“Dancing With the Stars” pro Louis van Amstel blogs on season 16 of “DWTS.” The three-time world dance champion and creator of LaBlast fitness-based dance DVD workouts has starred on seven seasons of the hit ABC show and weighs in on the dances, the judges’ scores and who will be eliminated each week. You can find him on Twitter @LouisvanAmstel.
By Louis Van Amstel
This week I had the pleasure of meeting all the celebs and their partners at prom-night opening rehearsal, held right after last week’s result show. I hope you enjoyed the opening number I choreographed.
The group dance was fun and all couples tried to impress you guys at home with their solos. Who won your vote?
Let’s get right to it. Let prom night begin!
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas’ Viennese Waltz. This girl is getting better by the week. I do like to see more expression from within, but this was a great mix of contemporary and classic Viennese Waltz. The dance was so well done. I agree with judges, including Carrie Ann’s comment about the Characterization. Three eight’s in my book.
Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess’ Cha Cha. As impressed as I was last week, I missed way too much Cha Cha content. I saw two lock steps and not one single chasse. From an entertainment point of view, Andy is high energy and fully committed. I agree with judges, unfortunately. I wonder if the judges are going to score the dance or score the entertainment value. They scored dancing, which makes me kind of happy, since “DWTS” is supposed to be a dancing show, right?
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson’s Paso Doble. Ingo is definitely strong and powerful and is very convincing in the character of the dance. He just needs to be careful to not get too aggressive, which affects his flow of movement and posture. Wow, I agree with the judges again. The scores are fair.
Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchenko’sViennese Waltz. They look gorgeous together and very prom-like. Lisa looks very confident and there was nice content in this dance, but it looked quite hectic at times. I actually disagree with Bruno. It didn’t look at ease to me. I wish it was. Lisa needs to take more time to finish every movement. Even though they look hot together, I’d like to see more chemistry through the dance. Scores are OK.
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough’s Jive. Awesome job again. This dance had great Jive content and, what I like so much about Kellie, when she made a slight mistake (which you might not even have noticed) she uses her personality to just keep going. No stopping that woman! There were a few moments where you could see Kellie think. The scores are good but, relative to other scores, they should have been higher.
Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold’s Contemporary. Nice work and they were so much better than last week. Victor was very good with his partnering, but you to take into account that this was easier to execute than a ballroom dance full of technique. I would like to see more sensitivity and chemistry, which Carrie Ann thought was great. I agree with Len. I do agree it was Victor’s best dance. I he gets eights. That means it’s the same as Kellie’s Jive? I’m sorry … three sevens, yes, but no eights in my opinion.
D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke’s Salsa. Look, you can see D.L. is no dancer, but he’s starting to get more involved in the movement. He’s accurate with his steps and really listened to Cheryl very well. I disagree with Len. They didn’t really have a Salsa song, so what do you expect? Yes, he was a bit stiff and musicality needs to improve, but he is so much better from last week. I like seeing the funny side of D.L. It works. Definitely deserved three sixes.
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff’s Rumba. That was a great dance, full of everything. It was borderline contemporary. Thank goodness for the alemana and sliding doors (go figure what those figures mean!). I would have liked to see more Rumba content, but I agree with the judges that Jacoby’s movement was very refined. Scores are good.
Wynonna Judd and Tony Dovolani’s. Argh, I so want to be positive and say great things, but I have to be honest and write what I see. I want Wynonna to get out of her head and show the movement like she hears music. If she does, nothing can stop her. I have to agree with the judges, unfortunately. Also, why not show a more feminine side of Wynonna? She has great legs. The dance needed more bounce and flexibility to make it a Samba. In relation to other couples the scores are OK, but I hope she gets the votes. I want her to stay in the competition. Yes, I’m being partial!
Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd’s Cha Cha. Sean looks very awkward in the beginning of the week, but somehow with his hard work he’s much less weird when he performs. Sean will have to work on his technique and musicality if he wants to stay up there with some of the other celebs. The scores are nice.
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy’s Viennese Waltz. Even though I’d like to see more vulnerability and tenderness from Zendaya’s movement, I think this was the performance of the night. The only thing I disagree with Carrie Ann on is I would like to see a more mature quality in Zendaya’s movement. Len go home, it’s American style Viennese Waltz, unless the show changes the rules and states clearly how much has to be done in closed hold. I would have liked to see a nine to make it at least equal to Kellie’s Jive.
Kellie and Zendaya are heads above the rest. Jacoby is behind them and then there’s the rest of the pack. Not having thought about this too much, my intuition has me worried for Wynonna and Lisa. I think Lisa is going home based on dancing and last week’s outcome. D.L. got creamed by the judges, which might make you vote for him, in my opinion.