We were spared an elimination on “Dancing with the Stars” this week after Ray Lewis and Cheryl Burke‘s withdrew due to torn tendons in his toe. But had there been one, Burke is has a good feeling about who judges would’ve sent home between the bottom two of Kel Mitchell and Lamar Odom.
“I think [the judges] would’ve saved Kel Mitchell,” Burke said in her “Us Weekly” blog. “They’ve been showing how much harder they are with the couples and the technique.”
Indeed, the Nickelodeon alum is more technically sound than Odom, scoring a respectable 20 for his “Titanic”-themed rumba on Movie Night. Odom had the lowest score, a 12, for the third straight week, but this time fan votes didn’t come through for him like they did last week, and he landed in the bottom two.
Burke believes Odom would’ve been saved by the judges if they were to vote with their heart. The former Laker, who has memory loss after suffering multiple strokes and was on life support four years ago, is hardly a great dancer by any measure, but his determination and baby-step improvements remind Burke of one of her former partners and Odom’s ex-brother-in-law, Rob Kardashian, who finished second on Season 13.
“It took me forever to get Rob to get into the first rehearsal and then it took him forever just to get into the competition,” Burke shared. “That’s why I loved him so much because it was so organic. He wasn’t doing a show to gain anything from it. It was purely because he wanted to conquer a fear and he did. It’s the same with Lamar and I can tell! Just from Lamar lip-syncing, that shows improvement because he’s really not worried about what anyone thinks. He’s starting to understand that this show, as some people may say, it’s cheesy! If you try and play it cool, you look stupid and you have to exaggerate everything and live in the moment and just have fun! Lamar is definitely most improved! He went out there in shorts and owned it.”
Burke was a “little surprised” that no one was eliminated because she thought there would be a non-elimination on the feel-good Disney night, which is scheduled for Oct. 14. But she ultimately thinks this was the “fair” call.
Now that she’s out of the competition, Burke hopes to stick around as a mentor to the remaining couples, providing a “third eye” to anyone who needs it, as that was always something she had wanted in her early years on the show. And after that, the two-time champ has her eye on the judges’ table.
“I think I would be the girl version of Len Goodman!” she said. “We are being asked to choreograph and make everything technically sound. When it comes to our choreography, like the way it used to be, bringing it back to the ballroom, I definitely signed up for a show that was ballroom. I am a ballroom dancer and I feel like that is what it needs to go back to. I think that I would be a good judge because I’d be able to tell them exactly what that means.”
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