‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Leaderboard shake-up in switch-up week

The “Dancing With the Stars” partner switch-up was hit-and-miss judging by the quality of the scores received by the stars and their new pro dancers. The marks weren’t as generous as they were last week, when five couples scored straight 9s or better. But while some contestants stumbled, others soared.

Meryl Davis, who usually dances with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, this week was teamed with his brother Val, while Maks was paired with Val’s usual partner, Danica McKellar. That sibling swap worked out better for Meryl, for whom there was little room for improvement after scoring 39 out of 40 for last week’s foxtrot, including the first three perfect 10s of the season. But she matched that total for her and Val’s sexy Argentine tango. She has received six perfect 10s in two weeks and is still the only star to receive perfect marks.

Danica and Maks performed a solid jive, though guest judge Julianne Hough thought the pro dancer phoned in the routine. She scored 32 from judges, down four points from last week.

Other stars who failed to meet last week’s high standard included Charlie White, whose rumba with new partner Peta Murgatroyd drew criticism from Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman for not being traditional enough. He scored 33, down three points.

Australian singer Cody Simpson could also work on his ballroom fundamentals; judges gave him and fellow Aussie Sharna Burgess a 31 for their foxtrot, down four points.

Amy Purdy, this week with Mark Ballas, was also down from last week, but only slightly. Their 34-sccoring salsa was only two points off last week’s mark. James Maslow was also down slightly, losing only one point to score 35 for his tango with “DWTS” veteran Cheryl Burke. The judges praised their routine but warned him to watch his butt – referring to his posture, of course.

Dancing with the Stars’ poll: Was partner switch-up a success or failure?

The star who took the biggest hit was Candace Cameron Bure. Though she scored straight 8s last week with Mark Ballas, she lost a point from each judge this week for her quickstep with Tony Dovolani, dropping her to the bottom of the standings with 28.

Two stars saw marked improvement, however, which might save them from elimination. NeNe Leakes was up one point to 32 with help from Derek Hough, while last week’s lowest scorer, Drew Carey, was up three points, earning 33 with young Whitney Carson.

This week’s scores were as follows:

Meryl Davis – 39
James Maslow – 35
Amy Purdy – 34
Drew Carey – 33
Charlie White – 33
NeNe Leakes – 32
Danica McKellar – 32
Cody Simpson – 31
Candace Cameron Bure – 28

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However, it’s the combined scores that matter. Last week’s marks will be combined with this week’s, along with the fans’ votes, to determine who will be sent home next, and Carrie Ann was right when she said Meryl is in a class of her own:

Meryl Davis – 78
James Maslow – 71
Amy Purdy – 70
Charlie White – 69
Danica McKellar – 68
Cody Simpson – 66
Drew Carey – 63
NeNe Leakes – 63
Candace Cameron Bure – 60

Is Meryl unstoppable? Did Drew save himself from being sent home? And will the scores return to their previous heights when stars return to their usual partners next week? Predict next week’s elimination below using our easy-drag-and-drop menu.

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