Switch-up night on Dancing With the Stars usually goes one of two ways: A new duo finds their groove right away, and their surprising chemistry makes it a little awkward for the partner they left behind; or they’re a complete mismatch and fail miserably. This week we saw both, and yet some of the partner changes maybe worked a little better than they were supposed to because several celebs had their best dances of the season. So who got the first perfect score? Let’s get to the good stuff!
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Tamar and Louis
Samba | “End of Time” by Beyoncé
I love that Louis doesn’t shy away from saying he keeps it simple with Paula but is aiming to push Tamar as a dancer. While Tamar is always great, I did think that Louis could’ve challenged her even more, and they didn’t seem very connected which guest judge Maks agreed with. And considering it’s Beyoncé, I was slightly disappointed by the choreography. I mean, you gotta kick it up a notch when it’s Beyoncé! And there was more spice after the number when they rolled to Louis’ 2005 audition tape, leading him to call out the producers.
Judges’ Score: 29
Hayes and Allison
V. Waltz | “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor ft. John Legend
So Hayes is still going through puberty, which, yet again, reminds us how young he is (and how old I am), but I still love the kid. I was excited for this partnership because I could really see them hitting it off, and while the slower number maybe didn’t allow for them to show that off, it was still acceptable. I think Bruno compared him to a kangaroo, and Maks wasn’t a big fan either. And scandal! Bruno apparently turned in an 8 but held up a 7. I guess handing in the scores ahead of time is how the show does math so quickly.
Judges’ Score: 31
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Paula and Mark
Jive | “Shake” by Otis Redding
Did these two have more of an applause pre-dance than anyone else? I love that Mark is so theatrical no matter what the style of dance is, and he’s really giving this performance with Paula his all. But was this necessary? I feel weird about it. The judges went wild for the routine, though, so maybe I’m just a Debbie Downer tonight.
Judges’ Score: 26
Alek and Emma
Rumba | “Let It Go” by James Bay
It’s sexy dance week, Emma says, and Alek isn’t shy about telling us how hot he thinks she is. Do you sense a showmance? (I think Emma has a boyfriend, though.) Also, it’s interesting that Emma has never done a rumba on this show before? On the dance floor, these two are something else. It’s the first routine I didn’t take my eyes off of tonight, and all the judges seem to feel the same way.
Judges’ Score: 29
NEXT: The first perfect score! [pagebreak]
Bindi and Val
Cha Cha | “Hold My Hand” by Jess Glynne
Bindi earned the season’s first 10, and I’m confident having Val this week will only keep her streak going. And if nothing else, he got to meet pet her snake! But not so shockingly, the dance was phenomenal, that footwork was on point, it was fun and sassy, and Bindi shined as bright as her yellow costume. It’s totally normal to think she and I can be BFFs, right?
Judges’ Score: 37
Carlos and Lindsay
Quickstep | “Bossa Nova Baby (Viva Mix)” by Elvis Presley
Carlos says he’s a little jealous that Witney is enjoying her time with Nick. Sound familiar? Anyway, Carlos is looking to have his breakout moment, but I’m not sure this is it. I had high hopes for Carlos in this competition, but when you have stars like Bindi and Alek, it’s not so easy to stand out. But I did like his one move towards the end where he really got to show some rhythm. (The judges loved it so again, maybe I’m in a harsh mood.)
Judges’ Score: 39
Alexa and Derek
Tango | “Pompeii” by Bastille
As Derek previewed for us, Alexa was a little off in rehearsals, and she certainly needs this performance to help her advance…and she sure pulled it off. I absolutely loved this performance. It was fierce, it was technical, Derek’s braid was everything, and they nailed it with the group choreography. Bonus points for Alexa not tripping over that heavy skirt of hers!
Judges’ Score: 40
Andy and Sharna
A. Tango | “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd
Andy apparently has a very busy schedule, but with a canceled show, he and Sharna had plenty of time to practice their very red routine. This is the first time we’ve seen a sexier side of Andy, and he and Sharna absolutely had some chemistry. And that twisty lift? Near perfection.
Judges’ Score: 36
Nick and Witney
Paso Doble | “Don’t Look Down” by Martin Garrix ft. Usher
It’ll be hard to beat last week’s BSB number, and no one knows that more than Witney. I loved the fierceness in their performance, and Nick’s arms and flocks seemed to hit every note. Maks says it wasn’t his “cup of tea,” but I thought it was a great way to end the show on a high note.
Judges’ Score: 35
Tonight’s scores will be combined with last week’s to determine who goes home next week. Will it be the weakest link, Paula? And do you think Derek and Alexa deserved the first perfect 10? Weigh in! And don’t forget to check out Derek’s video diary below: