EXCLUSIVE: Dancing With the Stars' Louis van Amstel on the Real Kelly Osbourne and Priscilla Presley's Stagefright
In anticipation of tonight's Dancing With the Stars premiere event part deux, when the female celebrities take their inaugural spins and trips on the dance floor, we spoke to one of the program's professional dancers, Louis van Amstel. The Dutch ballroom dance champion has partnered with the likes of Priscilla Presley, Lisa Rinna, Monique Coleman and hopes to win his first DWTS title with this season's unlikely double, Kelly Osbourne.
En route to practice last week, van Amstel told us about his favorite partners, the strapless bra mishap that threatened ABC censors, Priscilla Presley's nerves and what to expect this season.
As a professional dancer, do you have any say in which celebrity you're paired up with each season?
Neither the dancers or the celebrities have any say in the matter. It's the opposite. We're the last ones to find out who we have. It's all up to ABC really. They probably have about fifty people that give their opinions on who should be teamed up.
What is the most important criteria ABC considers when partnering professionals with celebrities?
Well, the first criteria is height. The team has to look good together and then the second criteria is personality. Dancing pretty much has nothing to do with it.
Which of your past partners did you click with most?
I must say, and this is going to sound clichéd, but I had a great relationship with all of my partners. Lisa [Rinna] and I are still buddies. Priscilla [Presley] and I are still close. Even Tricia Sutter, my partner from the first season, we all still talk. And Monique [Coleman], from Season 3, and I still get together for lunch. With Tricia, we were first eliminated so I never really go to know her well enough. Lisa Rinna, gosh, people still stop me on the street and say, "That was the best season" and "We wish you would have won."
This season is going to be on fire. In terms of personal chemistry, that is one thing I love about Kelly. She's real, she's down to earth, what she is is what you get. You can expect anything out of her mouth and at the same time, you can also expect to start seeing a dancer.
There are so many dancing competition shows on television now with Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, America's Best Dance Crew, even Dance Your Ass Off. Which show has the most credibility in the professional dancing world?
If you look at the quality of dancing, So You Think You Can Dance is the best from not the ballroom dance industry standpoint but the dance industry in general. They see So You Think You Can Dance as the leader. In general, Dancing With the Stars is the most popular by far and opened the doors for all of the other dancing competition shows on TV today.
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