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April 09, 2014




Meryl Davis, Val chmerkovskiy, dancing with the stars


Last night the show began with the BIG SWITCH that everyone was anxiously waiting for! Joining us was guest judge Julianne Hough, who as we all know was a former Pro on Dancing with the Stars and is little sister to Derek Hough who is currently a Pro on the show.

When Julianne was asked how she felt about the switch, she said, “Well, just when everybody started getting comfortable with their partners, we’re switching it up, but it’s going to be a real testament to see if our Stars can adapt to different training styles…but it’s brutal, I’ll just put it that way.”

If we learned anything about the switch it was that each Pro has a different style of teaching to bring to the ballroom, and each of them was successful in making their new partners hit the stage with confidence in such a short period of practice time.  The Stars were also sent back to their original partners with a greater sense of understanding and appreciation for dancing.

First to find out about their switch was Candace Cameron.

With a big smile on her face and a nervous giggle, Candace said in her interview, “I think the person I don’t want to get is Tony because he’s always embarrassing me.”

Well, to her surprise, voters certainly disagreed because Tony Dovolani was her match for this week!

When Candace found out Tony was her partner for the week, she really wasn’t upset at all and was excited to dance with him.

“So Tony really wants to develop my character within the dance.  Whereas with Mark, I was really learning the footwork first, and then developing the character and the styling after.”

Candace was exposed to a different type of instruction, however, and as the days in rehearsal passed she said, “Now that I’ve been dancing with Tony for a few days, I’m really enjoying dancing with him.  He really is a great instructor.”

Tony, on the other hand, was a little nervous about their performance and stated, “I will be devastated if we don’t score as high with a new partner because I want to help her.  I don’t want to hinder her chances of getting far.  I don’t want to be the reason she might get voted off”

Don’t worry Tony, all of the Pros feel the same way, and everyone knows that you have everyone’s best interest at heart.

As Tony and Candace stepped into position on the dance floor, they were prepared to rock the stage with an electrifying quickstep!

The judges seemed to agree that their routine was certainly electrifying, however, the technique was lacking in certain areas.

Len Goodman said, “I’ve got to say hair-raising performance out there!  Yes, oh yes!  You lost your posture a little bit.  There was a little gapping going on, but you got out there, you attacked the dance.  Well done.”

Gapping seemed to be the major problem with their performance when miss Julianne Hough went on to say, “I have to say the same thing! It was really wonderful choreography.  The theme, the rock stuff, I mean the plaid with the diamonds…It’s all working, but I have to say the same thing.  The body contact for me was a little bit too gapped, and honestly it was the first time you guys have danced together.  It’s like you would have danced together the first or second week.  It is so hard with the switches, but you guys did a great job!

After hearing the rest of the judge’ comments on posture problems and gapping, Tony and Candace went upstairs to receive their scores

While waiting, Erin Andrews asked Candace, “What was it like doing the old switcheroo?” Candance said, “Umm, it is a little bit nerve wracking at first not to know who you are getting, but I love Tony.  He’s been so patient, and very nurturing, and umm, I just, it was one of the best weeks for me.”

Tony followed up with, “She did fantastic!  Thing is…this was the first ballroom week so I had to start from scratch.  Mark has done a great job with setting up the base, and I feel like she did an incredible job for her first act.”

Standing together while the judges scored, Candace and Tony received a combined score of 28.  Although this was not as high as they were hoping for, both seemed to have a great experience dancing together.


Moving on to miss Danica Mckeller who, although was taken away from Valentin this week, soon found out that she lost one Chmerkovskiy brother only to gain another!

Maks Chmerkovskiy was Danica’s partner for this week’s switch that left viewers laughing at the coming connection, or should I say disconnection, they shared during their rehearsals.

Danica said, “I was really happy it was Maks because that’s like keeping it in the family, and I figure they’re probably similar…they’re not!”

When rehearsals started, Danica certainly found out that although Maks and Val are blood related, they certainly have their own unique teaching styles and personalities.

Val explains everything to me, you know he tells me what to do and why!  Maks is like just do it.”

Maks, seeming a little frustrated at all of Danica’s inquiries on what to do for every step, goes on to say, “Danica is awesome, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not looking forward to getting back together with Meryl.  The biggest difference is that Meryl seems to just let things in, and Danica is questioning a lot of things.”

Well, Maks… I hate to say it, but that statement might have thrown you under the bus a bit when we heard the judges’ comments on your performance.

Danica and Maks stepped onto the floor and performed an extremely fast-paced, fun Jive.  This turned out to be especially impressive because we soon found out after that there were some technical difficulties with their music!

Carrie Ann Inaba was up first and said, “First of all, you are shining and beaming like a bright light!  This is your most confident dance you have ever done.  You are coming out, and now I feel you’re really feeling good with yourself and your body when you are dancing.  You’re just like having fun.”

Seeming to begin on a high note, Carrie Ann went on to give them a bit of constructive criticism when she remarked, “That said though, I was worried about the timing.  I thought you were just ahead of Maks.  You were rushing just a little bit like you were dancing ahead of the beat, and he was on the back end of the beat so it wasn’t quite in sync.”

Come on, Carrie Ann!  They told you that there were technical difficulties with the music.  Couldn’t let that one slide?

If that wasn’t enough, the tough one,  Julianne Hough, made it seem like Maks was not putting his best foot forward with this dance with Danica, and that he was just going through the motions with her this week just to get back to Meryl.

Seemed a bit unfair to single out Maks like that.  It is already hard enough with the switch, but he politely disagreed and headed upstairs with Danica.

When they left the stage, Erin asked Val, “How did you think your brother did with Danica there”?

Val said, “I thought he did amazing.  I think she’s never looked better this season.  I don’t think, like I told her many times this week, she has never looked better.  I’m very proud of her and I’m thankful to my brother for taking care of my beautiful partner.”

Receiving a combined score of 32, Danica and Maks left each other on a good note despite the harsh criticism given by the judges.


Last to find out about the big switch was miss Meryl Davis, who to no one’s surprise ended up with Val Chmerkovskiy.

When Val snuck up behind Meryl during her interview, Meryl seemed relieved that she was able to hang out with Maks‘ brother.

She said, “Working with Val is going to be a lot of fun.  You know, keeping it in the family.  Um, you know they have that Chmerkovskiy kind of way of doing things”

Val goes on to say “Maks is so jealous right now.  This is like some incestual adultery now after last night’s number.”

All jokes aside, Val wasted no time and got down to business when he taught Meryl the routine for this week’s switch.  “There is a huge responsibility for me to live up to their performance last week and we got the Argentine Tango, and that is Maks‘ favorite dance so I know he is going to be a little jealous.”

When explaining her experience dancing with Val, Meryl said, “Now that I’ve started working with Maks‘ little brother, I can definitely tell they have a lot of differences.  Maks is always joking around and being silly, and Val is down to business.”

After seeing last night’s performance, it was easy to say that Val’s method of getting straight to business left this couple with the best performance of the evening!  From the music, to the lights, to the exceptionally choreographed moves that were danced to perfection by Meryl and Val, we saw Maks with a huge smile on his face applauding his baby brother, and the judges with not a bit of criticism to give.

Bruno Toniolo said, “Powerful and seductive.  You were two magical instruments perfectly in key.”

Julianne Hough went on to say, “You are the most stunning, beautiful dancers I’ve ever seen.  I would love to dance like you.  You are so beautiful and um, no, it’s true.  And Val, the choreography was amazing.  Throughout the weeks I’ve been noticing things like maybe you pick up your feet a little bit in the ballroom dances, but I mean I was looking for that this time.  I couldn’t see anything.  It was stunning.”

Carrie Ann Inaba said, “Tonight was a wonderful night.  I was really impressed with everybody, but you two are a class of your own.  You are untouchable.”

Bravo, Val!  The Dance With Me Family is proud that you lived up to the expectationsMaks set last week and followed up with a combined score of 39!

Erin Andrews said to Maks, “Well, Carrie Ann just said your brother and Meryl are in a class of their own, untouchable.  Your thoughts?”

Maks followed up with this simple statement. “I agree for once with Carrie Ann.”  With a huge smile across his face, Maks could not help but be proud of Val and what he did with his precious prize Meryl.


Now that the BIG SWITCH is over, we can all relax now and continue watching the Stars with their original Pros as they grow to become better dancers with each week.

But before we close out this week’s Dancing with the Stars Recap, we have to mention the fantastic Macy’s “Stars of Dance” performance choreographed and lead by Derek Hough.

All I can say is WOW!  I happen to watch Step Up Revolution right before Dancing with the Stars, and it was such a pleasant surprise to see lead actress and dancer Kathryn McCormick joining the show with her magnificent talent amongst the rest of the dancers involved in this performance.  Derek is an amazing choreographer!  The intensity of this dance, with a Paso Doble yet lyrical modernistic feel, with the isolations and lifts was outstanding.  Bravo, Derek!  I’m sure your sister was proud!


“I’m not a gold medalist!” – Danica

“Neither am I…I never won the show” – Maks

“I’m gonna give Maks the chance to get tickets to Julianne’s tour” – Tom

“Let’s just say I made Maks look like mother Theresa this week” – Val

“It may not make sense to your mathematically advanced mind but some things in nature just happen.” – Maks

“Maks is so jealous right now. This is like some incestual adultery now after last night’s number” – Val

Scores of Season 18 – Episode 4 of DWTS

Candace & Tony 28
James & Cheryl 35
Drew & Witney 33
Danica& Maksim 32
Charlie & Peta 33
Amy & Mark 34
Cody & Sharna 31
NeNe & Derek 32
Meryl & Valentin 39

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