Partner – Amber Riley
Actress, Television Star, and Singer on “Glee”
Statistics and Trivia prepared by @donamadrina
• Derek and Amber’s Cha-Cha brought down the house; Derek ripped the back of his jacket while dancing; and the judges handed out their highest scores of the night to Derek and Amber. That sums it up. 🙂
• In their Season 17 debut, Derek and Amber had the crowd on their feet for the longest applause and approbation of the night after their really fast, sassy, and highly electric Cha-Cha.
• Head judge, Len Goodman, was in a good mood, joking that he was “palpitating, perspirating, and flatulating”.
• Derek later tweeted: “Way to go Ber Ber ;))) You were electric tonight . Very proud !”
• Derek and Amber earned their first 9’s of the season, and in fact, the only 9’s of the night.
• Their score of 27 tied a DWTS first-week best with Mark Ballas and Kristy Yamaguchi in Season 6.
• Cheering the couple on from the crowd were Amber’s Glee co-stars: Kevin McHale, Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Ashley Fink, and Jenna Ushkowitz.
• Derek and Amber chose the name Team Roughley for themselves.
WEEK 2 – Latin Night
• This week, Derek and Amber once again delivered a crowd-pleasing performance, maintaining their position at the top of the Leaderboard.
• Evoking a standing ovation afterwards, Team Roughley danced a Jive that had plenty of sass and personality, with Amber even performing a cartwheel.
• Derek later tweeted: “Great job @MsAmberPRiley . You were amazing ! Not bad for someone who was terrified of dancing the jive ! #proud moby.to/qz0k2p ”
• Derek and Amber’s score tied for 3rd place with two other couples, however, combined with Week 1’s score, they were kept in 1st place… by 1 point.
• In the pre-dance package, Derek playfully acted out what would happen if Amber had a wardrobe malfunction, with her breasts hitting him in the face while dancing. Watch here. 🙂
• Tom joked to Derek, “If they ever give awards for best pantomime of a boob concussion, you should win!”
• Tom also congratulated Derek on the Emmy that he won for choreography during the 65th Primetime Emmy broadcast the night before. Congrats to Derek! It’s been a long time coming.
• If you missed any of the Emmy coverage, check out Heidi and Vogue’s media coverage here.
Collage – Week 2
WEEK 3 – Hollywood Night
• For Hollywood Night, Derek and Amber danced an unquestionably captivating, highly entertaining Charleston to “Bang Bang”, a song from The Great Gatsby.
• Clapping repeatedly for a long time, the audience was WOWed by Derek and Amber’s animated performance………but the judges not so much. ☹
• Len said, “It was such fun to watch”, but the judges’ scores for the dance landed Derek and Amber in the middle of the pack, not such a great place to be.
• Derek tweeted: “Uh oh judges pickin on my girl @MsAmberPRiley … I think she did great but I will watch the tapes back to see what they saw . All love”
• Viewers were not especially pleased with the judges’ comments and lowballed score. Here’s a sampling of the many tweets that weighed in on the subject:
Allen Roy MacPherson @allenroy60 @derekhough best dance of the night. These judges must be watching a different show. GO #TeamAmber
Jessi Smith @jessiann314 Once again @derekhough proves why he wins mirror balls and Emmys. Don’t care what the judges think! #DWTS #TeamAmber
Ashley @adm7488 @derekhough, Y’all did AWESOME!!! I think the judges made a crap call!! Both of y’all’s feet was just perfect!!!!
Toni Gatschet @TGatschet @derekhough you guys do more difficult routines than some of the others!! Come on judges! Get with it!
TeamRoughley @TeamAmberDerek And @TeamAmberDerek ‘s performance is a BANG in our books! @MsAmberPRiley and @derekhough bit.ly/16bIugs #DWTS
Allen Roy MacPherson @allenroy60 #DWTS more 9’s and only 8’s for Derek and Amber. B00OOoo! To the judges!!!
Chelsie Hightower @chelsiehightowr LOOOOOVED IT!! @MsAmberPRiley @derekhough And Wow, would have given it at least a 9.
• They’re back! Derek and Amber’s fiery Tango put them back on top of the leaderboard (shared with 2 other couples).
• The audience stood and cheered, and Carrie Ann Inaba enthusiastically exclaimed: “Miss Amber Riley, you are a firestorm today. Your hold! You were like one person!”
• Bruno continued the exhuberant praise, saying: “No beating around the bush here: That was pure, unmistakably classic Tango.”
• “Holy Cow!”, said Guest Judge, Julianne Hough. She was trying to find fault with the dance to avoid being criticized for bias, but… she couldn’t! 🙂
• In cute sibling playfulness, Derek tried to slip Jules 2 five dollar bills to ensure a good score. Not needed though.
• Derek and Amber’s high score of 27 was especially sweet, because they weren’t even able to practice until Friday. Amber had an inflamed knee requiring drainage.
• Derek says that dancing a Tango is especially hard on the knees, because you have to dance low, so he was very proud of Amber.
• Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” was the music for Derek and Amber’s Tango, a surprising modern choice for a Tango, but it worked, producing a clean, solid Tango.
• By the way, Derek promises blueberry muffins for all those who vote for Team Roughly. For your muffins, he can be reached at @DerekHough 🙂 🙂
Collage Week 4
WEEK 5 – Most Memorable Year
• So much fun! Knocking it out of the park, Derek and Amber absolutely rocked their feisty, entertaining Foxtrot.
• Unfortunately, the choreography was not a Len-Pleaser: not enough hold, nor enough Foxtrot. Blah, blah, blah.
• Though Derek realized there was not enough hold; Amber wanted to do the dance her way, because it was her story she was telling.
• On a positive note, Len complimented Derek, saying, “I couldn’t dance like you.”
• Bruno said: “Absolutely and utterly sensational… I know it’s not traditional, but this could be lifted from the best of Broadway shows.”
• The audience loved the entire performance; and stood and clapped when the couple received their first 10 of the season.
• Despite the 10, and their overall score, Derek and Amber fell in the middle of the pack again this week.
• Len’s scoring of 7 was the lowest single score of the night. 🙁
• The show’s Opening Number was Derek’s choreographic genius. Using chairs, he choreographed around Aloe Blacc’s singing of “Wake Me Up”.
Collage Week 5
WEEK 6 – The Switch Up Challenge
• This week, Derek and Amber delivered a highly entertaining Brazilian Samba that was fun, fresh, lively, rhythmical, playful, and spirited, like a party dance should be.
• Their Samba was also Ballroom-worthy, with alternating side and syncopated movements, promenades, voltas, botafogos, Samba walks, and, of course, Samba rolls.
• Not only the audience, but the pros and celebs as well, were standing, cheering, and clapping for 36 seconds after this routine, even clapping partly through Bruno’s comments. ☺
• Bruno said: “Apart from your performance value, which is out of this world, I was really looking for something wrong. Is she going to get the double bounce? Yes! Is she going to get the rolls? Yes! Is she going to get the voltas? Yes!..You did everything!”
• Carrieann said: “What you did was like a super Amberlishish Samba…All the elements were there … it was like a turn-on!”
• Unfortunately, Len declared, “I’m always a party pooper… It was a fantastic routine, but I found it a tad repetitive.”
• Len pointed out that Derek and Amber had done forwards, Samba walks, running promenades, and voltas, and then repeated them. Okay, so???
• The audience booed Len, with Carrieann’s encouragement, and she responded to Len’s comments, “That was insane!”
• Derek commented: “The irony of it is, I literally did that for you, Len.”
• Len finally acquiesced by saying, “This girl is a fantastic dancer.”, and Tom responded, “…It really is about her dancing.”
• Thank-you, Mr. Tom Bergeron, super-host extraordinaire, for keeping it real.
• Derek and Amber finished the night by performing 4 different styles of dance, and winning their group’s first ever Switch Up Challenge.
• The challenge was divided into two rounds, with four couples competing in each, and with no prior knowledge of the dance style or the music. Ouch!
• Derek “redeemed” himself this week in the marathon competition from his 7th place finish in Season 14.
Collage Week 6
• Bravo! Bravo! Derek and Amber’s Pasodoble was passionate, majestic, and fiery, just as a Pasodoble should be.
• Team Roughley’s Paso was so remarkable, displaying the artistry and flair of a well-orchestrated bullfight, that the audience was on its feet throughout the dance.
• Derek, shirtless, with only his toreador jacket, created the most elegant matador movements with his body, while Amber, majestically and skillfully, simulated his cape.
• Bruno said, “That Pasodoble was like vintage wine, full of depth, flavor, amazing color…”
• Carrieann was so excited about that dance. She exclaimed: “You slayed the beast again!…You lit this ballroom up.”
• Len enjoyed this dance too, saying, “ You captured the flavor of the dance, the essence. Derek, the matador, proud and haughty. Amber, the cape, flowing and expressive… You are back in the game for me.”
• Carrieann and Len gave 10’s for the Pasodoble, with Bruno giving a 9. ☹
• For 16 seconds, the audience, with Len’s encouragement, booed Bruno’s scoring, until Tom stopped them.
• Len quipped, “I’ll tell you, this girl is full of talent. I won’t tell you what Bruno is full of.” ☺
• In only one other season has Bruno scored Derek lower than the other 2 judges: Season 6 for his Samba.
• It was a good night anyway, because Derek’s team, Team FoxingAwesome, earned a perfect score for their freestyle dance, a dance that was primarily choreographed by him.
• This is the first time that a team dance has earned a perfect score.
• Since team dances started in Season 7, Derek’s team has ALWAYS won! Collage Week 7
WEEK 8 – Cher Night
• “WOOHOO!! Immunity & a SHIRTLESS Derek!! Doesn’t get any better than that!! :)”(via @curls4derek on Twitter) That pretty much sums up the night. ☺
• Derek and Amber performed a Rumba to the song, “If I Could Turn Back Time” by this week’s guest judge, Cher.
• In the opening moments of the dance, Amber, dressed all in black, was surrounded by Derek and 5 other “sailors”, all dressed in white. (Derek has hinted that he was “told” to be a sailor.)
• The opening theme for their Rumba was inspired by Cher’s Official “If I Could Turn Back Time” Music Video in which she was dressed all in black and surrounded by sailors. See here.
• Though the song hardly had the sweetness, passion, and romance of a standard Rumba, Derek and Amber managed to earn the only 10 of the night.
• The 10 was from Bruno, which made up for last week’s 9. Bruno’s 10 helped the pair earn Immunity. Thanks, Bruno! 🙂
• Derek and Amber would have still earned Immunity, even without the extra point, because they were the couple with the highest cumulative scores out of the three couples who scored a 27.
• Due to Derek and Amber’s Immunity, they did not have to participate in the Dance-Off.
• Earning Immunity is a two-edged sword, because they were not eligible to earn the 3 extra points in the Dance Off, thereby falling from 1st place to 2nd place for the night.
• Last season, Derek earned Immunity with his partner, as well, with his night’s total score resulting in him falling from 1st place to 3rd place.
• Earning a 28 for their dance was even more amazing considering that Amber was dancing on sore tendons in her knees, and did not wear her brace.
• Derek had to practice with troupe member, Witney Carson, and Amber learned the choreography for the dance by watching them. Amazing Visual Intelligence ala Howard Gardner, Amber! Read here.
• This is a switch from last week, when Amber practiced with troupe member, Henry Byalikov, and Derek watched them. ☺
Collage Week 8
WEEK 9 – Quarterfinals
• Woo hoo!!! Derek and Amber are going to the SEMI-FINALS!!! ☺
• Things were looking a little iffy though, as by the end of the night, Team Roughley had fallen from 1st place, where they had been for 3 weeks, to 5th place.
• Derek and Amber’s execution of their cute and feisty Quickstep earned them a 24, a score that they hadn’t earned since Week 3. 🙁
• Derek remarked in an interview that he has never practiced so little “ever” for a dance.
• Until the day before, Amber could hardly walk due to her double knee injuries.
• The judges were rather critical of their Quickstep, with Carrieann justifying the judge’s critiques by saying, “The good news is…you have set the standard so very, very high…, but you also have to keep up to that level”.
• Derek and Amber’s Trio Dance, however, with Mark Ballas was amazing, with tons of energy, spiciness, spunk, and great rhythm.
• GrumpyLenGoodman said: “Great dance, full of fun.”
• There was a Twitter Competition for the “Best Opening Move” of the night, and Derek and Amber were surprised to hear that they had won. 🙂 See here.
Collage Week 9
WEEK 10 – Semi-Finals
• Woo hoo!!! They’re Back!!! After falling to 5th place last week, Derek and Amber regained their hold on the top of the Leaderboard.
• In more good news: For a record 7 times in 12 seasons, Derek is going to the finals once again! Hooray! ☺
• This week, Derek and Amber danced an AMAZINGLY AWESOME, highly well synced, Jazz routine that earned major props from the judges, and a standing ovation from the crowd.
• Len said, “Do it again!…”.
• Bruno said, “…The sync was out of this world. The versatility was astonishing…astonishing!”
• Carrieann said, “It was that intricate, and it felt like a mathematical equation that went on and on and on, and you solved it!!”
• Carrieann, Len, and Bruno gave 10’s to the dance, with guest judge, Maksim Chermkovskiy, raining on their parade with a 9. That’s okay, we’ll take it. ☺
• Maks complimented Derek’s choreography, however, saying, “If Bob Fosse lived now, I think he would be very proud.”
• Team Roughley’s second dance was danced to the same song as their Jazz routine, Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars, but Kerli acoustically sang it.
• Their second dance was a beautifully choreographed, ethereally produced, and well executed Viennese Waltz.
• Len was exceptionally pleased with this dance, because it had all the elements he looks for, “…not too much out of hold, natural turns, reverse turns, couple of contra checks…”
• Maks again complimented Derek, saying to Amber, “You have a guy who knows how to win. So next week, you’re in amazing hands. “
• And finally, our favorite couple earned their first perfect score of the season, a 40 (due to the extra judge).
• As mentioned last week, there have been 3 other seasons where Derek hasn’t earned his first perfect score of the season until the semi-finals round.
• For the show’s Opening Number, choreographed by Mandy Moore, Derek was front and center, and HOT, with Sharna Burgess. Watch here. (Fair warning)
Collage Week 10
WEEK 11 – Finals
• It doesn’t get any better than this! Derek and Amber pulled it off, the mirrorball trophy, baby!!! WOO HOO!!!!
• For the first dance of the night, the judges wanted Derek and Amber to clean up and perfect their Charleston from Week 3.
• Redeem themselves they did, giving a flawless performance, and with Carrieann hugging Amber for stepping it up technically.
• Len commented, “Of the 4 couples we’ve seen doing the Judge’s Pick, this is the most improved by far.”
• Derek and Amber were the only couple to receive a perfect score for the Judge’s Pick.
• The dance of the night, however, was their amazing and original freestyle, the likes of which have never been seen before on DWTS.
• Their freestyle was a Country/Western themed dance…with Step-Dancing. Amber knew how to do this style, and had to teach Derek. Too funny! 🙂
• Though the dance included 5 other male pros, the judges were impressed that the focus of the dance was on Amber, and she killed it.
• Judging from the audience’s reaction, everyone was highly impressed with the entertainment value, and the quality, of this freestyle.
• Amber and Derek may have won it on this freestyle alone. 🙂
• Derek and Amber, as well as #encoreAmber, trended on Twitter nationally. Awesome. See here.
• Encore!!!! Derek and Amber won a Twitter competition, and re-danced their awesome freestyle, just as well, if not better. See here.
• To What Does the Fox Say, sung by Ylvis, Derek and Amber re-danced their solo routine from Week 7’s Team FoxingAwesome dance . See here.
• For the final dance of the night, Derek and Amber performed a dance that had the judges on their feet.
• The dance was a Quickstep/Samba Fusion to Jackie Wilson’s, Your Love Keeps Lifting Me. See here.
• Carrieann said, “This is supposed to be fusion, but you guys just invented a whole new dance. You seamlessly and effortlessly went back and forth between the two styles.”
• And the pièce de résistance of the evening occurred when Derek and Amber were announced as the winners of Season 17. Hurray!!!! See their reaction here.
• Season’s Points: 463/500 Season Average: 27.27
Derek and Amber’s Weekly Dance Scores
Click on the Dance Name to see a video of the dance
|1||Cha-Cha||9-9-9=27||1st Place out of 12 couples.|
|2||Jive||8-8-8=24||3rd Place, tied with 2 other couples, and 1st Place out of 12 couples after combining the totals for 2 weeks. SAFE|
|3||Charleston||8-8-8=24||4th Place, tied with 2 other couples, and tied for 4th place with 3 other couples for the combined two-week total. SAFE|
|4||Tango||9-9-9=27||1st Place, tied with 2 other couples, and placed 3rd for the combined two-week total. SAFE|
|5||Foxtrot||9-7-10=26||2nd Place, tied with 1 other couple, and tied for a 3rd place with 1 other couple and 5 couples ahead of them for the combined two-week total. SAFE|
|6||Samba||10-8-10=28||1st Place, tied with one other couple, and tied for 2nd place with one other couple for the combined two-week total. NO ELIMINATIONS – SAFE|
|Switch Up Challenge||4/4||1st Place out of 4 couples.|
|7||Pasodoble||10-10-9=29||1st Place out of 8 couples, and 1st Place for the combined two-week total. SAFE|
|Team Dance||10-10-10=30||1st Place team out of 2 teams.|
|8||Rumba||9-9-10=28**||1st Place for the regular dances, and 2nd place for the combined two-week total. SAFE|
|9||Quickstep||8-8-8=24||5th Place for the regular dances, and 5th place for the combined two-week total. SAFE|
|Trio Salsa||9-9-9=27||(2nd Place scoring for the trio dance alone, tied with one other couple.)|
|10||Jazz||10-10-9-10=39||1st Place for this week’s scoring, and 2nd place for the combined two-week total. SAFE|
|11||Charleston||10-10-10=30||1st Place for Monday night’s scoring. SAFE|
|Quickstep/Samba Fusion||10-10-10=30||WINNERS OF SEASON 17!!!|