Does Cher have the ballroom cred to judge 'Dancing With the Stars'?

Image: Cher
Rob Kim / Today

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By Michael Maloney

Cher's an Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and Grammy winner (not to mention “a scamp, a camp and a bit of a tramp”), but despite the fact that she's set to serve as a guest judge on "Dancing With the Stars" next week, she's no ballroom expert.

So, is she really qualified to stand in while head judge Len Goodman sits out another week? The dance pros and celebrities who’ll be performing for her think so.

"I think she’ll judge character, flair, and performance skills,” pro Peta Murgatroyd told TODAY. “She’ll look at the performance and at the celebrity. It’s great that she’s coming here.”

“We’re thrilled to have her,” added Brant Daugherty, Murgatroyd’s celeb partner. “She’s a legend.”

Emma Slater, Bill Engvall’s dance pro, believes that whatever Cher may lack in ballroom knowledge she’ll more than make up for in other ways.

“She has this big background in performing,” Slater said. “As far as dance technique, she might not be able to go as far (with her) comments as Len would, but I think she’ll be quite adequate as a judge. She’ll pick up on things that Carrie Ann (Inaba) and Bruno (Tonioli) might not. She’s very inspirational.”

“Cher knows how to perform and how to judge a performance,” celeb contestant Corbin Bleu insisted. “Everyone comes out with great technique, but the performances you love are the ones who light up the ballroom. She’s going to know what to do.”

That's good, since the scores Cher dishes out will have quite an impact. According to ABC, the couple that receives the highest total score will be immune from the end-of-the-show elimination.

So the pairs will have to aim to please Cher — but there's no official word about whether they'll be dancing to her tunes. However, Bleu’s pro partner, Karina Smirnoff, who calls Cher “the ultimate entertainer,” has been listening to some of the artist’s songs just in case.  

“We have the Argentine tango next week and based on that there aren’t that many options,” Smirnoff, noted. “Her songs are better suited for dances like cha-cha, rumba and disco. I spent an hour looking into her songs, and it’s actually really obvious which one (would be right)."

In addition to her duties as a guest judge, Cher will open the Nov. 4 episode with her hit “Believe” and close the program with “I Hope You Find It,” a tune from her new album, “Closer to the Truth.”