Former DWTS pro Cheryl Burke gave HELLO! the lowdown on her thoughts about this week's performances in her exclusive column, dishing all things dance and story arcs.
Read on for more about who she believes has to "amp it up" this season before the finals, what Ariana Madix needs to get that perfect score, the season's storylines, and her thoughts on the eliminated contestant…
The X-Factor for Harry Jowsey
I mean, if it were just scores, Harry and Rylee [Arnold] would have been eliminated a long time ago, or if that rule was still enforced with the judges' picks with the bottom two. So absolutely, this goes to show you that the fans need to vote.
What Ariana Madix needs
I think they put her on a pedestal when she came out with that fiery Tango from week one. And when you start out that good, you better continue to go up from there. And it's really difficult, reminds me of when I danced with Juan Pablo, or even Gilles Marini, it's hard because there is a journey.
We know Ariana has a personal story, I would say maybe people think in life that she's more of the underdog, but she has surpassed all of that. I feel like she's out of that hole, she's already blossomed into this amazing woman.
Now, as far as dancing goes, look, there's some styles of dance that some people are better at. I think with Ariana, she looks better when she's in the closed hold, the frame with Pasha [Pashkov].
I think in order for them to step it up, they really need to make us as audience members feel something because you could be technically great and give me zero feeling. It's important to have a mixture of both and just to embrace the imperfections a little bit more, instead of trying to be perfect. It's okay not to be perfect.
Her favorite Taylor Swift song to perform to
Hmm…I like "Shake It Off," but I also loved Charity [Lawson] and Artem's [Chigvintsev] song, "Look What You Made Me Do."
Her one complaint with the show
I wish guest judge Mandy Moore had more time, no pun intended. I feel like she had a lot more to say. And this is where we get a little bit conflicted here with four judges versus three, with two dances now a week. It's like, they all want to say more.
It's so underwhelming because we also want, as an audience member, to hear from the judges. So whether that means maybe the dances don't need to be as long now like, it would help the pros and the celebs if it were maybe 10-15 seconds shorter. Then maybe we'd have room for more of a balanced show.
Going into week 10, I was shocked to see the performances not necessarily leave lasting impressions. I'm not saying that in a mean way, I'm just saying that in a way where we've got to step it up, make these performances more memorable.
I wish [the judges] had more time to express their thoughts because, as a former pro dancer, I take back what they say that's constructive and actually work on it. When it's not constructive or when there's not enough time and it's only full of positive comments, it doesn't help. It could be a direct effect of why Carrie Ann Inaba says, 'I hate to be redundant.' But maybe we need some more time to explain what you want, it's not her fault.
Who needs to amp it up before the finals
I would say the couple that needs to amp it up the most would be Charity and Artem. God, I wish she could dance the way she did her contemporary routine, when there was meaning behind it. Maybe Artem needs to figure out first of all, what the challenge is, and how can he make it meaningful, more real for Charity. I would love to see Charity literally mess up because then I think we would see more raw emotion and chemistry between the two. But you can't force the chemistry, though you can still show emotion through movement. That's my two cents.
Has her top two changed?
So from week one, I said Ariana versus Jason [Mraz], and the two pros who are married Pasha and Daniela [Karagach]. Now, Xochitl [Gomez] for sure will be in the final two, and then it's anyone's game, my friend!
This is what Len Goodman always said, you might as well just erase everything that you've learned. That last finale dance, that counts. You are your last dance…just kidding, that sounds so dramatic. But really, Len was right. It's not how you start, but how you finish. So leave it all out on the dance floor!
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