Louis Van Amstel’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Dish: Week 5

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, judges scores and who will be eliminated.


We’re halfway through the competition. It’s fun to play with costumes on 80's night, but it’s important this week to see real dancing from the celebrities. It can’t just be popularity and entertainment value anymore.

Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s Tango. Hope showed real commitment this week with her tango. Some parts were good others rough. Hope needs to work on her posture. (Her whole upper body in closed hold was caved in forward). Hope’s left arm was supposed to be under Maks’s armpit, which it was in rehearsal, but not during the performance. That’s a shame. I have to agree with Len’s comments. Bruno, where were Hope’s shoulder pads? And I have to disagree, it wasn’t sexy. Hope will have to become aware of her inner self, which I’m sure she can! Scores were OK.

Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya’s Jive. I love watching Carson in his video packages with Anna before they dance, but it’s not all about the video package anymore. This is the first week where I felt the entertainment value did not back up Carson. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I thought the costumes were taken a little too far. There were a lot of kicks in this Jive, but unfortunately not enough Jive kicks. Laughed out loud about Carson’s letter comment to Len! I have to agree with the judges and I appreciate them when they’re honest, but not harsh. The scores are fair.

Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus’ Rumba. Even though I like the bickering between them, that video package worries me a little bit.  On the dance floor, Nancy can spin better than I thought, but, Samba whisks and promenade runs in the Rumba, huh? Nancy had some awkward disconnected moments, but I think she looked most natural in her expression in her Rumba. There were some nice moments. It did help that the tempo of this Rumba was really fast. I agree with Len and Bruno, even though last week I didn’t. Scores are good. Nancy’s Rumba was better in my opinion than her Quickstep and yet the judges gave her lower scores.

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff’s Samba. That was a good samba — very fast and filled with content. J.R. does look tentative at times, but he’s showing more and more solid technique. J.R. has great flexibility in his hips. I agree with the judges, but I want to see a little more CALIENTE, Carrie Ann. Great scores. Wasn’t expecting a 10, but this is making up for the low score J.R. and Karina got last week.

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke’s Rumba. This is the first week I feel Rob is taking a step back. There was a lot of standing around and very little body action or hips. I don’t want to be negative, but I disagree with the judges it was a little rough. I think Cheryl took Rob around the floor quite obviously, even though Rob tried his best. Scores are very high in my opinion (Rob got two 8s and one 9). He deserved between an 8 and a 7.

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer’s Samba. Go Buddy, show ‘em anyone can dance! I really believe Chaz is showing more musicality and flexibility. I just love seeing Chaz smile and give it his all. I think his Samba was better than last week’s Paso Doble. Chaz was even aware of his arms in some moments. I agree with the judges completely. Scores were good. Compared to some other couples I wouldn’t have mind to see an 8 in there.

David Arquette and Kym Johnson’s Tango. Wow, David looks very lean in his video package. He’s working it. I’m impressed with David’s work ethic. It shows  in his posture and expression. His technique is getting better by the week and his confidence is growing, which is so refreshing to see. That was his best dance yet. I loved the judges’ comments. I agree with Carrie Ann’s comment that David is becoming a finalist contender. It was great to see his ex-wife Courtney Cox’s reaction too, especially knowing they went through a rough time. Well, deserved scores. I would have given him another 9! (He got two 8s and a 9 from the judges).

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough’s Foxtrot. This music is great for cha cha, but for the foxtrot? Are you kidding me?! Having said that, Ricki did a great job. She was great in closed hold, and very natural in her ballroom movement. When Ricki goes into open choreography I feel she needs to work on bringing the same confidence she has as in the closed work. Again, I have to agree with the judges. Their scores were good. I think different music would have given them higher scores.

Overall. Relatively speaking, I’m worried for sure for Carson, but also a bit for Hope, Nancy, and Rob.

I’m very proud of Chaz and David this week. Ricki and J.R. are in the finals in my book. The question is, who will be the third couple to join them? This week, I’d  choose David!

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

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