“Dancing With the Stars” pro Chelsie Hightower weighs in on each of the week’s performances. The “DWTS” veteran knows what it takes to dazzle on the dance floor and gives her take on the dances, the choreography, and the judges’ scores. You can find her on Twitter @chelsiehightowr.
By CHELSIE HIGHTOWER
For the first time ever in “Dancing With the Stars” history, the celebs and pros “switched up” and we saw each couple dance with someone totally new for one week only. With this “Switch-Up,” each of the pros had to think about what the celebrities’ regular partners would do and what could they do differently to make each of the stars shine in a new light.
Candace Cameron Bure (paired this week with Tony Dovolani): What dance would Mark have done compared to what Tony did? Well, this dance was right up Mark’s alley, complete with the eyeliner and studded belts. Tony definitely brought a dance to the floor that was non-stop and jam packed. It was enjoyable to watch from beginning to end. Although I do have to agree with the judges; the body connection was definitely missing. Overall, a fun dance.
James Maslow (paired this week with Cheryl Burke): Cheryl did a fine job with James tonight. No doubt Peta and Cheryl are very different as far as dance styles, which James would have had to acclimate to, but I thought they kept it tight and sharp and attacked the dance as if it were there last. But that can be a double edge sword; if you put too much into it, it can get a little out of control and look hectic, and unfortunately, at times, I did see that with their dance. But even still, overall, it was a great dance. And I reckon that that lip brushing at the end would have been a full on kiss, which I don’t think the viewers would have argued with!
Drew Carey (paired this week with Witney Carson): Whether it was Cheryl or Witney calling the shots, I believe Drew would have done great. The Cha Cha is very well suited for him and the dance and the song allowed his personality to shine. Perhaps Cheryl would have focused a bit more on his technique, but you never know if the judges will critique your technique or style more, so emphasizing one over the other can backfire, and all your hard work is in vain. Witney focused on allowing his personality to come out through his dancing. Although basic technique should never be lost, allowing natural style to shine is always effective.
Danica McKellar (paired this week with Maks Chmerkovskiy): I’ll let quotes directly from the show speak for themselves on this one …. What Val would have done: Danica, “Val explains everything to me. He tells me what to do and why. Maks is like, ‘Just do it.’” LOL What Maks did: Maks, “Some things in nature just happen. Like I’m a naturally gorgeous person.” Haha. You go Maks. Danica did well with this jive tonight! Her transitions weren’t quite as clean and clear as I would have liked to have seen, but even still she did great and shined bright!
Charlie White (paired this week with Peta Murgatroyd): I believe Sharna would have choreographed a dance in similar fashion to what Peta did tonight and I did not agree with Len or Carrie-Ann. It was a beautiful rumba and wasn’t much different from many rumbas I have seen in the past that actually did lack major content, but didn’t get called out for it. (We’re just asking for some consistency here judges, that’s all!) Moving on, Peta choreographed a beautiful dance and brought out lots of passion and emotion mixed with beautiful lines overall from Charlie. I thought it was a job well done from the pair!
Amy Purdy (paired this week with Mark Ballas): How did Derek do vs. Mark? Derek Hough would not have pulled quite as many facial expressions and I think he would have made this dance all about the twisting hip action since that’s definitely one of Amy’s strengths. I think Mark did a great job at incorporating that as well and overall did a great job with Amy. He only had a fraction of the time with her this week as Derek has had with her overall and it takes time to get to know the way that somebody moves and what their strengths and weaknesses are. The dance was clean, technical, packed with character and fun!! Great job to the pair!
Cody Simpson (paired this week with Sharna Burgess): Cody mentioned that Sharna didn’t allow him some of the things during practice that Witney would have. So Cody, Sharna demanded harder work and greater precision of you? What worries me a little is your comment that you’ll be glad next week when you’re back with Witney. Hmm. It sounds like it’s time to start cracking the whip! Question is: did Sharna’s demanding style bring out the better side of Cody? Boy did it ever! They were great tonight. When it came to the choreography it well suited for him being difficult enough to push him but while still remaining true to the dance with the technical and characteristic moves. Great job guys!
Meryl Davis (paired this week with Val Chmerkovskiy): Erin Andrews already covered this one during the show, so I’ll let those quotes from Danica mentioned above take the spotlight and move on to Val. Val brought an amazing dance to the ballroom tonight! It was incredibly precise, powerful, and passionate. Those three P words are a recipe to one memorable dance and that’s what they did!! Well done.