As the third guest judge of the season — after former DWTS pro Julianne Hough and Cher — longtime pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy will be sitting alongside the three usual judges. Hopefully he’ll sit between Len Goodman and Carrie Ann Inaba, since he has a history of being wonderfully saucy with both of them. Wear red, Carrie Ann!
Maks’s brother, Val Chmerkovskiy, left the show last week so no one can accuse him of playing favorites in that way — although Maks’s best friend Tony Dovolani is still in the competition. (So is his ex-fiancee, Karina Smirnoff.) But maybe he’ll pull a Julianne and call out some pros on overshadowing their stars?
Anyway, the Monday, November 18 show will begin with a big opening number by choreographer Mandy Moore (not to be confused with the singer), featuring the pro dancers.
Then we get into this new Plugged/Unplugged business. As ABC explained it, the couples will have to perform to two different versions of the same song. “In the first round of competition, the couples will perform either a Jazz, Paso Doble, Cha Cha or Tango routine to an original or ‘plugged’ version of their selected song. In round two of competition, the couples will perform either a Viennese Waltz, Argentine Tango or Rumba routine to an acoustic or ‘unplugged’ version of that same song.”
The unplugged performances will feature special musical guests, including singer Kerli doing a version of Fall Out Boy’s “My Song Knows (Light ‘Em Up),” and YouTube sensation Noah Guthrie performing his cover of “Sexy & I Know It.”
At the end of the night, one couple will face elimination, and we’ll get down to our Final 4 for the Week 11 Finals. Here are details on who is dancing what.
Are you excited to see Maks judge and see how this plugged theme turns out? Sound off below!
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.