Fan favorite Dancing With the Stars pro dancer Louis van Amstel isn't one of the pros on Season 16, but he's still an important part of the DWTS family. He even choreographed the opening number for Prom Week! So what does this respected, outspoken pro think of the judges, who are more controversial than ever this season?
Wetpaint Entertainment recently spoke to Louis about his upcoming performance at the Dance Legends show in New York City, his LaBlast fitness program, and the current season of DWTS. We'll have the full interview for you on Monday, but in the light of D.L. Hughley's current fight with the judges, we wanted to highlight Louis's interesting, balanced perspective on how the judges are doing this season.
We asked Louis if he thought the judges were being too harsh on some of the less successful dancers this season, and while he does think that "individually" they make missteps — on Week 3 he found himself thinking, "Len, go home. You're so harsh!" — he actually thinks that overall, "I have agreed more this season with the judges then ever before."
The key for Louis is that "as a whole," the panel comes to the right conclusion. "Let's say, Len would really criticize one couple, but then somehow Carrie Ann would soften the blow by saying 'Yeah, but you make baby steps, and you're better' ... I think they've really found a nice balance, overall. The three of them together actually make a nice mix."
He added that he doesn't always side with the same judge all the time, either. He might think Len is too harsh in one comment, "but then the next moment I find myself agreeing with Len, and disagreeing with Bruno."
That said, we couldn't resist asking Louis if he would ever consider coming on the show as a judge — something fans have clamoured for in the past.
"I still have the need, and the passion to be one of the pros," Louis told us. "But if ABC would ask me [to be a judge], I would not say no. I would definitely look into the option, because if you look at all the dance styles and you look at how I grew up ... I have done Ballet, and I have done Contemporary and Jazz ... So for me to be a judge, with all these new dances, I mean yeah, I can say I'm an expert."
And, as Louis added, the Powers That Be wouldn't even have to boot one of the current judges to add him — "in many other countries, there are four judges [on Dancing With the Stars]."
We just want Louis back on the show in one form or another! For much more from the beloved pro, make sure check back on Monday for our full interview.
Those of you who live in the NYC area should also make sure to check out Dance Legends to find out how you can see Louis perform live on April 13, 2013! And if you're looking for a fun way to exercise (and let's be real, who isn't?), check out his dance fitness program LaBlast.
Not enough Louis? Follow him on Twitter @LouisVanAmstel!
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.