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Dancing With The Stars

MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY, MERYL DAVIS

Well, well, well, Julianne Hough has found herself in a bit of a pickle, hasn't she? The former Dancing with the Stars pro recently came under fire from some former co-stars when she returned this week as a judge with some harsh words for Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Julianne's critiques came during the Switch-Up Week where the pros were paired up with a celebrity who wasn't their normal partner. Maks was dancing with Winnie Cooper Danica McKellar instead of his regular teammate, Olympian Meryl Davis. Julianne was met with boos from the audience when she chastised Maks of his performance with Danica, saying, "You just had to phone it in so you could go back to Meryl." 

While Maks has tried to remain diplomatic about Julianne's comments, his fellow professional dancers and the reality show's contestants are coming to his defense…except for NeNe Leakes. NeNe is totally Team Hough because, well, you know, she loves drama and instigating and all that jazz. 

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Derek Hough NeNe Leakes DWTS

NeNe Leakes trades Tony Dovolani for Derek Hough on Dancing with the Stars for the first ever (and hopefully last) DWTS Switch-Up this week. ​

"Derek is great," shares NeNe. "He's a great choreographer. I've watched him dance over the seasons and I know how dope he is. What I like is that Derek knows that I am known for being fabulous – not that Tony didn't know that – but maybe he didn't know how to bring that out." 

I cannot explain the feather sticking out of Derek's crotch in the above picture. I also have no words for Derek and NeNe's tribal-inspired jazz number. Derek looks like a flying monkey from the Wizard of Oz flapping his arms around next to giant NeNe. I can't – watch the video below.

No elimination tonight – last week's and this week's scores and viewer votes will be combined to determine who goes home next week. Will NeNe survive?

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Dancing with the Stars Tony NeNe

It's week three for NeNe Leakes on Dancing with the Stars. NeNe and Tony Dovolani dance the Rumba, dedicated to NeNe's most memorable year.

NeNe chooses 2013 because it's the year she remarried Gregg Leakes

"The first time I got married to Gregg we were really stuck on attraction," says NeNe. "Our relationship started to really fizzle. We were not seeing eye to eye and we were arguing all the time.  That doesn't work for me.  I'm a really good communicator, like, I like to talk about everything. Gregg - not so much. For a long time we were not even speaking.  I never stopped loving Gregg, so when we broke up, the connection was still there." 

NeNe adds, "Gregg Leakesssss, this Rumba is for you. There is a little bit of grinding, honey, but don't worry. You know I'm coming home to you." 

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NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani

Dancing with the Stars pro Tony Dovolani seems like a sweet guy – and I'd be lying if I said I didn't cringe when he got paired with Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes this season. So, color me shocked, Tony can't stop gushing over NeNe and he sounds sincere. 

Tony said he and NeNe "hit it off right off the bat,"  adding,  "Everybody's got this perception of NeNe. I've grown to really respect and adore her. I think she's actually a big teddy bear. She treats me like gold. We really have a good time." 

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NeNe Leakes Jive

It's week two for NeNe Leakes on Dancing with the Stars. NeNe admits she let Gregg choose the dance, which is the Jive, then she rolls her eyes. Tony Dovolani jokes, "Wanna make the hubby happy," to which NeNe says, "I made him happy this morning. HAHA – just kidding!"  

Eeewww. Let's move on. ;) The rehearsal clips shows a lot of swearing, weave grabbing, and moaning from the Real Housewives of Atlanta star. NeNe kids about wanting to divorce Gregg.

IMO – tonight's Jive is not as good as last week's Cha Cha Cha.  NeNe seems way more interested in mugging for the camera than focusing on Tony or the Jive. That said, it's not terrible by any means. And, OMG, NeNe has killer legs! 

In other news, we learn the stars will switch pros in two weeks, determined by our tweets. Tweet #DWTS followed by the first name of the star and the first name of the pro you want to dance together. Example: #DWTS NeNe Derek.

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nene leakes

NeNe Leakes is heading back to the ballroom floor tonight on Dancing with the Stars and after rehearsing six hours a day, she's as ready as she'll ever be. 

NeNe shared that she's proud of herself for taking such a huge leap out of her comfort zone by joining the competition show.  "I'm so totally out of my element. But after week one, I was actually proud of myself for doing something that is not of the norm for me. Some of the people who are currently on the show have previous dance experience and I don't, so I was actually proud of myself for just even getting through it."

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NENE LEAKES

Say whatever you want about NeNe Leakes but she has certainly parlayed her appearance on Real Housewives of Atlanta into a full-fledged career! 

This season NeNe is juggling two reality shows: RHOA, of course, and Dancing With The Stars. She had her first dance this week with partner Tony Dovolani and NeNe is more determined than ever to make her personality (and maybe even her background as a stripper) work in her favor.  Despite Wendy Williams' prediction that they won't win!

NeNe is also not going to let the health issues she experienced earlier this year hold her back! And she's also hoping she'll be hit with the added DWTS bonus of losing weight. "I'd love to lose 15 pounds," NeNe confesses to Essence. "That's a lot. I can't see me at 15 pounds smaller. That would be a disaster, OK? I'll be wearing everything."

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tony-dovolani-nene-leakes-dwts

Spray tans, sequins, semi stars – it's Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars

Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes made her Dancing with the Stars debut tonight.  I (as a non-fan) have to give credit where credit is due, she can move!  Now, I didn't see NeNe do much Cha Cha Cha, but she proved she can Shake, Shake, Shake. 

As always, the stars have three weeks to rehearse their first routine. They have only seven days to learn dance number two – and it usually shows. 

NeNe told Tony Dovolani that she wants to bring personality to the ballroom. "We want to have fun, darling," she added. "I want to shake my bum bum. I've never taken a dance class before, but I've always had a lot of soul." 

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