“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 season has gone by with lightning speed and this is the first time there are five couples in the semi-finals. Also, there will be four couples in the final, which gives us more freestyles. Let’s see who gives it their all.
Click HERE for a full recap of Week 9 on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough’s Argentine Tango. Without a doubt Kellie has the best legs of any celeb that has ever been on “DWTS,” even Nicole Scherzinger. It was a very classical, less is more Argentine tango with great lifts, especially the last two. I’d love to see more inner fire next week. Great scores!
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson’s Samba. I must say Ingo looks the most comfortable in this dance. He looks masculine and he is very aware of his body. I’d like to see more samba bounce and less walking around. Wow, I agree with Bruno and I agree with Carrie Ann about being the underdog. And I agree with Lennie. That’s a first!
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas’ Rumba. It’s very clever on Mark’s part to make this more of a contemporary rumba. It was beautifully executed. It was sincere and not overdone trying to be too sexy as a young lady. Aly wore a very flattering dress. Again, I agree with the judges. Bruno was a little too kind. In the final, like Kellie, I’d like to see more inner depth. I like that Mark cleaned up – very handsome. Great scores!
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff’s Argentine Tango. I loved their song. Karina and I used that when we competed together. The set was absolutely amazing and Jacoby totally impressed me with the combination of content, masculinity, calmness and he is so great at partnering Karina. [Their dance was] best of the night so far. I agree with judges. If the others got 10s, they should get 11s.
Zendaya and Valentin Chmerkovskiy’s Quickstep. OK, here we go. The intro was too long. They didn’t stay in close hold all the time, and there was a lift BUT BUT BUT, Zendaya has the energy both Kellie and Aly were lacking in comparison. The dance was awesomely executed. I disagree with Carrie Ann completely. For breaking the rules they should get deducted, but for entertainment value it should definitely have been three 9s. It’s always a risk to break rules.
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough’s Flamenco. Another well-performed routine. I would have liked to see more Flamenco elements. All the Flamenco footwork was done by Derek, not Kellie. Arm and wrist work is about 75 percent of Flamenco and they only had a little bit of it. It was more paso doble than flamenco. The whole costume choice missed the boat a bit when it comes to Spanish dance. Unfortunately, I disagree with Len’s 10. Three 9s are a gift if Zendaya got 8s in comparison.
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson’s Charleston. This was a very cute and entertaining dance. Unfortunately, Ingo’s timing was off while he was doing the Lindy kicks. Since this is the Charleston, I would have liked to see more flapper feet. I disagree with Len. This was not Ingo’s best dance! Sorry, I have to be honest. Ingo has grown a lot when it comes to performance level. Scores are a bit high in my opinion.
Aly Raismann and Mark Ballas’ Afro Jazz. All awesomeness and all totally tribal, Afro, with a touch of jazz. The dance was high energy, and well-kept within the parameters of authentic African dance. The whole concept was so cohesive. News flash Len, Afro jazz is danced in circles, side by side, not as partners. You can’t fault them for being true to what Afro jazz is all about. They should get three 1′s. Len, that 9 should have been for Kellie and the 10 for Aly.
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff’s Lindy Hop. Cute opening, including Harold, the best music director in Hollywood! You have to understand this is the fastest dance. Jacoby is 6′-15″or something. Haha. And is doing an amazing job keeping up with that speed. Unfortunately, I have to agree with Len’s calling the one step Jacoby did wrong. I agree with Carrie Ann that Jacoby is the best entertainer of all the celebs left. Len, they deserved a 10 from you, too.
Zendaya and Valentin Chmerkovskiy’s Hip Hop. I’m going to keep it short. Zendaya is an amazing young lady, so comfortable and an awesome entertainer. It was so understated and perfectly matched. I agree with the judges totally. Well deserved scores.
The Scores (First dance, second dance, grand total)
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: 30, 29. Total: 59/60
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: 30, 29. Total: 59
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 30, 28. Total: 58
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy: 25, 30. Total: 55
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: 24, 27. Total: 51
Like I said many weeks ago, Kellie and Zendaya are for sure in the final, while Jacoby and Aly fight for third. There’s a fourth couple final, so, in my opinion, the only way Ingo can make the final is by his fan base.
After tonight, it’s no longer clearly between Kellie and Zendaya in my book. Jacoby and Aly have made their mark and could actually win as well if they go all out next week.
I can’t wait to see all the freestyles. Sometimes I wish there was a cumulative score so that when a couple does fabulously all season and then loses the freestyle, they wouldn’t necessarily lose the entire season.