Louis Van Amstel’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Dish: Week 6

Courtesy Louis Van Amstel

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.


Even though it’s another great theme week, “Broadway,”  it’s now really important that the couples focus on dancing and not too many gimmicks and taking too much time in the beginning and end with props. The couple who is still entertaining and, yet, not over doing it, should have gotten your votes.

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke’s Cha Cha. Looking at some moves from the video package it looks like Rob is going to nail his Cha Cha. I was right. Rob’s legs and feet are really good. Nice and slick. He gave a very clean, solid performance with no nonsense and just dancing, from beginning to end. It wasn’t stiff, Len.  Rob’s arms were better than expected. What were the judges thinking? This Cha Cha was way better than their Rumba last week. Scores from Len and Bruno are ridiculous. Rob deserved an 8 and 9 this week!

Nancy Grace and Tristan McManus’s Foxtrot. I have to be honest. The choreography is so far from the Foxtrot that I have a hard time getting past that.  But, I will.  This was the most expressive I’ve seen Nancy. She had great balance during her spins but I would have liked to have seen more leg action. I disagree with Bruno and Carrie Ann as there was very little foxtrot or basic action. I agree with Len! Yes, Bruno, they have to interpret the music but also not lose the sense that it’s still a Foxtrot. It’s about the balance between BOTH. Carrie Ann a 9????? Are you kidding me? The performance was maybe an 8, but the dance quality was a 7, and I love Nancy.

David Arquette and Kym Johnson’s Quickstep. The opening was about 25 seconds before getting in a close hold which, according to the rule, can only be 10 seconds. I’m so glad to see David having a good time and getting more confident. Their dance was not as good as last week, but still a great job. The musicality was a little off, but you might not even notice it because, just as David got off the music, the choreography had a break. I would have liked to have seen some real quickstep action. The scores are okay.

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough’s Quickstep. Now that’s a quickstep and, according to the rule, a 10 seconds opening. It’s a difficult dance to stay in contact, but Ricki is doing it all the way. Another thing I really appreciate from Ricki is her musicality. If I have to criticize, it’s Ricki’s muscle endurance:  keep the spine pulled up all the way. I agree with Len on posture, and I also agree with Bruno and Carrie Ann. Now I agree with the judges’ scores (I didn’t two weeks ago).

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer ‘s Tango. It was a clever decision to keep the mask on Chaz throughout the dance as it covers any nervous facial expression he might have. It was solid, but the content isn’t good enough compared to the other couples. I would have liked to have seen Chaz’s face. I think it would have helped him. I agree with Carrie Ann completely. I think it did suit Chaz’s personality, but there just was not enough tango. I would have given a 7.

Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s Rumba. I love Hope and I think she’s in a difficult position.  Somehow, I believe Hope is totally being confused by too many cooks in the kitchen. Hope is trying her absolute hardest, and she did a good job with her legs.  I saw a great attempt at personal intimacy. There’s no chemistry between them as a couple, but I believe that comes from the atmosphere during rehearsal. I can so understand why Hope is totally confused. It doesn’t matter how long a celebrity takes, with patience you can achieve so much more. I agree with Carrie Ann. I agree with Len’s comments but, even if I do agree with Len’s comments, it’s a rule the judges can only criticize the pro’s. Boots don’t help a smooth leg action. Bruno, you’re going to tell Maks how to do the Rumba??? Hope, I love your answer to Brooke. Please be yourself and don’t let anyone change who you are. Wow, Maks, I know what you meant to say when you said “it’s my show,” it just came out the wrong way. The scores are a little low. I would have given a 7 and 8.

As a pro, if you talk back to the judges it always makes you look like the bad guy, even if you’re right. I’m not saying I agree with Maks tonight, because I actually don’t. Len never really explained why he said Maks was part of the problem, because he cut Len off. These discussions, in my opinion, are good because this was real.  But, often times, Len blurts out statements that are so fabricated. I wish it was always real.

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff’s Quickstep. I loved the opening, but it was 25 seconds and only 10 seconds are allowed. J.R. has built a great foundation with his body and is very musical. J.R.’s shoulders need to stay down a bit more by stretching out his elbows to have the perfect frame. Even though I thought J.R. did a great Quickstep, I’d give the Quickstep to Ricki tonight. I disagree with the scores because Ricki and Derek didn’t break the 10 second rule in the beginning or the end, and they had more content. Therefore, in my opinion, the scores are high.

Overall:  Ricki, J.R. and Rob are absolutely safe. David is pretty safe. I don’t know how much viewers will let the episode between Maks and the judges influence their votes.  Otherwise, I still think Hope is pretty safe. I’m worried for Chaz the most and, if it’s on pure dancing, I’m worried for Nancy. If the audience votes on performance and growth, Nancy will be safe. Tomorrow night is going to be interesting.

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

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