‘Dancing with the Stars 21’ review: Nick Carter, Andy Grammer, Alexa PenaVega tackle the Switch Up

DWTSdwts”Dancing with the Stars” brought a wide array of stories and changes to the table this week, but the biggest one was the Switch Up. Celebrities were paired with new pros for the first time, and had to adjust on the fly to chemistry and teaching methods. Suffice it to say, some handled this better than others.

Refresh this page as the night goes on, as we’ll have even more updates on the performances! Also, we’re going to give you the results at the end of the night. (Update: There are no results tonight!) As a reminder, we’ve got four scores tonight thanks to the appearance from guest judge Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

Tamar Braxton and Louis Van Amstel – With no Val Chmerkovskiy, it felt like Tamar lost some of the chemistry and the passion. Louis is a great choreographer, but this dance was actually much better when the two were not dancing together. 29.

Hayes Grier and Allison Holker – The dances are a little longer this week, and maybe as a result of this we saw Hayes slip up a little. Then again, it could also be because of the fact that he is not used to Allison. There were some elegant moments, but also stumbles. 30.

Paula Deen and Mark Ballas – This was the definition of safe in so many ways, if for no other reason than that there was some pretty simple choreography for her. Yet, Mark is really good at bringing the most of his partners, and this was probably her best dance so far. 26.

Alek Skarlatos and Emma Slater – Alek was injured in the hours leading up to this show, so we have an extra amount of sympathy for him with this routine. The heat was definitely there with him and Emma, but that was not enough to get better scores. 29.

Bindi Irwin and Val Chmerkovskiy – Yes, Val did get a 10 from his brother, but nepotism be damned! This was a really great routine. The choreography was top-notch, but Bindi just breathes energy into the room and has surprisingly great technique to go along with it. 36.

Carlos PenaVega and Lindsay Arnold – We’re now laughing at Maks giving Carlos a 9 while everoyne else gave him a 10. This was amazing! Great choreography, but more than that we think that Carlos finally got out of his head and just had fun. 39.

Alexa PenaVega and Derek Hough – Clearly, there is a party happening after the show at the PenaVega household. A great performance with great choreography, but it also helps that “Pompeii” is one of our favorite songs at the moment. We’d watch this again and again. 40.

Andy Grammer and Sharna Burgess – Andy really spent some time preparing for this routine, and it showed! Great stuff from start to finish here, and more than anything else Andy felt more like he got into the character of the routine. He can perform, but the acting part of is something that he struggled with. 36.

Nick Carter and Witney Carson – Finally, we conclude with Nick doing a solid routine that faded somewhat after the PenaVegas killed it out there! Thanks to Maks for being the new “not my kind of dance” judge on the panel after he felt that the style was too much of a departure. Nick will probably bounce back a little next week. 35.

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