Talk about tough love! The great partner switch-up returned to Dancing With the Stars on Monday, Oct. 13, and with it came some pretty harsh criticism from the judges. As was the case last season, each celeb was paired with a new pro for the week, which made for an interesting change in dynamics. For the most part, though, the contestants seemed to have fun with it — until they got their scores, that is. Both Emma Slater and Derek Hough noted that the panel seemed especially "mean" this week, and fans in the ballroom repeatedly booed their low marks. Let's recap!
Antonio Sabato Jr. and Allison Holker
Allison, one of the new DWTS pros this season, was really feeling the pressure to dance well with Antonio so as not to disappoint his regular partner, Cheryl. She was especially nervous after Cheryl called during rehearsal to check in, but she needn't have worried — Cheryl loved Allison's Bollywood choreography, and so did the judges. Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli noted that the synchronization was off at times, but both praised Antonio's enthusiasm, and Carrie Ann Inaba said it was the "most confident" he'd ever looked.
Score: 28 out of 40 (8 from Carrie Ann, 6 from Jessie J, 7 from Julianne and Bruno)
Bethany Mota and Mark Ballas
Mark and Bethany's regular partner, Derek, are like brothers, so there's a pretty healthy sense of competition between them even in a normal week. The switch-up amplified that, particularly after Derek and Sadie Facetimed Mark to tell him how much fun they were having together. Bethany, for her part, wanted to prove to Derek that she could attack a routine — but she worried she didn't have the "swag" to do so. "I don't know what swag is, so I hope I have it," she mused.
She did indeed have it — in spades! Carrie Ann thought her hip-hop performance was "fantastic," while Julianne raved that she "completely held her own" with Mark.
Score: 32 out of 40 (8 from everyone)
Jonathan Bennett and Peta Murgatroyd
Jonathan was at the bottom of the leader board after his samba with regular partner Allison last week, so Peta really pushed him to do better this week. "I'm gonna be the strictest teacher ever," she warned. Unfortunately, she may have pushed too hard — the choreography was so difficult that even the judges were too nervous to enjoy it. "So much of it was wrong," Carrie Ann admitted of Jonathan and Peta's jitterbug. Added Julianne: "I was holding my breath, and not in a good way."
Score: 24 out of 40 (6 from everyone)
Alfonso Ribeiro and Cheryl Burke
Last year during the switch-up, Cheryl's partner, Drew Carey, got his highest scores ever with Alfonso's season 19 partner, Witney. Cheryl wanted to prove she could up Alfonso's game in a similar fashion, but that wasn't an easy task given his perfect score last week for The Carlton. Her strategy? To give Alfonso the "feisty woman he's been looking for," and to show the judges a bolder, sexier side of him.
She did both, and then some. Jessie J was so mesmerized by the routine that she wanted it to go on for longer, and Julianne raved that theirs was the first switch-up partnership she "believed."
Score: 34 out of 40 (9 from Jessie J and Julianne, 8 from Carrie Ann and Bruno)
Janel Parrish and Artem Chigvintsev
Janel and Artem were assigned a burlesque routine, so they used it to make their regular partners, Val and Lea, jealous. "I've definitely noticed Artem wearing less clothes this week," Val quipped. "I thought we were friends, bro."
Bruno, for one, loved the duo's performance — he raved that no one in the country would need Viagra after watching it — but both Julianne and Carrie Ann thought it was too overtly sexy. "To me, that wasn't burlesque," Julianne said, explaining that it wasn't tease-y enough.
Score: 33 out of 40 (9 from Bruno, 8 from everyone else)
Michael Waltrip and Witney Carson
Michael, who usually dances with Emma, certainly had fun with his and Witney's disco routine this week, but unfortunately, that fun didn't translate into good scores. Bruno complained that he didn't do a single step in time to the beat, while Carrie Ann said she wasn't seeing the necessary improvement to keep him around. "You had me giggling, but I don't want to giggle anymore," she told him.
Score: 20 out of 40 (5 from everyone)
Tommy Chong and Emma Slater
Tommy's regular partner, Peta, loved his mambo with Emma, but the judges weren't quite as charmed. Carrie Ann criticized the song choice and said the performance seemed "a bit lackluster," while Julianne noted that Tommy looked "almost tired." (His response? "I look tired 'cause I'm old.")
"They're so mean this week!" Emma exclaimed of the judges after she and Tommy received their results.
Score: 23 out of 40 (5 from Julianne, 6 from everyone else)
Sadie Robertson and Derek Hough
Sadie and Derek got some quality bonding time together on the farm, which appears to have benefitted them on the dance floor, as well. Jessie J raved that their Charleston was "really clean" and "on point," while Carrie Ann praised the performance as "magnificent." Added Julianne: "That was so great. Every week you come out here and you show this different side of who you are."
Score: 36 out of 40 (9 from everyone)
Lea Thompson and Val Chmerkovskiy
Lea and Val were feeling a little jealous of Artem and Janel's chemistry, so they decided to spice things up with a kiss. "He's gonna take my partner and do burlesque, I'm gonna make out with Lea," Val joked. The smooch was just a tiny part of their routine, though, and it was more cute than sexy — which the judges loved. Bruno raved that it was "off the wall and insanely funny," while Carrie Ann said it was "wackadoodle" — in a good way. Only Julianne thought Lea seemed "unsure" of the choreography.
Score: 34 out of 40 (9 from Carrie Ann and Bruno, 8 from Jessie J and Julianne)