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Dancing With the Stars Season 18, Week 4 Recap: The Great Partner Switch-Up!

DWTS Season 18 Cast
Week four of Dancing With the Stars' 18th season switched up the celeb-pro pairings with some spectacular results

Welcome back, Dancing With the Stars fans! Who's up for a little game of mix-and-match? Week four of the ABC hit's 18th season was an exciting one, because it took the pairings we've all come to know and love over the last three weeks and broke them — and the competition — wide open. Adding to the fun? Guest judge Julianne Hough! Let's recap the big switch-up. (Spoilers, obviously.)

For the first time ever, viewers had a chance to vote to pair their favorite stars with different partners for one week, and one week only. Next week, the original pairings will be restored — but one couple will be eliminated based on a combination of this week's scores and last week's scores.

Switch-Up No. 1: Candace Cameron Bure and Tony Dovolani

Candace, who normally dances with Mark Ballas, said in her intro package that the one person she didn't want to dance with was Tony — so of course they ended up together. "I love Tony, but every time I see Tony, he cracks a joke and makes me blush," she explained, laughing.

By the end of the week, however, she was thrilled with the switch-up. Their quickstep to The Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz" was an energetic — or, in Len Goodman's words, "hair-raising" — routine, with lots of rock 'n' roll flair. "It was like a quickstep performed with the Sex Pistols," Bruno Tonioli raved.

Score: 28 out of 40 (7 from each judge)

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Switch-Up No. 2: James Maslow and Cheryl Burke

James' chemistry with his regular partner, Peta Murgatroyd, is off the charts — so much so that co-host Erin Andrews actually asked if they were dating. But he was "really psyched" to be dancing with Cheryl. Their tango to Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" — which ended with a near lip-lock — was "burnin' hot," according to Len. Added Julianne: "You are the total package. You're so amazing. You have dedication, you have technique, you have passion, you have everything."

Her one criticism? "You're a little squatty — you like to stick your butt out, so maybe next week, Peta can help you tuck your pelvis," Julianne said, to howls from the crowd. 

Score: 35 out of 40 (8 from Len, 9 from everyone else)

Switch-Up No. 3: Drew Carey and Witney Carson

Drew — whose regular partner, Cheryl, was paired this week with James — met his match in Witney, who usually dances with Cody Simpson. "When I found out that Drew Carey was my partner for the switch-up, I was really surprised," she admitted. "I was with Cody, the youngest, and now I'm with Drew, the oldest." It took some time for the two to adjust, but once they did, they tore up the floor with their cha cha cha.

"You're a splendid and confident sugar daddy of the ballroom. It was somewhere between Elvis and Liberace, and you made it work," Bruno gushed. Quipped Len: "I've not had that much fun in a minute and a half since I was a teenager."

Score: 33 out of 40 (9 from Julianne, 8 from everyone else)

Switch-Up No. 4: Danica McKellar and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Danica was thrilled to be paired with the brother of her regular partner, Val Chmerkovskiy — but she was wrong in thinking they'd be similar because they're related. Unlike Val, Maks had very little patience for her questions. "I think this is going to be really good for me," she said. "I just have to trust Maks and hope it goes well."

So did it? That depends on whom you ask. While Len praised their jive as "high energy" and "terrific," Julianne said she felt like Maks had "phoned it in" so he could just get through the week and go back to his regular partner, Meryl Davis

Score: 32 out of 40 (8 from each judge)

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Switch-Up No. 5: Charlie White and Peta Murgatroyd

Peta was really feeling the pressure since Charlie spent his first two weeks with Sharna Burgess at the top of the leader board. Julianne and Bruno loved their rumba, but Carrie Ann Inaba and Len weren't sold. "As a performance, it's terrific. Is it a rumba? Not in my book," Len said. Countered Julianne: "I thought it was absolutely stunning and beautiful. Peta, amazing choreography."

Score: 33 out of 40 (7 from Carrie Ann, 8 from Len, 9 from Julianne and Bruno)

Switch-Up No. 6: Amy Purdy and Mark Ballas

Mark's partnership with Amy — who usually dances with Derek Hough — was perhaps the most difficult switch-up in the competition. Derek knows Amy's limits with her prosthetic legs and how to work around them, but Mark is used to dancing with Candace. "I have to say this is the biggest challenge I've ever faced," he admitted. 

You wouldn't have known it from watching their salsa, though. "You continue to astonish me," Bruno gushed to Amy. "The amount of footwork that Mark made you do was incredible." Quipped Len: "Your bottom is the top!"

Score: 34 out of 40 (9 from Carrie Ann and Bruno, 8 from Len and Julianne)

Switch-Up No. 7: Cody Simpson and Sharna Burgess

Cody added a personal touch to his waltz with Sharna by singing "I'm Yours" before their routine. Each of the judges praised his unique style but said he needed to work on his technique — particularly his arms and "length of bone." As Julianne explained it, "You have to kind of embrace this other style." 

Score: 31 out of 40 (7 from Len, 8 from everyone else)

Switch-Up No. 8: NeNe Leakes and Derek Hough

NeNe — whose regular partner is Tony — had a breakthrough during her week of rehearsals with Derek. "Derek is great," she gushed. "I've watched him over the seasons, and I know how dope he is. I really miss Tony, but I'm having a great time." It showed, too. Len praised her jazz routine with Derek as the best dance she had done all season, while Julianne compared her moves to Beyonce's.

Score: 32 out of 40 (8 from each judge)

Switch-Up No. 9: Meryl Davis and Val Chmerkovskiy

Meryl's dance with Maks last week was the highest-scoring of the night, so Val was under a lot of pressure to keep her streak going. He more than delivered with this week's tango, which Len praised as "the dance of the night." Julianne even went so far as to say that she wanted to dance like Meryl. "You two are in a class of your own," Carrie Ann gushed. "You're untouchable."

Score: 39 out of 40 (9 from Len, 10 from everyone else)

Tell Us: Which switch-up pairing was your favorite this week?

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