Do you remember where you were that fateful day during Season 18 when Dancing With the Stars announced they would be switching partners part-way through the season? Were you tearfully screaming at strangers that if the perfect pairing of Maks and Meryl was split up for good that you’d never watch the show again because you don’t support injustice? No, I totally wasn’t either.
Thankfully, we quickly learned that the “switch up” was only a week-long challenge, and partners would be reunited in no time. Now I look forward to the Switch Up! It showcases just how much our celebs have learned, but more importantly, it shines a spotlight on the personality and teaching styles of the pros. Are they protective? jealous? relieved? It’s an interesting experiment where for one week, we’re all Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors. And who doesn’t want to be a post-Brad Pitt, pre-Goop Gwyneth Paltrow for a week? C’mon, you know you’re curious.
Even without an elimination this week, the tension is high, as most celebs (and pros, too!) bemoan losing their partners (or maybe it is the fact that Maksim “The Truth and Nothing But the Truth” Chmerkovskiy is back as guest judge). For the most part, the great ballroom experiment of season 22 is a big flop for our couples, but there are two major standouts. To the dancing!
Wanyá Morris and Witney Carson
Tango | “Hold Back the River” by James Bay
It’s no secret that Wanyá is a front runner. He’s got the talent, the swagger, and the drive. He wants this, you guys. He wants this so much that even his new partner, Drill Sergeant Barbie, is surprised at how tough he wants her to be. Pulling the first dance of the night is a tough spot for anyone, but it really does Wanyá a disservice. The judges are extra-harsh on the guy. Len finds the whole thing too hectic, and both he and Maks (who are sharing a brain this evening) criticize the pair for not keeping their top line still — a tango is all about the legs. Bruno once again asks Wanyá to rein in his energy in order to improve his technique, but, like you can’t lasso the sun, Bruno. Carrie Ann simply misses the easy chemistry Wanyá and Lindsay have. I miss his fur-lined Mufasa outfit. We’re all missing something tonight, okay?
Judges’ Score: 30/40
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Kim Fields and Keo Motsepe
Viennese Waltz | “These Arms of Mine” by Otis Redding
Kim and Sasha are extremely hesitant about being split up for the week. Though I’m a fan of the drama the Switch Up brings, I was not looking forward to breaking up the Dream Team. And just when you think you couldn’t love them anymore, Kim admits that she wants to make Sasha proud. They aren’t even dancing together and they’re wreaking havoc on my emotions. If anyone had to take Kim away from Sasha, I’m glad it’s Keo. The two time travel to the 1940s and dance a gorgeous Viennese Waltz. Well, okay, according to the Grumpy Twins, there was hardly any Viennese Waltz in the choreography. The dance style calls for lots of rotation and a strong frame in hold. Keo explains that he compensated for their height difference by expanding their frame, and thus losing some of the sharpness. Maks says something snarky about the height difference between him and Meryl, but Keo takes it in stride. Most important, tonight we learn that Keo is scared of Karina. These scores are way too low for such a national treasure… and too low for Kim, too.
Judges’ Score: 28/40
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