A new week, a new partner! Monday, April 18, was Switch-Up Night on Dancing With the Stars, which meant that every celebrity got a new professional partner for this week only. As was to be expected, some stars soared while others struggled, but the biggest moment of the night was someone getting the first perfect 10 of the season — and from Len Goodman, no less!
Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who happens to be Val's brother and Peta Murgatroyd's fiancé, was on-hand as a guest judge, and he proved to be the toughest to please of all. Fortunately, no one was eliminated this evening, as tonight's scores and votes will be combined with last week's, and someone will get the ax next week. Now that we're up to speed, here are the highlights.
Nyle DiMarco Gets the First Perfect 10 of the Season
Resident heartthrob Nyle DiMarco was paired with Sharna Burgess for the switch-up, and the two performed a nearly flawless Viennese waltz that had Carrie Ann Inaba in tears. After reflecting on DiMarco's seemingly superhuman dance skills without the benefit of being able to hear a single note, Carrie Ann reasoned, "You're at an advantage because you've been telling stories with your body, and you've been communicating with your body your whole life."
Len called the routine a "total eclipse: It doesn't turn up often, but when it does, it's fantastic," and Maks called it "the best dance of the night." Carrie Ann gave it a nine, while Len, Maks, and Bruno Tonioli held up 10s. However, it turned out that Maks and Bruno had (allegedly!) written nines on their scorecards, so Nyle ended up with a 37 instead of 39. Still, he was back on top of the leaderboard.
In another funny moment, while prepping for their dance, Sharna talked with Nyle about past romances, and he said he'd been in a 10-year relationship. She then asked if "he" (meaning Nyle's ex) was deaf as well, and Nyle corrected her, saying that yes, "she" was deaf. Whoops! (Nyle has previously tweeted that he identifies as sexually fluid.)
Jodie Sweetin Soars Ahead
After a disappointing performance last week, Jodie Sweetin was paired with Val Chmerkovskiy this week. Val instantly bonded with the former Full House star by confessing that he learned English by watching her show. After that, though, he was all done with the warm fuzzies and got down to work. Jodie noted that Val's teaching style was "more intense" than Keo and "more laser-focused."
Hopefully Keo Motsepe took some notes because Jodie and Val's paso doble earned rave reviews from the judges and boosted her to second place in the standings for the night. Bruno praised all the Spanish content and called the dance "turbo-charged," while Carrie Ann declared it Jodie's best dance — and she was right.
Other strong performances include Ginger Zee and Mark Ballas' salsa and Paige VanZant and Sasha Farber's rumba. Ginger's husband dropped by rehearsals just long enough to call Val a "Russian love slave," which was a random but understandable description.
Doug Flutie and Antonio Brown Pretty Much Drown
By this point, it was pretty obvious that Doug Flutie was not the best dancer in the bunch. Paired with Peta Murgatroyd, however, he fared better than he has in weeks past — but still, that's not saying much. During rehearsals, it became apparent that Doug has a problem remembering things and has to be told instructions repeatedly. (To be fair, this wasn't news to him, either.) Peta was patient, though, and coaxed a solid performance out of the star. Bruno said "it wasn't bad at all" (which was praise), and Maks noted that the routine was "full of tango" (which was also praise). Still, the former quarterback ended up second from the bottom of the board.
But he beat Antonio Brown! Though Anionio is by all real metrics a superior dancer to Doug, his cha-cha-cha with Karina Smirnoff left the judges unimpressed. To be specific, it wasn't so much his dance moves as his attitude. During the video package, Karina was openly frustrated that Antonio showed up over an hour late. She did the best with what she had, but Antonio just didn't seem all that motivated to push himself — and the judges called him out on it, big time.
Len said it was "too much bump-and-grind stuff" and that the "bits of cha-cha" Antonio did bother to do "were poor." Bruno thought he had the "moves and the right package and the charisma," but lamented that it sometimes looked like he and Karina "were dancing in different time zones." Karina didn't look pleased or remotely surprised by these critiques, and Antonio ended up in dead last on the board.
Everyone else, which included Kim Fields and Keo Motsepe, Von Miller and Lindsay Arnold, and Wayna Morris and Witney Carson, fell to the middle of the pack — though it was pretty clear that most celebs were eager to get back to working with their regularly scheduled partners next week. No one asked Jodie how she felt, though, and after her killer performance this week, she might be less than enthused to say goodbye to Val.
Tell Us: What score did Nyle deserve? And do you think Antonio needs a better attitude?
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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