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Dancing with the Stars survived its first partner switch up on Monday night and most of the couples walked away unscathed, but Danica McKellar and Maks Chmerkovskiy, who fans voted to perform together this week, received what felt like unnecessarily harsh comments from the judges for their Jive.

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To the untrained eye, Danica and Maks danced a fun and fabulous routine, despite experiencing technical difficulties with their music, but still, Carrie Ann Inaba, Brunio Tonioli, Len Goodman and guest judge Julianne Hough (who does not mince words) were tough on the duo.

“She did a brilliant job showcasing hours and hours and hours of work because everything was a disaster,” Maks told reporters after the show. “I’ve never had that much go wrong in a dance live and not be upset by it because I was just witnessing the fact that she didn’t miss a step, she didn’t look lost. She was brilliant. I had a professional dancer next to me. I really don’t care what the scores said.”

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For her part Danica kept it positive, only choosing to remember the nice things that were said.

“I don’t remember half of what they said,” she admits. “I remember that Carrie Ann said she had never seen me so confident before and for that I credit Maks for teaching me how to relax and have fun.”

Danica’s regular dance partner Val, Maks’ younger brother, was proud of their performance.

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“Everybody liked it,” says Maks. “We did this twice today. We did this whole thing as you see it—hair, makeup and everything —in dress rehearsal. We’ve already experienced all of this. It’s a little counterproductive because we’ve experienced for the first time of, ‘Oh, that was awesome.’ It was just as awesome, minus the production mishaps, plus four people who we don’t really care for saying things that not necessarily represent what actually happened. But just like the switch, whether we like it or not, it had nothing to do with us. It wasn’t our doing. We were thrown in to swim and she swam like a champ.”

And as for Val having the chance to perform Maks’ favorite dance, the Argentine Tango, with his regular partner Meryl Davis, well, he could have done without that.

“Honestly I thought it was a not necessary move by the producers,” he says. “I did six weeks on Broadway this year headlining Forever Tango and I was really looking forward to that. But it is what it is. But they did a brilliant job and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Catch Dancing with the Stars next Monday when the celebs resume the partnerships they previously established with the pros at 8/7c.

Which partner switch up was the most fun for you to watch? Tell us in the comments or tweet @OKMagazine.

 

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