Switching it up for week 5 on “Dancing With The Stars” Monday

Whether you love or loathe the new matches on DWTS's Switch-Up week, it hasn't affected the final outcome at all. So relax and enjoy it.

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Who will go home this week after a final performance with a new parnter on DWTS? Photo: ABC
Who will go home this week after a final performance with a new parnter on DWTS? Photo: ABC

SAN DIEGO, October 11, 2015 – The first time “Dancing With The Stars” introduced the concept of switching partners between the competitors and pros, the DWTS fan universe experienced a meltdown over the whole idea of their favorite couples being torn apart, even for a week.

The experiment turned out to be fun and it’s now returning for its third season in a row in week 5 on Monday’s show. But the fans are still having a meltdown. This time it’s over the way the pairings ended up. Long time observers suspect the Twitter voting was a sham and producers paired the couples without any regard for the votes.

Mark Ballas and Paula Deen are getting creative in the kitchen. Will their Jive be a tasty treat or a bitter disappointment? Photo: ABC
Mark Ballas and Paula Deen are getting creative in the kitchen. Will their Jive be a tasty treat or a bitter brew? Photo: ABC

It doesn’t much matter whether the one time swaps were voted upon or picked out of a hat. They are temporary, and the better dancers tend to do just fine, while those who have been at the bottom of the leaderboard with one partner don’t magically transform after one brief week with a new partner. It’s early enough in the season that it doesn’t send a strong star home even if he or she has a bad week.


The show producers make it even less likely by adding a guest judge, which stretches the margin between the highest and the lowest scores, which helps the skilled competitors and hurts the ones already struggling.

Maks is back! Maksim Chmerkovskiy will be the guest judge during "Switch Up Week" on Dancing With The Stars. Photo: ABC
Maks is back! Maksim Chmerkovskiy will be the guest judge during “Switch Up Week” on Dancing With The Stars. Photo: ABC

Former Mirrorball Trophy winner Maks Chmerkovskiy will guest judge alongside Julianne Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. Each couple will dance to a different style of dance, including the Jive, Cha Cha and Tango. Celebrities will perform one routine with their “switch up” partner and return to their original dance partners the following week.

Who do we predict might struggle? Paula Deen drew Mark Ballas as a parnter, and they drew the Jive for their dance. Paula has been at or near the bottom every week, and with Gary Busey gone, the ballroom bullseye is squarely on her back. Paula should go out, enjoy her last week on the show, and call it a day.

Alek Skarlatos may struggle having to dance the sensual Rumba with a new partner, Emma Slater, but there have been rumors in the gossip press that Alek and Emma are dating. We may find out whether it’s true on the dance floor.

The couples who were assigned the Tango or Argentine Tango may struggle, but none are likely to be in serious trouble. Hayes Riley must dance the Viennese Waltz with Allison Holker; if she can find a way to make it breezy and young, they will get through it.

Nick and Witney dance a Paso Doble for their "Switch Up" dance. Photo: ABC
Nick and Witney dance a Paso Doble for their “Switch Up” dance. Photo: ABC

Nick Carter and new partner Witney Carson dance the Paso Doble. Witney has proven herself to be an excellent coach and this may be one of the most successful switches. Carlos PenaVega should also benefit from working with Lindsay Arnold and dancing a Quickstep to Elvis.

Tamar Braxton will dance the Samba with Louie Van Amstel. The Samba is a tough dance to pick up, but Louie is a patient teacher and this pair might be the surprise of the show.

The partner pairing drawing the most concern among fans is Bindi Irwin and Val Chmerkovskiy, who will dance a Cha Cha Cha. This is among the easier dances and it doesn’t require an emotional connection beyond “Let’s party!” Here’s our prediction they will be near the top.

Join Communities for our weekly Live Online Chat on Monday at 8 p.m. ET to assess the switches and the matches, and let’s see if Alek and Emma are really an item.

Alexa and Derek perform a Tango for their "Switch Up" dance. Photo: ABC
Alexa and Derek perform a for their “Switch Up” dance. Photo: ABC

Week 5 Assignments (Original Partner in Parentheses)

Alek Skarlatos and Emma Slater (Lindsay Arnold): Rumba, “Let It Go” by James Bay
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Alexa PenaVega and Derek Hough (Mark Ballas): Tango, “Pompeii” by Bastille
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Andy Grammer and Sharna Burgess (Allison Holker): Argentine Tango, “I Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weekend
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Bindi Irwin and Val Chmerkovskiy (Derek Hough): Cha Cha Cha, “Hold My Hand” by Jess Glynne
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Carlos PenaVega and Lindsay Arnold (Witney Carson): Quickstep, “Bossa Nova Baby” by Elvis
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Hayes Riley and Allison Holker (Emma Slater): Viennese Waltz, “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor
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Nick Carter and Witney Carson (Sharna Burgess): Paso Doble, “Don’t Look Down” by Martin Garrix
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Paula Deen and Mark Ballas (Louis Van Amstel): Jive, “Shake” by Otis Redding
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Tamar Braxton and Louie Van Amstel (Val Chmerkovskiy): Samba
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Tamar and Louie dance the Samba for their "Switch Up" dance. Photo: ABC
Tamar and Louie dance the Samba for their “Switch Up” dance. Photo: ABC

Voting information: Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite couples via phone on Monday night during the show and up to one hour after the end of the DWTS broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook at https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and closing at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Wednesday.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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