“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’m doing it a little different from other weeks and seasons. I actually watched the show before I started writing my blog and want to rank each round how I see it. Let’s get started.
Click HERE for a full recap of Week 10 on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’
Round 1: Zendaya and Val won by a small margin. Her samba was great, energetic and rhythmical. Kellie and Derek were second. Their quickstep was very good, but her hold was sometimes a questionable classic Ballroom hold. Aly and Mark were third. To beat Kellie or Zendaya, Aly just needed to execute her movement with more finesse and spark. Jacoby, unfortunately, was clearly fourth. I don’t think he had his best night in the finals.
Round 2: Again, I think Zendaya won. It looked so rehearsed, crisp, yet easy, while Kellie looked a bit pensive during her cha-cha. I had Aly third, but knocking on Kellie’s door for second place. Jacoby was far behind the rest Monday night. He was a bit off. Having said all of this, all couples had three dances, plus the pressure of the freestyle.
Let’s talk FREESTYLE. Many times couples won their season by winning the freestyle, even though the rest of season wasn’t as great. This season, I think it’s going to be so close between two, maybe three couples. Unfortunately, Jacoby is out for the Mirror Ball trophy by just not having the edge in any of his dances Monday night, including his freestyle.
I think for second and third place, it’s a tossup between the freestyles of Zendaya and Aly. For concept, risk level and creativity, I’d give second place to Aly and Mark. But for expression and execution, I’d give second place in the freestyle round to Zendaya.
Absolute miles above the rest, and winning the freestyle round, was Kellie and Derek’s contemporary freestyle. Everything about it was immaculate. It was raw, real, beautifully executed, so musical and internally felt.
The Scores (First dance, second dance, freestyle dance, grand total)
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy: 30, 5, 30. Total: 65
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 30, 4, 30. Total: 64
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: 28, 3, 30. Total: 61
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: 27, 2, 27. Total: 56
So, if you judge it on freestyle alone, Kellie will take away the Mirror Ball trophy. Looking back at her season, she has been nothing but consistent. Sometimes she was too much in her head, but always physically giving it her all.
If you look at showing personality, performance level and always giving well-rounded show stoppers, Zendaya could definitely win. She sometimes had issues finishing off her movement, but she also had very consistent weeks.
Even though Aly got a late start, by being in the middle of the pack until well into the competition, with her fan base, she might still be able to overtake Kellie and Zendaya. Like I said last week with Ingo, the same goes for Jacoby this week. The only way for him to win is if his fan base will stay up all night to vote. Otherwise, it couldn’t happen.
After all is said and done, I don’t want to just be diplomatic and not pick a winner, because that would be kind of lame, so … drumroll. Taking the entire season into account, looking at dance technique, performance, overall personality, and who I think touched us watching this season, I’d give the Mirror Ball trophy of Season 16 to Kellie Pickler!