The episode, named "The Switch Up," marked the first time that the contestants and professional dancers were made to switch partners. Elimination will take place next week based on the contestants' week three performance with their regular partner and their week four performance with their new one.
Professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy had been paired with Olympic gold-medal ice dancer Meryl Davis, but performed with actress Danica Kellar last night for the switch up. Chmerkovskiy and Kellar performed a flawed jive routine, in part because their music was off, and Hough shocked the two with her unflattering critique.
"I felt like it was a little bit like this week could get past so that you could be back with Meryl, and you just had to phone it in [with Kellar] so you could get back with Meryl," Hough told Chmerkovsky.
The judge and former contestant's comment insulted the pair, other dancers, and the show's fans.
"The [expletive] that Julianne made up was nothing but exactly that," Chmerkovskiy said later. "It was an invalid comment that had nothing to do with Danica's performance, which was brilliant."
Chmerkovskiy's brother Valentin, also a professional dancer on the show and Kellar's usual partner, agreed. "Personally, I thought it was very irresponsible of her to make those comments," Valentin said. "There's nothing [Maksim] would ever do to jeopardize my success of the show -- and Danica's an extension of me -- my partnership and my success, and so...I took it kind of personally."
"I felt like it was a little bit inappropriate," fellow dancer Cheryl Burke added. "I felt like [Maksim] was trying his best."
The contestants will return to their usual partners on next week's episode. Dancing with the Stars airs at 8 p.m. ET Mondays on ABC.
[The Hollywood Reporter]
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