Louis Van Amstel’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Dish

Former “Dancing With the Stars” pro Louis van Amstel blogs on season 13 of “DWTS.” The three-time world dance champion, who starred on seven seasons of the hit ABC show, weighs in on the dances, the judges’ scores and who will be eliminated.


Let the games begin! I will give my professional opinion. Nothing I write is meant to be taken personally, just as positive criticism.

1. Ron Artest and Peta Murgatroyd’s Cha-Cha

They’re a hot looking couple. Ron has a great personality, very much out there, but he needs to work on his body movement. I agree with Len it could use more content. It was fun to watch though. Peta, welcome to “DWTS.” You look gorgeous. What’s up with Ron’s hair? (Wow, I’m agreeing with the judges! That’s a first). It’s hard to say if I agree with the scores, since I haven’t seen any of the other couples yet.

2. Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke’s Viennese Waltz

Seeing Rob’s video package, I’m getting worried for Cheryl, but he’s so much better than the video! Rob needs to relax and move more naturally, but he has nice posture and looks like a gentleman with a nice expression. Bruno, chill, Rob did pretty well. Len and Carrie Ann hit the nail on the head. Rob, for the ballroom dances I suggest you shave! (I just learned the lesson myself). A good shave suits a gentleman. Scores are OK.

3. Kristin Cavallari and Mark Ballas’ Cha-Cha

Kristin has a great body, a very good instrument, and she’s not afraid to use it. Kristin, work on your legs and on your expression. The same smile only will get you so far. Change it up. Keep it real. Good job, Mark. Keeping Kristin, moving. Clever.

4. Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani’s Viennese Waltz

Chynna has a beautiful soft-spoken expression about her. I would just like to see her be less careful. She shows a lot of potential if she will just open up. It’ll be interesting to see Chynna do Latin dances. Tony, push her more internally so Chynna will show more of her inner personality. Judges’ scores are good.

5. Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManusCha-Cha

I love the discussion on what’s sexy in Nancy’s video spot. Good question! What makes someone sexy?

I did not expect a prosecutor to be so comfortable dancing in front of millions. Even if she screwed up some of her routine, Nancy has potential. She has to commit and show her personality through her body movement. (I can’t believe I’m fully agreeing with the judges!)

6. David Arquette and Kym Johnson’s Viennese Waltz

Right off the bat, I love his honesty about being clean for 8 months. David, kudos to you. You inspire young people! As for his moves, wow, I didn’t see him coming. Awesome job. Great posture and frame. Even though he had rigid moments, it was still very natural. Just don’t make it too serious. Enjoy the ride! David can make the final if he shows he takes DWTS seriously. I’d give him a 7. (Judges gave 6s).

7. Elisabetta Canalis and Val Chmerkovskiy’s Cha-Cha

Elisabetta has a hot body and sounds sexy (so many accents this season!) She knows her body well, now she needs to learn to control it. She has no inhibitions, which helps, but I’d like to see more cha cha content. A lot of smoke, but little cha cha fire. Elisabetta reminds me a bit of Kelly Monaco from season one. Val, it’s good to see you on the show. Welcome!

8. Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s   Viennese Waltz

A soccer player dancing. That’s going to be interesting! Will Hope have any femininity? Her dancing is way better than I expected. Great flow. Good expressive moments. Hope needs to become more consistent in her expressions, and relax her body. I disagree with Bruno. Hope needs to work on listening to the music more. Sometimes she’s faster. Good scores!

9. Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya’s Cha-Cha

OMG, I’m already cracking up watching their video package. In week one lack of technique becomes a problem if a celeb is boring and stiff. Not in Carson’s case. Yes, he needs to work on his dancing, but he’s the most entertaining and what chemistry between the two! So much fun. I love their costumes — so Carson and yet so much class. I don’t think it was “camp” at all, as Bruno said. You are Bruno!!!! I’d give them three 6s or even a 7. So entertaining!

10. J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff‘s Viennese Waltz

What an inspiration J.R. is! Beautiful job, J.R. He’s very natural in his movement, clean in his lines, and was very musical and very into dancing with Karina. Karina is in for a long run. They deserved the high scores.

11. Ricki Lake and Derek Hough’s Viennese Waltz

Ricki has such warmth about her. Very real. She danced from beginning to end. Welcome back, Derek, great job. Ricki will grow quickly. You can see that she’s here on a mission. Len, don’t be grumpy now, it’s only week one and Ricki legs were fine. Three 7's in my book.

12. Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer’s Cha Cha

Isn’t it funny, sometimes the more support you get, the more pressure you put on yourself?  You go, Chaz. Awesome job. You should be so proud of yourself for being that solid and dancing last. It’s so good to see you enjoying yourself so much. Lacey, great job on giving Chaz a lot of cha cha content. Very male/female, which I was hoping for. This dance had a lot of integrity. Lets all leave the past behind and look ahead. Don’t you love seeing someone happy?!

Overall, a great opening night! Good dancing, good costumes too. Love, love, love the new “Dancing” set. It makes the room feel so much bigger. Congrats ABC, the BBC worldwide and James Yarnell for designing this wonderful new set.

Mostly agreed with the judges, which I’m sure will change in the course of the season.

I’m worried for Elisabetta and Ron tomorrow night. I hope you guys voted for your favorites. Don’t complain if your couple gets eliminated if you didn’t vote. Just sayin’!

Get the latest from Louis van Amstel at his website, Lablastfitness.com.

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