29

Bindi and Val
Dance: Cha Cha
Song: “Hold My Hand” by Jess Glynne
I was encouraged to see Bindi in the middle of the two-hour show. Then it dawned on me that she is not with Derek and he will probably get a coveted end position again. Ugh. She had a great time with a huge snake in the rehearsal room. Val did not, but he adopted Bindi’s animal metaphors to help her through the dance. They Eskimo kissed in the middle, which I for some reason found adorable. Maks loved every second and awarded his brother a 10.
Score: 37

Carlos and Lindsay
Dance: Quickstep
Song: “Blame It On The Bossa Nova” by Eydie Gorme
I’d like to blow right by the fact that Lindsay thinks “The Dalai Llama” is a musical group and focus more on her head to toe long fringe dress. It started at the boobs and went all the way down to the floor and I want a copy for Christmas. This was the quickest quickstep I’ve ever watched. I was tired after it was over. Most of the judges think that it was perfection. You can probably guess which one didn’t. That’s right — Maks. No 10s will be given unless you have the last name of Chmerkovskiy. Witney looked highly annoyed before she noticed the camera was on her backstage. She perked up right after, but the damage had been done.
Score: 39

Alexa and Derek
Dance: Tango
Song: “Bastille” by Pompeii
This package started off with last week’s horrific dance and Mark waving off an “it’s okay” pep talk from Derek. Mark thinks that Alexa has no remorse for basically screwing up the entire routine. He’s more upset that she is and she quickly figures this out. Her cheerful personality is dashed, until she meets her new partner Derek who lifts her up in every way possible because he is the best thing since sliced bread. He fuels her with accolades and praise. He teaches her a weird dance that takes place in a burning Pompeii, utilizing a lot of the JV dancers along the way. I was bored. The judges were mesmerized. Because Derek can do no wrong, she receives the season’s first perfect score. Mark seethes in the corner with only his fake bottles of milk to console him.
Score: 40

Andy and Sharna
Dance: Argentine Tango
Song:  “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weekend
Sharna wants to draw out the sexy side of Andy and to do this, she keeps using the word balls. Big balls. Where are your balls? Let me see your balls. It was a dance move, but it made Andy laugh the entire time like a 12-year-old boy. He admits that he’s never received all 8s and Sharna takes this as a personal challenge. Through neck nuzzling and snappy leg movements, they tango their way around the floor securing four 9s. Allison is happy. We don’t know if it’s genuine or if it’s because she isn’t throwing up at the moment. Victory!
Score: 36

Witney and Nick
Dance: Paso Doble
Song: Don’t Look Down “Martin Garrix
Witney looks a touch bummed that she was matched with Nick, but then decides that she is going to ride the boy band train once Carlos praised Lindsay in front of her. She retorts back, “I’ have a Backstreet Boy this week!” When the cameras ask her if she was a BSB fan, she coldly answers that that music wasn’t her era. Her mom listened to them, but she never really did. And just like that, a generation of women stopped rooting for Witney. I also think she pseudo sabotaged her dance with Nick. It was jumbled and messy. The judges sort of agreed with me.
Score: 35

Who was your favorite? Do you think Alek and Emma are going to hook up behind the scenes? Is Derek going to be the Golden Child forever? Do you think Val really dances in the buff? Sound off in the comments section!

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