It was “Switch Up Night” during Week 5 of Season 21 of Dancing with the Stars! The nine remaining stars teamed up with brand new partners for a challenging departure from everyone’s comfort zone. Season 18 pro champ Maks Chmerkovskiy was back in the ballroom as a guest judge for a night that will combines scores with the ones from the previous week for an elimination next time around. Let’s see how the evening played out.
Tamar Braxton & Louis van Amstel teamed up for a Samba to “End of Time” by Beyonce. Maks pointed out how hard the switching of partners is and Bruno noted some balance issues. All of the judges felt there was a bit of a disconnect during a longer-than-normal dance. Tamar and Louis ended up with scores of 7-7-8-7 from the judges.
Hayes Grier & Allison Holker got together to do a Viennese Waltz to “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend. It was a split decision from the judges. Bruno called what looked like a smooth routine a little bouncy. Carrie Ann and Julianne disagreed. As for Maks, he sided with Bruno wishing things were a little more fluid. The team got two 8s from the ladies and two 7s from the men.
Paula Deen & Mark Ballas did the Jive to “Shake” by Otis Redding. It was a slap-happy routine. Julianne declared, “Mark brought the milk and you brought the cookie!” The judges reactions were mixed, but there’s no denying the dance was fun and flashy seeing as how Paula semi-mooned the judges when it was over. Don’t worry, their scores of 7-7-6-6 were already locked.
Alek Skarlatos & Emma Slater mixed things up with a Rumba to “Let It Go” by James Bay. Alek battled through a bonk on the nose from Emma during rehearsals. He also found it tough to concentrate due to the beauty of his new partner. Nevertheless, this team turned in a steamy hot routine that turned a lot of heads. It also turned over scores of 8-7-7-7 on the judges’ paddles.
Bindi Irwin & Val Chmerkovskiy teamed to do the Cha Cha to “Hold My Hand” by Jess Glynne. Maks loved the dance his brother turned in with Bindi claiming that it had him smiling the entire time. Bruno and Julianne both felt that, no matter who her partner is, Bindi is a ray of sunshine. Maks certainly brightened her night with a 10 to go along with three 9s.
Carlos PenaVega & Lindsay Arnold did the Quickstep to “Bossa Nova Baby (Viva Mix)” by Elvis Presley. Bruno described the routine as “turbocharged” and Maks added that it was “amazing.” It was high energy for sure and high-scoring as well. Three 10s from the permanent judges and a 9 from Maks.
Alexa PenaVega & Derek Hough teamed up for a Tango to “Pompeii” by Bastille. The fog machine was crankin’ as were Alexa and her new partner in their highly-theatrical routine. It earned a standing ovation from Carrie Ann and high praises from the rest of the judges as well. It also was outstanding enough to get the first perfecto of the season with a quartet of 10s.
Andy Grammer & Sharna Burgess did the Argentine Tango to “Can’t Feel My Face” by the Weeknd. Lights were flashing, the beat was pumping and the heat was sizzling in a routine that drew raves of hotness from the judges who dished out four 9s for Andy’s highest total to date.
Nick Carter & Witney Carson did a Paso Doble to “Don’t Look Down” by Martin Garrix featuring Usher. The outfits worn by this team were super slick and the judges all gave kudos to Nick’s commitment, but there were flaws in the routine. Nevertheless, the team took home some nice scores of 9-9-8-9.