Jessie J starts her guest judge stint by doing some impressive vocal gymnastics and a couple of minor bits of choreography to insure us that she is more than qualified to judge ballroom dancing. Well, she beats Kevin Hart anyway. Tonight is The Switch Up, and along with it comes a lot of completely non-ballroom dance styles to confuse and delight us. Plus, there’s no pesky elimination this week to get in the way of all the fun!
Let’s see how these new duos did, shall we?
Antonio Sabato Jr. and Allison Holker (28) – Bollywood My wish for the next time they dust off this style is that they use “Jaan Pehchan Ho” from the movie Ghostworld because it is great and will get stuck in your head for days (the video is embedded below for your viewing pleasure!) The routine ends with a trick where Allison spins Antonio on a rope hanging from the ceiling. Aside from that, it’s a lots of stepping and posing, but it’s hard for Anotonio to keep up the pace. Julianne felt there was a disconnect and lack of chemistry. Bruno notes that the timing and rhythm weren’t synchronized. Carrie Ann compliments the partnership saying that Allison brought out his confidence. Jessie J offers “massive congratulations” on a job well done, but gives him a 6!
Bethany Mota and Mark Ballas (32) – Hip Hop It was an entertaining and a fun take on a partnered hip hop routine. Wait, did I just compliment Mark? I’m getting soft. Bruno liked the elements of ballroom and compares it to Madonna circa “Into The Groove”, which he immediately realizes is going right over Bethany’s head because it pre-dates her existence on Earth. Carrie Ann says Bethany has swag and points out a few sticky spots (for which Mark takes responsibility). Jessie J says she had “attack”. Julianne says she knows Mark and Derek have very different teaching styles and people begin to freak out because everyone assumes she’s criticizing her brother, like whatever.
Jonathan Bennett and Peta Murgatroyd (24) – Jitterbug There’s a couple of botched tosses, missed passes and bad timing that are evident even to me. It’s just awkward. Carrie Ann points those out. Jessie J says she was nervous the whole time because she was worried and that the execution could have been better. Julianne notes that you can see the fear in Peta’s face. Up in the skybox, Allison tries to talk to Jonathan a few times and he all but ignores her. There’s just a weird vibe with that whole scene. I can’t decide if I feel bad for her of dislike her. I’m leaning on the side of pity.
Alfonso Ribiero and Cheryl Burke (34) – Flamenco It’s just riveting and Alfonso flat out looks like a pro to me. Jessie J says she was captivated by the whole thing. Julianne says it’s the first partnership that she believed tonight and she’s so glad we got to see this side of Alfonso. She said it was a bit too intense though, and he squinched up his shoulders. Bruno agrees with that. They’re being nitpicky though, because he’s damn good.
Janel Parrish and Artem Chigvintsev (33) – Burlesque Um OK, that was interesting. The lifts looked scary and grabby. Julianne calls it sexy but not Burlesque because it wasn’t cheeky enough. (She should know, since it was her first movie.) Bruno says it’s never too sexy for him and not a person in the country will need Viagra tonight. Julianne thinks it should have been more of a tease. Carrie Ann appreciates the trust they developed, but she agrees with Julianne. Jessie J points out the song they danced to was one she wrote about her mom, so it was an interesting choice for that routine. Yikes, producers!
Michael Waltrip and Witney Carson (20) – Disco It’s a routine set to “Car Wash” complete with a very Mike Brady-esque perm and mustache combo and horrible 70s clothes. This all distracts from the fact that Michael can barely do any of the steps. Bruno says none of the steps were on time. Carrie Ann says there were a few, but concludes “When you can’t dance, make us laugh.” Ouch! Jessie J asks if his mustache is real (I hope she’s kidding) and she says it was consistent. (Tom: “Basically, you’re saying it happened.”) Julianne says it’s week 5 and it’s getting uncomfortable to watch him not get any better.
Tommy Chong and Emma Slater (23) – Mambo Look, he’s better than Michael. He and Emma are cute together, too. Carrie Ann thinks the song (“Pass The Dutchie”, sung horribly) was hard to mambo to, which sapped the energy a bit. Her word for it is “lackluster”. Jessie J says he was so relaxed (well, duh!) and so flexible. Julianne says he looked tired and like he’s running out of material. Bruno says they hit a few bumps, but got to the end. Thanks?
Sadie Robertson and Derek Hough (36) – Charleston They stay on the small stage and she keeps up well with all the kicks and has great lines. Jessie J says it was really clean and on point. Julianne says her long limbs were good for the style, though she was just a bit early in the beginning. Bruno calls it spot on. Carrie Ann agrees that she rushed things just a hair when not in hold. Oh, and in the pre-dance package, it’s possible the NRA has found a new celebrity spokesperson in Derek Hough. Female gun sales would skyrocket.
Lea Thompson and Val Chmerkovskiy (34)- Broadway The routine is to “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray but there are walkers? For old people, that is, not the zombie kind. Although that would have been amazing. Tom calls it Mama’s Family: The Musical. I don’t know what to say. Julianne says she saw a slight hesitation at the top, but she liked the concept. Bruno calls it the cast of Coccoon on acid, and says he got all the nods to various Broadway shows. I’m glad someone did. Val explains the concept is a home for retired ballroom dancers. Carrie Ann calls it great and also “wackadoodle”. Jessie J says Lea did a great job with the character.
So, who do we think will be out next week? Well, Michael, Tommy and Jonathan are all way, way down the leaderboard and none did themselves any favors tonight. My guess is Peta’s popularity will save Tommy once more, so it will be between the race car driver and the former heartthrob to see who hits the showers next. See you for the answers next week!