To make Latin night hotter than ever, “Good Morning America’ brought together “Dancing With the Stars” pros Louis Van Amstel and Anna Trebunskaya to weigh in on each of the performances. We’ll have Louis’ take and then Anna’s take on each of the dances this week and their best guess at who’ll be eliminated!
Louis: It’s the hot and sassy Latin night tonight. Having seen dress rehearsal, I can tell the production value of each number is again so high. Kudos to the crew to be able to change sets during these short commercial breaks. There’s a lot of time pressure on their shoulders. The dance-off is a new twist and I like the addition. It was also a lot of fun being part of this night dancing with Cheryl and, of course, Anna, Tony and the troupe. I love Juanes’ music. Okay, time to talk about the remaining couples.
Click HERE to read the full recap of Latin night on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff Salsa
Louis: This Salsa was so fast I commend Jacoby for being able to keep up, especially being so tall and those lifts were not easy. Awesome job. Just one note, you have to work on your feet that are totally turned in! For Jacoby, being a tall man, it’s important in the Latin dances to stay more compact with his movement, sometimes he traveled across the floor too much.
Anna: Great routine. Lots of body isolations and rhythms . Super strong lifts. I really liked the whole feel of the routine- fun and energetic. Jacoby tends to stick his bum naturally, but in this dance it totally works.
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson’s Rumba.
Louis: A few seasons ago Anna Trebunskaya and I danced to this song when Santana performed it on “DWTS.” We did Salsa while Ingo and Kym did Rumba. The eccentric musical rhythms made Ingo’s dance a little hectic at times. Overall he did a good job, but I would have liked to see more warmth and flexibility in his movement and more intimacy with his partner, which is typical Rumba.
Anna: Great concept. I loved the outfits. It’s hard for Ingo to connect passion and softness of Rumba, so his movement tends to look jerky sometimes. I think that’s what judges picked up on. Don’t get discouraged, Ingo. You improved so much technically, now let it loose and let emotion take over!
Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess’ Rumba.
Louis: Okay, Andy’s hip action is absent, his timing is off, quite often, BUT what he brings to the table is something so endearing, real and entertaining that I’m totally willing to forget his lack of technique. Their dances always have great and readable concepts. I know Bruno was trying to be funny with his Syd and Gene comment, but it was unnecessarily harsh. It wasn’t that bad. I will NOT be surprised if you guys keep voting to keep them in!
Anna: Such a good routine for Andy! As a theatrical performance, it’s one of the best of the night. I kept smiling the whole time. Loved the concept of Cyd Charisse and an aspiring Gene Kelly, but the judges are also correct: it’s further along in the competition and now is the time to get technical. Still, what’s so wonderful about Andy is that he commits emotionally to every routine.
Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd’s Rumba.
Louis: I love the setting and the smoke (which was way more in dress rehearsal) makes it kind of mystical. He did a great job partnering Peta, but I would have liked to see a little more flexibility in his body to create a smoother body action. I disagree with Bruno and Carrie Ann in terms of Sean being so expressive. Looking at his face he was very tentative instead of all over Peta with his sexiness (haha). It’s always so hard for celebs to be so sexy and intimate with their partners while their other halves are sitting front rowin the audience.
Anna: This was a much better dance for him. The Rumba is a dance where a male partner can be a strong frame and showcase the female. Sean was able to do that really well. He also was able to teleport us into a dreamy romantic feel of a Rumba, and that’s not easy — especially for someone who doesn’t have that much experience performing. It’s so hard for a guy to showcase the vulnerability and emotion, but he conquered that. Applause ! Bravo!
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas’ Salsa.
Louis: I like seeing Aly be free and gutsy. Tonight she was so much involved in the dance and showed she was having a good time and the audience felt it. It was a tough week for her not knowing if Mark could dance or not. I’m glad he did. To move into the top three, Aly needs to work on her sharpness and femininity. The choreography was easier in comparison to Kellie and Zendaya , but it goes to show you that it is ample opportunity to shine with personality.
Anna: Woo hoo! Go Aly! She’s finally loosening up and showing everybody how much fun she’s having. Aly has a lot of personality and Mark has slowly been bringing it out of her. Huge improvement in the performance aspect. There’s so much positive in this performance that I don’t even want to nit-pick on technique , but pay attention to footwork! When a girl wears short skirt, our eyes are drawn to legs and feet, so make it neat, please. That’s how you will get a 10 from Len.
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough’s Samba.
Louis: First off, I love the long hair on Kellie. Tonight Kellie showed she can do technical dances as well. It was so good to see all Samba elements in that routine and the trick at the end was amazing. Kellie’s legs are stunning. To win, Kellie needs to work on staying out of her head, get more into her body and show her personality while dancing.
Anna: Great routine! I like how Derek chose to use a slow down version of promenade runs, and then sped it back up to tempo. She looked fantastic shaking her bon bon. Kelly is actually better at creating lines than having a rhythmical movement in her body, but with this routine she was able to combine the two with almost seamless transitions. Keep working in the hip action, girl, and it’ll take you far!
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy’s Paso Doble.
Louis: That music was awesome and Zendaya showed such confidence in her little solo entrance. Zendaya has such great personality while she dances. You can feel her from a mile away. It was a fantastic Paso Doble character and I love the chemistry between her and Val. But I was confused by the dress. She’s tall and skinny and this dress made her look even taller and skinnier. I would have liked to see something to give her fullness. Second, Zendaya needs to work on her cleanliness of her movement if she wants to win. News flash Len and Bruno, for Paso Doble your chin comes slightly down, not up. Oh yes, in 1970 it did, but that was more a parody of Paso Doble. The scores should have been at least same as Kellie and Aly, especially knowing her choreography was harder!
Anna: Fantastic! Loved the routine — absolutely professional grade material. All the detail and technicality is there. All she needs to do is basically keep doing the same thing : stay true to character of the dance, explore the musicality of the song and tell story through her body and performance. Oh, and on the side note, I think she grew an extra inch in the past two weeks!
The “Dance Off”
Louis: Everyone looked a bit unrehearsed but, then again, no wonder if you have to learn four dances, not knowing which one you have to dance. You could easily see everyone trying their hardest.
Anna: In the dance-off, Aly was clearly a better dancer than Andy. Andy lost a bit of his performance sparkle because I think he freaked himself out a bit. Zendaya and Jacoby were brilliant against each other! I love that she went first because that gave Jacoby an extra edge and he performed the heck out of it! She’s so precise and clean though that of course the judges went for her. Ingo vs. Shawn was probably the most balanced match up. It was a dance-off the blondes and the hunks! Both did rumba earlier, so this was a great opportunity for them to improve the dances.
The Bottom Line
Louis: My top two are still Zendaya and Kellie by quite a few miles. The interesting thing is Kellie and Zendaya are total opposites. Kellie finishes every movement to a “T,” but needs to stay out of her head, while Zendaya is all energy and personality, and needs to work on controlling her movement more. This will be a great race to the finish. Let’s not forget about the race between Jacoby and Aly who, in my opinion, are fighting for top three as well thus far. What will the fan bases decide though?! And then there is a “Seabiscuit”-type that no one sees coming….Andy Dick. It’s exciting to see what happens. I’m worried for Andy, Ingo and Sean. Looking at the judge’s scores, Andy will go home. He’d need so many votes to make up those unfair low scores!
The Scores: Individual routine (dance-off winners get an extra 3 points), grand total:
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: 29, 3: 32
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy: 27, 3: 30
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 29 (Pickler won immunity, and cannot be eliminated on Tuesday)
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: 27
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: 22, 3: 25
Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: 24
Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: 17
“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.