Welcome to SWITCH WEEK, or as I like to call it “Someone else gets to dance with Derrick Hough week”!! Apparently (according to an announcer we’ve suspiciously never seen) “there’s drama in the air” and no amount of Fabreeze type spray is going to help our stars or our pros deal with the emotional upheaval that comes from not dancing the jitterbug with the person you’ve known for just over 5 weeks. Len is still missing, and it looks like America has been replaced by pop singer Jessie J as the newest judge, and she’s singing a song I actually know! There’s nothing quite like a 51-year old woman singing ‘Bang-Bang’ while throwing down some really boss dance moves to boot (and now my cat is acting like it doesn’t know me).
So here we go folks with the ever-traditional Columbus Day switch week dance celebration; may we all discover something dance-tacular, or a large body of land. Your choice.
Dreamy McDimples Sabato Jr. has been partnered with Allison and my couple’s nickname for them shall be, Al-bato
When I first heard what style they would be dancing I was still trying to get my cat to acknowledge me and thought Tom Bergeron had said they would be dancing ‘Dollywood’. Well naturally my mind immediately went to a spunky dance number to the classic woman’s work anthem 9 to 5. Annnd no. He said Bollywood, as in No reason on earth you should make a part time celebrity actor learn how to dance a Bollywood dance number. It’s a bit like making a Miss America contestant change a carburetor during the talent competition; there’s really no point. Al-bato does have pretty interesting chemistry though; Allison usually does all of her dancing with a deer in headlights (sorry Jonathan). McDimples seems to like the dance, but then again lifting off the floor in an explosion of confetti will do that to a person. All that hoopla didn’t really matter though; Al-bato got reamed by the judges (especially new Judge Jessie J, who seems to be under the impression that this is really some type of judicial proceeding).
Next up we have Mark and Bethany, aka “Markany”
(I knew as soon as I heard the word “switch” last week that the producers would try and do the whole “Mark wants to be Derek but that won’t ever happen so you might as well aspire to be someone more manageable, like Bruno, or perhaps that wacky lady from the Progressive Insurance commercials.) I actually do think Mark is a phenomenal dancer and I’m thrilled that they’ll be dancing hip hop. But then they do their routine and I just don’t feel it. It’s kind of like getting to attend your first dance, but having to go with your third cousin. Or Mark. The judges give them lukewarm reviews, and I’m not sure, but I think if you pause your DVR as they walk up the steps to the ce-leb-ri-pit, you can make the faintest outline of Marks self esteem holding a little duffle bag and a hobo stick as it quietly leaves Mark’s body. Cheer up, Mark! Maybe Derek’s routine with your partner Sadie will be horrible! (Said no one ever…)
Peta and Jonathan (or as I like to call them ‘Petathon’)
I’ve never in my life seen someone look so scared in un-scary situations as much as Jonathan. Yes, Peta can be a bit terrifying, but he always kind of looks like someone who just got in an elevator with Hannibal Lector. I know with all my heart that this young man wants to do a good job; he wants to dance. The only problem is he can only seem to dance really well for 47 seconds each week, and then things just go way downhill. He almost broke Peta. Tommy Chong hasn’t even remotely almost broken Peta. You can’t be compared unfavorably to Tommy Chong in a dance completion and hope to stay in the game. On an even stranger side, the judges’ critique seems to come as a complete shock to him. Of course I now feel that his surprised look is probably the same face he makes when he gets an order of french fries from the Sonic or runs into a wolverine. I think Jessie J just asked Carrie Ann AHNAba if there was a paddle with a score lower than zero on it. Yikes.
Alfonso and Cheryl, aka Chalf?
Cheryl seems absolutely giddy (for her) to be dancing with Alfonso. It seems she has lingering feelings of jealousy from last season when Alfonso’s partner Witney got to dance with Drew Cary during switch up and got high marks from the judges. Yes people, these are real problems in the dance world. They’ll be dancing the Flamenco, and with Cheryl Burke, if she tells you to be a flamingo, you better hope you do everything in your power to become that bird. I love how Alfonso’s hands have powder on them during their dance; it’s what I imagine it would be like watching Pig Pen dance (from the Charlie Brown specials). Alfonso is a great dancer; I liked the intensity (and all that spinning!) but I would still rather see him be whimsical. I really don’t think Cheryl knows how to dance whimsically. It would be like telling Mark to be sexy, or Jonathan not to be scared of LITERALLY everything.
Janel and Ark-krim, or as the world will now know them, Jakrim
Basically their rehearsal seemed like the beginning of a steamy romance novel. Blindfold? Check. Being felt up like a ripe tomato in the produce section at Wal-Mart? Check. Current dance partner crawling through the rafters of the ceiling so he can spy? Check. Janel is channeling her inner Lea Thompson this week and Akrim just seems complacent, like if someone were to ask him if he misses dancing with Lea he might accidently say, “who?” There is some good news/bad news about Jakrim’s dance. The bad news is, it’s Burlesque. The good news? Akrims dance partner wasn’t Betsy Johnson. Amiright or amiright? It was a fine little dance I guess, if Burlesque means being twirled like a baton, they nailed it. Oh wait–Julianne just informed the world that it DOES NOT. That’s basically what you get for even considering switching partners when you already get to dance with a Chmerkovskiy. I personally would have strongly refused.
Michael Waltrip (and his hairdo) and Witney/ Mitney?
First off, the age difference is a bit much to take. As is the way Mr. Hairdo seems a bit more grabby than usual. I’m incredibly relieved we don’t have to watch them do a Samba, but actually watching them do anything is making me feel uncomfortable. I’m not sure what I’m seeing during this dance. It’s the 70’s, he has a mustache, and she’s cleaning his car with her backside. I don’t think I really want to know who he’s supposed to be. I feel like running my eyeballs through a carwash quite frankly. And by the way, if it was established during rehearsal that this dance might be awkward because of the age difference, why on earth did the powers that be dress them both up like seedy characters from Starsky and Hutch? NO to Mitney and the mustache. Just. No.
Emma and Tommy, you two are now officially Emmy (as in Mark Ballas, you will never win one of these)
In my humble opinion, I think that Emma and Peta are essentially the same person (and hey, if you’re going to be one person, why not be a beautiful blond dancer who once had a heated relationship with Max?) Emma seeks out Peta for advise on how to work with Tommy (as it seems he’s now forgotten everything there is to know about dancing, or that he’s actually on a dancing show, or the fact that all it will take for him to outscore Jonathan and Michael are a few simple steps on the dance floor without falling down). The dance style was Mambo and this week Mr. Chong seemed a bit more pensive than he had been during, say, your typical Jam Week. I hope he can find some type of recreational way to get back into the swing of things. (Perhaps some soothing lavender oil or a nice hot cup of green tea…)
Derek and Sadie/Nickname: Mark’s worst nightmare
I know that I’ve been particularly snarky toward Mark Ballas this week, and I’m truly sorry. But it’s just not me folks, the Duck people love Derek too! Daddy Duck came to watch them rehearse, and Derek gets to frolic on the farm with the Dynasty family, ride two wheelers, shoot their guns, and dance in the sunshine. Why do I get the sinking feeling that the only thing the Duck Dynasty people have done with Mark is take him for a nice steak dinner at Golden Corral? Sadie and Derek dance the Charleston, and yes, it’s sweet perfection. Maybe next week when Mark gets back in good graces with the Dynasty folks they might consider inviting him out to the farm too, or at the very least give him a Duck Dynasty key chain. Just let’s not hand over a skeet shooting gun to Mark before the season ends. Just a suggestion.
Lea and Val/ Nickname: Valley (of the dolls, I knew she reminded me of someone!)
First off let me just say she ran at Val like a bull on steroids in that rehearsal clip, did she not?? Does Lea have a man in her life right now? Anybody? She just seems kind of needy in a Joan Crawford/toddler being left at daycare sort of way. Of course I’m always going to vote in favor of a rollicking Broadway number, and a Chmerkovskiy, and yes, whimsy. I liked the dance, I did notice what Julianne said about Lea seeming to lose her confidence a bit in the middle, but she gave it her all and it didn’t make me cringe (which I did a lot of during the last two hours).
All in all not a bad night of dancing, and I gotta say I’m still pretty relieved about not seeing Betsy Johnson doing Bollywood.
I don’t know what the theme is for next week, perhaps Unrequited Love week? Fiscally Sound Planning week? Metallica week? Stay tuned and stay safe!