Well, that was relatively painless, right? Wrong? In some cases, the Dancing With the Stars Season 18, Week 4 Switch Up was actually great. In other cases … Julianne Hough accuses you of phoning it in. Yikes.
DWTS Season 18 had already been feeling like a soap opera — with all the romances, rivalries, and innuendo — but this week it was like a sexy/awkward/freaky key party. Meryl + Anyone in an Argentine Tango would probably be good, but with Val? Swoon. On the flip side, it was a bad night to be an ‘80s child star, since both Danica and Candace’s dances got shot down by the judges. Charlie’s Rumba was also accused of not being a Rumba. And then there’s Julianne vs. Maks, during which Julianne was arguably the rude one and Maks kept it classy.
What did you think of Julianne’s second stint as guest judge? For the most part, she seemed great, giving detailed constructive criticism. But last season she was tough on Mark and this time she really went after Maks. But she gave Maks’ dance with Danica an 8, which was more than her 7 for Candace, but less than her 9 for … Drew? Not sure Drew deserved a 9 on that one, but at least she didn’t try to take back her score that time. (Apparently she wanted to give you a 9, Amy.)
If the Switch Up shows how well celebs do under pressure, the guest judges show how hard it is to be tough, compassionate, constructive and consistent as a judge.
What do you think? Should they do the Switch Up again next season? Should Julianne return? Should they figure out what's up with the music, after two vocal/song timing issues?
Here’s a quick rundown of where the couples stand after Week 4, combined with their Week 3 scores:
Meryl & Maks — 39 + Meryl & Val — 39 = 78
James & Peta — 36 + James & Cheryl — 35 = 71
Amy & Derek — 36 + Amy & Mark — 34 = 70
Charlie & Sharna — 36 + Charlie & Peta — 33 = 69
Danica & Val — 36 + Danica & Maks — 32 = 68
Cody & Witney — 35 + Cody & Sharna — 31 = 66
NeNe & Tony — 31 + NeNe & Derek — 32 = 63
Drew & Cheryl — 30 + Drew & Witney — 33 = 63
Candace & Mark — 32 + Candace & Tony — 28 = 60
Read on for a full recap of Week 4 action:
OPENING NUMBER: Big pro number themed to the Switch Up. Tony’s frosted tips! Charlie’s slicked-back hair! The celebs come out one at a time. Fun intro. Love Julianne’s short hair. Do you love her long black dress with the little chest peekaboo? It’s perfectly located for the judges’ table. Julianne said the Switch will be a testament to how the celebs adapt to the challenge. She’s planning to be just as tough as last time.
1. Candace Cameron Bure and Tony Dovolani — Quickstep — She didn’t want Tony because he keeps making jokes to embarrass her. Tony wants her to develop character whereas Mark was doing footwork first. Tony wants to do well ‘cause no one wants to be responsible for a celeb going home. Her outfit is interesting. The top is great. The bottom is … less so. His hair is so punk, it’s great.
JUDGES: Len Goodman said a new partner is like an itchy blanket - it can get the job done but it’s uncomfortable. Candace lost her posture a bit but she got out there and attacked the dance. Julianne Hough said it was really wonderful choreography, but the body contact was a little too gapped. Bruno Tonioli said he wasn’t expecting this, it was like a Quickstep performed with the Sex Pistols. He’s all for innovation. He loved the energy. She has to sort out of her top line. Carrie Ann Inaba pointed out that this is her first ballroom dance. She’s getting used to frame.
SCORES: 7, 7, 7, 7 = 28 out of 40. Total of 60 out of 80, combined with last week. Not good, for her. Seems low, but the music didn’t help the Quickstep cause. It was never going to be Len’s cup of tea.
2. James Maslow and Cheryl Burke — Tango — Cheryl said she needs to push James hard. They hope they don’t hate each other by the end of the week or day. James said it’s a little exciting to be cheating on Peta. Charlie and Peta Skyped with the other couple. They’re like swingers. Cheryl is on the throne at the start of the Tango. Very intense. Close to a kiss in the end. Is someone going to do this every week now? Cheryl’s outfit is amazing. Game of Thrones-worthy.
JUDGES: Julianne said James is the total package. Every season there’s a hot guy who takes off his shirt and they can only go so far. But for James he has dedication, technique, passion, everything. One note, though, he’s a little squatty, and he sticks his butt out. (Yes.) Maybe next week Peta can help him with tucking his pelvis. (Hello!) Bruno has no problems with James’ pelvis. All the innuendos tonight. He loved the gameplay. He delivered a mean Tango. He has to get his butt under control but voila? Carrie Ann thought the butt was fine. She didn’t notice a Switch at all, he was just as passionate. He’s still growing. She thought it might be a hitch in his step but he didn’t see that at all. Len said dance should be like fire and this burned strong. He found it a tad manic on occasions and lacked control, but hot and fiery.
SCORES: Cheryl had anxiety all week, because James had 9s last week and she wanted to keep that up. 9, 8, 9, 9 = 35. Total of 71 out of 80. Erin pushed James and Peta for an answer on whether they’re dating or not, ‘cause she wants a DWTS baby. James said no babies on the dance floor.
3. Drew Carey and Witney Carson — Cha-Cha-Cha — Witney was the last person he expected. She’s like his daughter. He’s older than her dad. She went from the youngest to the oldest. She wants Drew to be so good this week. Cheryl is worried that Drew will get higher scores with Witney. Drew said he doesn’t miss Cheryl as much as he thought he would. Aww. Poor Cheryl. But Witney calls Drew out for being a slower learner than Cody. Cheryl said their relationship is creepy but cute in a grandpa/granddaughter way. His gold suit is pretty intense. He does pelvic thrusts, too. It’s Pelvic Night. They look like they’re having fun out there. Very cute. Good job! Big cheers from the crowd.
JUDGES: Bruno said Drew was the confident sugar daddy. He pitched his performance somewhere between Elvis and Liberace. Careful on the weight of his feet, though. Carrie Ann said he became a Cha-Cha machine overnight. The kick in his step was magnificent. He killed it. It’s so nice to see him really enjoying his dancing. Len said all that glitters isn’t gold, but he came out like a dancing Ferrero Rocher. (Love it!) He hasn’t had that much fun in a minute in a half since he was a teenager. (More innuendo!) Julianne said this was his turning point. He owned the Cha-Cha. Is Cheryl OK with this?
SCORES: 8, 8, 9, 8 = 33. Total of 63. Now Candace is at the bottom? Eek. Is that fair?
MACY’S STARS OF DANCE: Tom let Julianne plug the Move Live tour, then they segued into Macy’s Stars of Dance, which is now under the guidance of her brother Derek. Derek and the men are shirtless as they dance with Kathryn McCormick of So You Think You Can Dance. Sexy, sexy, intense routine. Was that Artem Chigvintsev with the tattoos? Phew! [fans self]
4. Danica McKellar and Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Jive — Danica said Maks is actually more chill than Val. People will be surprised. She was happy to keep it in the family. She figured Maks would be like Val, but he’s not. Val explains everything to her, but Maks doesn’t. He’s like “just do it.” The biggest differences is Meryl just lets things in but Danica questions everything. Maks makes a great quip about how some things in nature just happen, like he’s a naturally gorgeous person. Great black-and-white start to the routine. Danica has her own little dance moment with two other girls, then loses her skirt and wears a slinky striped one-piece. She ends the routine back with Val! Aww. There was a problem with the musical track in the beginning, Tom pointed out.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said they scored already, so it’s too late about the music. This is the most confident dance Danica has done. She was worried about the timing, she was ahead of him. They weren’t in sync. The audience booed, ‘cause it’s not their fault. Len said it was high energy. The Jive she did was great but there was too much goofing off and not enough Jive. Julianne had to agree with Len and Carrie Ann. She thought they were over there and there and they know she’s a great dancer. Julianne said felt like Maks phoned it in to get back to Meryl. Bruno said they covered the mistake well. The Jive she did was good.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32. Total of 68.
5. Charlie White and Peta Murgatroyd — Rumba — He recognized her laugh before he saw her. Peta feels pressure to keep Charlie at the top of the leaderboard. Sharna has every detail planned out, but with Peta they see what’s evolving. LOVE Charlie’s slicked-back hair. He looks like a different person, which is perfect for this week. Peta looks gorgeous too. They look like Lannister twins. Intense, emotional dance.
JUDGES: Len said, as a performance it’s terrific, but was it a Rumba? Not in his book. Not hip action, jerky, it was more of a Contemporary. Julianne thought it was absolutely stunning and beautiful. Amazing choreography from Peta. Charlie is kind of on his heels and back-weighted, maybe from skating. Bruno said he loved the grand and heroic sweep. Len argued there were no hips, the hips didn’t ignite because there were no hips. Carrie Ann said there’s no question Charlie is a beautiful dancer, but it wasn’t a Rumba. And she saw a lift. The two sides of the table were in a divide. Len already wants him to do a Rumba in the Judges’ Pick final. Ouch for Peta on that one.
SCORES: Erin called out a James Maslow tweet, telling Charlie not to get too comfortable with Peta. Peta defended the dance as absolutely a Rumba. 7, 8, 9, 9 = 33. Total of 69.
6. Amy Purdy and Mark Ballas — Salsa — It’s good for Amy to get Mark since he’s Derek’s BFF and they’ve probably already spent a good amount of time together. And Mark is so patient. Amy feels like she’s leading Mark. She wanted him to be more steady. Mark sat down with Derek, both wearing hats, to talk about Amy techniques. Amy’s feeling pretty competitive with Derek. Love her sexy pants in the dance. Not the most fluid dance, but OK.
JUDGES: Julianne said there’s more to Amy than coming on the show to be an inspiration. She’s there as a fierce, tight-ass girl. She does such an amazing job. “Now now for Mark. I’m just kidding.” It takes vulnerability to be in a partnership, and with vulnerability comes strength. Bruno said Amy continues to astonish him. He counted all the way through, and the amount of footwork Mark made her do was incredible and she didn’t go wrong. Carrie Ann said Amy was exposed a lot more. Mark gave her a lot of space to be on her own, whereas Derek wraps her up. Carrie Ann is in love with Amy’s middle section. Len said a lot of content, a lot of rhythm. He’s full of a lot of admiration. “Your bottom is the top.”
SCORES: 9, 8, 8, 9 = 34. Total of 70. Julianne said “I think I might’ve messed up” as she raised her paddle. Dammit, Julianne!
7. Cody Simpson and Sharna Burgess — Foxtrot — Cody was so excited to work with fellow Australian Sharna. Didn’t Kym dance with Ingo, as two Aussies? Even Sharna feels a generation gap with Cody. Sharna is kind of like his mom. Cody sings a little in the audience, not that you can hear him over the screams. There won’t be enough in hold for Len. He keeps trying to add cool guy touches, but it’s not really necessary.
JUDGES: Bruno thought he was on Australian Idol. When he’s side by side in the middle it’s fantastic, but when he’s in hold, he needs to refine it. Carrie Ann said Cody’s hold has improved from Week 1. It does need a little more work but he needs to work on his arms. The way he moves is from his elbows and he has to move from his core. Len said he attempted to get the footwork right. In hold, he still looks a bit awkward. Out of hold he has a freedom about him. He just has to nail those routines early and get the details. Julianne said as a performance it was incredible. When he does what he does, he’s brilliant. But right now he’s in the in-between zone. To go to the top he has to do what they just said - embrace the other style. Do something un-Cody just to challenge himself. Yes.
SCORES: 8, 7, 8, 8 = 31. Total of 66.
8. NeNe Leakes and Derek Hough — Jazz — Derek joked “Your munchkin awaits!” She did joke about his height. Derek says, with Jazz, he can really bring out her strengths. NeNe thinks maybe Derek can bring out her fabulous more than Tony. Tony peeked in to spy on rehearsals. Tony was totally jealous, she said. NeNe’s costume is intense. Another Game of Thrones style outfit. Tribal? Um, how do we feel about this? At least they didn’t get a dance in hold, which would’ve been more difficult with the height difference. Weird. The vocals came in really early, which threw everything off, Derek said.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann didn’t even notice the music issue. It was great to see her finally kill it. Len said the dance absolutely suited her personality and it was her best dance this season. Julianne said everyone wants to let their inner Beyonce out and she did. Bruno said it was like being in the presence of the Queen of Sheba.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32. Total 63. They could’ve added some constructive criticism, but maybe they didn’t dare.
9. Meryl Davis and Val Chmerkovskiy — Argentine Tango — They were the most requested pair of the night. Meryl is a lucky lady. They said it was a little incestuous. Val is down to business, whereas Maks jokes around more. But Val braided her hair. Maks admitted he’s jealous of Meryl and Val. These two look like pros together. Maks has to be jealous that Val got Meryl’s AT - it’s such a sharp, sexy dance. The lifts you can do with this woman are amazing! She’s rubber and steel. The lights need to stop flashing, though. Just let the dance stand on its own. Wow!
JUDGES: Len said there was a little too much staccato here and there but it was the dance of the night. Julianne said she would love to dance like Meryl. Julianne said the choreography was amazing. Bruno said it was powerful and seductive. They were two magical instruments. Carrie Ann said they were in a class of their own, untouchable.
SCORES: Val said he made Maks look like Mother Teresa this week. 10, 9, 10, 10 = 39. Total of 78.