Louis Van Amstel’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Dish: Week 10

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.


It’s going to be an exciting final. Not just between Ricki and J.R., but Rob has improved so much and he had a great week last week.  This week, it’s going to be interesting. If Rob can gain even more momentum, he could take away the trophy. If both Ricki and J.R. dance their hearts out, it’ll be hard for Rob to beat them. The famous Freestyle could make or break a couple.

Let the final games begin.

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough’s  Cha Cha Cha.  Ricki has improved technically and her posture is so much better than weeks ago. I even see her confidence a lot more, which is great.  Awesome.  But, unfortunately, it missed the exciting energy of a final and Ricki’s performance level was a bit contained. I agree with the judges even though they didn’t clearly explain what was missing. PERFORMANCE LEVEL was the missing magic. Ricki’s flow was fine. “9's” are well deserved for technical merit.

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke’s Waltz. It has nothing to do with Rob’s dancing, but I’m confused whether this is a slow Waltz or the Viennese waltz. Rob has gained so much more confidence and literally grown up to become a man in front of millions. I think it’s fair to say he proved himself to be his own self and he is not in the shadows of his sisters anymore.  I totally enjoyed watching him smile and enjoy being on the dance floor, but Rob did miss a few moments where he was just standing around or running across the floor. I would have liked to see a bit more fullness in his movement and less rushing. Overall, I agree with the judges. In relation to Ricki, I would have given Rob one “8? to keep him right behind her.

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff’s Cha Cha Cha. I’m pulling my hair out right now because I want J.R. to do so well. The Cha Cha was good, but not great. J.R. was shaky with his timings and messed up a few steps. Later in the routine, J.R. did better. One thing I find that J.R. did really well was the fluidity of his body movement. It just needed more spark. I agree with Carrie Ann on both accounts. We all love J.R.’s spirit. Thanks, Len, for giving J.R. props for dancing solo, but I agree about the musicality. What a shame. I don’t agree with the “7? and “9,” but do agree with 3 “8's”. Go figure!

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough’s Freestyle. What a change between the picture and when Ricki broke through. Ricki looks stunning in that dress. The energy was way better than in the Cha Cha Cha but, like J.R.’s Cha Cha Cha, I felt Ricki had some timing issues. It could be a mix of excitement and nerves at the same time. I want to be so excited and only write great things, but I have to stay real and honest.  Scores were good.

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke’s Freestyle.  Great opening and so appropriate for a freestyle. For originality, they should get a “10? because this was a dance I haven’t seen yet on “Dancing With the Stars.” Even though Rob was a little sloppy at times, his entertainment value made up for it. He had great momentum with the lift at the end, especially having never done it. He was not brilliant in execution, Bruno, sorry. Individually not a “10? but, in comparison to Ricki’s freestyle, it was deserving. Maybe all “10's” is a little much not having seen J.R.’s freestyle.

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff’s Freestyle.  J.R. didn’t hold back in this dance and they did some crazy lift, unlike the other couples. Also, J.R. sacrificed execution for high energy like Rob, but I’d rather see a heartfelt performance over technically perfect without a spark. I agree with the judges, even though they don’t criticize J.R. a bit for some sloppy moments. In comparison, it was deserving of “10's.”

Overall:  It was an interesting night. Ricki is technically the best dancer. J.R. is the most rhythmical and shows his spirit the most, while Rob is the most relaxed and is coming from behind. You guys have a hard time voting for the couples. All three celebs have qualities that could win them the trophy. It’s going to be the very last performance that determines the winner. Nothing is set in stone. I do believe the right three celebs made the final on dancing, so at least no one made the final on fan base alone.

It’s also going to be an interesting competition between the Pros. Will Derek win for the fourth time?  Cheryl for the third time?  Or will Karina take the trophy for the first time? As of now, I couldn’t pick a winner yet. I’ll be watching it live tomorrow night and only then can I make an informed decision as to who should win, in my opinion!

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