Partner – AMY PURDY
Actress, Bronze Medal Snowboarder, Spokesperson for the Challenged Athletes Foundation
Statistics and Trivia are prepared by @donamadrina
• He’s back! Yes, he is! Derek decided to return to the ballroom after all. The reason why: Amy Purdy, a double amputee. ☺
• Amazingly, Derek and Amy absolutely slayed their first dance, the Cha Cha, surprising even themselves due to so little practice time.
• The audience, their fellow contestants, and the pros were on their feet enthusiastically clapping for over 30 seconds.
• Head judge, Len, happily remarked. “You got a bronze medal in the Olympics; you got a gold medal in the Cha Cha Cha”.
• Bruno said, “Timing, shapes, performance level, how do you do it”?
• Amy told People Magazine:”We’re figuring out what can we do to accomplish that same movement. It’s just being creative with the situation.”
• Team Amy earned the score of 24, which is the second highest score Derek has earned for a Cha Cha danced in Week 1.
• After their dance, the following were trending worldwide on Twitter: 3rd, Amy Purdy, 4th #TeamAmy, 7th Derek Hough.
• Wow! Front and center! Nice seeing Derek featured in the Pro Opener. Watch here.
• On Monday night, not only did Amy look absolutely gorgeous!, but Derek looked amazingly hot, hot, hot!
• And what about that Swing dance? High kicks, tons of energy, and really cute and jazzy choreo!
• Head judge Len was happy, gleefully saying, “You used every nuance in that dance to great affect. Well done!”
• Carrie Ann was pleasantly overwhelmed, “What is the most mind boggling is how synchronized your movements are.”
• Wordsmithing Bruno said, “Clever, witty. I loved the unexpected patches of Charleston, Vaudeville, a little bit of jazz there…a knock out”!
• Evidently, there was a slight problem while doing some arm movements due to Derek’s jacket.
• Upshot to the mishap, a lower score than the performance level warranted. IMO ~donamadrina~
WEEK 3 – Most Memorable Year
• Derek and Amy presented a most beautiful, tender, and especially stirring Contemporary dance routine, bringing the audience to its feet, and no doubt a tear or two to the eye.
• Guest judge, Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, could hardly hold it together, she was so moved by their especially emotional dance.
• Bruno said, “My dear, there is one thing I can guarantee you; there won’t be a dry eye in the country tonight.”
• In fact, Amy did shed a small tear and you could tell that Derek was having a hard time emotionally as well.
• Their dance to I’m Only Human told the story of Amy’s journey, through her father, of re-discovering who she was as a person after the loss of her legs.
• Especially touching was the fact that Amy was able to perform this tribute to her dad in front of him — on her parent’s 41st wedding anniversary.
• In the skybox, Amy told of how her dance was her way of speaking, without crying, about her experience of regaining the use of her legs.
• Len remarked: “It touched my brain with the level of difficulty — and it touched my heart with the level of artistry. It was truly beautiful”.
• For this dance, Amy was trying out a new set of prosthetic legs originally designed for swimming that allowed her to point her toes.
• Derek said in his weekly TV Guide blog:
What it’s done for us is it’s opened up a whole room of moves that we couldn’t do with the other prosthetics because it wouldn’t aesthetically look right. … Now we’re able to add lifts and use her legs in ways we couldn’t before.
• Carrie Ann declared emotionally:
“ … and the way you able to balance on those toes the way you did, and exposing your feet, and really letting us see the physicality of what you were doing in that made it just so much more beautiful.”
• Robin movingly commented:
“There are not enough superlatives. There just simply are not. I hope that you know what you are doing for people when they see you dance every week. ..To see you walk for the first time again, and to dance for the first time again — anyone facing a challenge — you are letting them know, that…we too can begin again anew.”;
WEEK 4 – The Switch Up Challenge
• Derek danced in the Pro Opener, performed in the Macy’s Stars of Dance, and also performed with a new partner in the first ever (and hopefully last) Switch Up.
• Mandy Moore choreographed another spectacular, energetic Pro Opener. To watch our man in it, click here.
Macy’s Stars of Dance
• Once again, Derek proves why he won an Emmy for choreography, as well as the job of Creative Director for Macy’s Stars of Star.
• His Macy’s Stars of Dance creation was an EPIC blend of ballroom Pasodoble, Spanish Flamenco, and modern Contemporary style.
• This visually stunning, jawdropping masterpiece was choreographed by Derek and danced with Kathryn McCormick (So You Think You Can Dance, Step Up Revolution); Jonathan Platero (Ballroom With a Twist); Artem Chigvintsev (Troupe member, Strictly Come Dancing); Henry Byalikov and Sasha Farber (DWTS pros and Troupe members).
• The dance was signature Derek all the way: precise, synchronized, shadow and light movements, detail, spell-binding, and mesmerizing. Watch here.
• When the performance was over with, social media went into action, raving about the dance — or maybe it’s because Derek looked amazingly buffed with his shirtless self. ☺
• Mark Ballas was our girl Amy’s Switch Up partner. Together they danced a fun Salsa. Go Amy! Watch here.
• Mark said that training Amy was the biggest challenge he’s faced on this show EVER. He also said it was one of his favorite weeks ever on DWTS.
• Amy noted on Twitter the differences between training with Mark and Derek, saying that Mark tends to teach the details at the end, whereas Derek teaches details at the beginning. Interesting difference.
• Derek was so cute during Amy and Mark’s screen time; he was cheering Amy and Mark on so enthusiastically and unselfishly. Cute to watch.
• Derek’s Switch Up partner was none other than reality television actress, NeNe Leakes.
• He and NeNe danced an enthusiastic, energetic Afro-Jazz routine, reminiscent of his dance with Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas in S-15.
• Derek found NeNe’s strengths and catered to them. She seemed to be truly in her element for this dance. Watch here.
• Guest judge, Julianne Hough, complimented the dance, remarking that NeNe let out her “inner Beyonce”.
• Len tells NeNe that it is her best dance yet. And it was! (Derek choreographed and trained her for it.
• NeNe tweeted before the Switch Up partners had been announced, that she didn’t want Derek as her partner, calling him a “munchkin”.
• “Munchkin”, subsequently however, truly earned NeNe’s respect, and NeNe tweeted later:
Thank u so much @derekhough 4 helpin me this week! Our music started wrong 2nite but I think we recovered well! Ur awesome guy.
WEEK 5 – Disney Week
• Imagine Amy Purdy as lovely Cinderella on the arm of white-gloved Derek Hough as her handsome Prince Charming.
• No need to imagine! For here, is their beautifully crafted Waltz, performed to “So This is Love” from the Disney movie, Cinderella.
• The Waltz was the couple’s first ballroom dance, and achieving this was particularly challenging for Amy. Derek said in his weekly blog:
“With ballroom and the waltz, the technique has a lot of rises and falls and poses and ankle movements to create a certain flow. She hasn’t done any of that yet in the dances we’ve had, so it takes some adjusting … We’re constantly working with her prosthetics maker to see which feet work best with each dance, so we’re figuring that out now. Maybe one day there’ll be a different pair of feet for each dance! I’m really excited about the routine. It’s lighthearted and I think it’s going to be a really sweet dance.
The hardest part of appearing on the show has been when I’ve come upon times where my legs wouldn’t allow me to do what I wanted to do, to move the way I wanted to, the way I felt like I should be able to…. That’s something I felt more than ever this week, because the nature of the waltz forced me into positions that were very challenging…. That’s something that Derek has taken to very well throughout my time on the show, finding creative solutions. After my dance, I was a little emotional because each week we keep challenging ourselves to figure out a way to do more so when I saw that “10,” well, it’s a pretty special feeling to have worked so hard and see someone hold up a scorecard that essentially says, “You did it!”
• However, the judges were highly complimentary, with Carrieanne praising Amy on achieving the ‘illusion’ of the rise and falls.
• Guest judge, Donny Osmond, told her that she is doing things that even people with legs can’t do, and that she’s a serious contender.
WEEK 6 – Party Anthem Week
Macy’s Stars of Dance
• For the second time this season, Derek choreographed another fierce, out-of-this-world Macy’s Stars of Dance (with Allison Holker).
• The dance featured ten-foot tall robots, with LED lights, smoke guns, and pyrotechnic special effects.
• Derek tweeted:
A big shout out to Maglite LED flashlights for taking my Macy’s Stars of Dance number tonight to another level!
• The dancers in this fabulous performance were Peta Murgatroyd, Valetin Chmerkovskiy, Henry Byalikov, Emma Slater, Witney Carson, Lindsay Arnold, Artem Chigvintse, Jenna Johnson, and Phillip Chbeeb, also Seth (?) and Donald (?).
• This audience-surround performance had it all: mesmerizing choreography; smoke and flashing lights; slow motion; and synchronized, angular movements. Watch here.
• What fun! This week Derek and Amy performed such a cute, enjoyable Jive.
• Amy was dressed as a bride, and Derek crashed her wedding, pleading with her to marry him instead.
• Following the performance, Bruno squealed, “Marry me, darling, marry me.”
• Their Jive had all the Jive elements; it was fast, bouncy, swing and rock steps, and included the requisite high kicks.
• Carrie Anne was in awe. “I swear you’ve had the best kicks and flicks I’ve ever seen out of anyone ever.”
• Amy even included a cartwheel, an acrobatic element more typical of Jitterbug.
• Guest judge, LMFAO’s Redfoo commented, “…wooooooooooooooooooo!”
• The couple scored two 10’s and two 9’s for this amazing, hip-rocking Jive, and placed them solidly in 2nd place.
• Derek and Amy trended on Twitter nationwide after their performance.
• As Bruno said, “I don’t think I’ve seen in 18 seasons here, and 11 in the UK, anybody doing what you’ve done tonight.”
WEEK 7 – Latin Night
PARTNER DANCE – Rumba
• Derek and Amy set the night on fire with their awesome Rumba.
• For this compelling performance, they danced to Light My Fire by Jose Feliciano.
Amy later said on Twitter: Derek and I danced in front of the band facing the camera verses the audience tonight, to keep it intimate. I felt like it was just us.
Tom said: “I think there were a few lit fires out there in the viewing audience.” (Mission accomplished, Derek!)
Head judge, Len, happily declared: “I’m telling you. You lit my fire out there…. It was sharp staccato moves, and then smooth and rhythmic. Lovely fluid arms, great content in there. First class.”
Bruno was so touched, he began speaking Spanish. ☺ “Vamos a bailer. Bailamos toda la noche. [Let’s dance. Let’s dance the night away.] In English he said, “It was sensuous, but it had a wonderful language sense of courtship. You never lost the elegance. The sexuality was there, but you had the class.”
Carrie Ann, while critiquing Derek’s lift of Amy in the dance, hinted at how well the couple is doing, saying, “When, and if you win — there’s a high chance, because you’re incredible, I want people to know that you earned it and there was nothing unfair about it. You are fantastic.”
Guest judge Ricky Martin was particularly moved, “All I can say is that I go by what my heart is feeling…you were stunning. You’re making me feel a lot of things. You were sensual; you were sexual. You were clean; you were passionate. You were together; you were connecting. I felt a lot of things.”
TEAM DANCE – Latin Freestyle
• Derek and Amy were on ‘Team Meryl’, with Meryl/Maks, Candace/Mark, and Danica/Val.
• Carrie Ann, “That was insane! I have never seen a tighter group performance, ever….”
• Bruno regretted the lack of a results show, because he felt the dance was worth a repeat performance.
• Amy injured herself after her Rumba, and was unable to actually perform the team’s freestyle dance.
• From precedence, this meant that Team Loca’s rehearsal footage was judged rather than the live dance.
• The members of Team Loca (minus Amy) performed ‘live’, however, for the studio audience.
• According to Tom, Derek ended up dancing with an invisible partner. Oh, to see that! ☺
• And folks, Derek’s remarkable record of always being on the winning team remains intact.
WEEK 8 – Quarter-finals – Celebrity Dance Duel
PARTNER DANCE – Argentine Tango
• This week, Derek and Amy danced a fierce, fiery, A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Argentine Tango.
• The best part? Their performance to Heart Upon My Sleeve by Avicii earned them a perfect 40! Yay!
• It was so nice to hear all the judges being so extremely positive.
Guest judge, Abby Lee Miller from Dance Moms said, “Amazing!”, and Carrie Ann added, “Everything was perfection.”
An exuberant Bruno said, That was totally spellbinding, I feel like I’m in a trance. Power, there! Control, there! Precision, there! Immersion into the character, there! Perfection! Perfection!
A smiling Len said, “If I’m dreaming, Tom, don’t wake me up. That was terrific…Stunning. Well done.”
• Amy and Derek even trended worldwide on Twitter after this Argentine Tango.
• And for the first time this season, the couple are on the very top of the leaderboard.
• Kudos to an injured Amy too, as this “rehearsed” Argentine Tango is still not easy to do.
• Unrehearsed, this dance can take years to learn how to do perfectly.
Argentine Tango is a sensual, romantic dance, done in close embrace from the waist up, and is highly improvisational. That means there is no definite step order as you find in the 8-count ballroom Tango. In AT, the female must learn to follow all of the male’s pauses, his intricate parallel footwork or cross footwork, and his high leg movements. And — she must recognize when he is going to do what he’s going to do — ‘on a dime’. All this in heels and usually ‘backwards’.
• Watch Derek and Amy’s dance. Imagine doing all those movements “un-rehearsed”, as is done in social Argentine Tango.
CELEBRITY DANCE DUEL – Jive
• Amy (and Derek) joined James Maslow (and Peta) to dance a Jive to Ain’t Nothing Wrong with That by Robert Randolph & the Family Band.
• The audience loved it! The celebs and pros loved it! And the judges loved it!
• Though it didn’t quite earn a 40, it was quite possibly the dance of the night.
Bruno: Extraordinary! James, stepping into Derek’s shoes takes some doing, and you did it beautifully. That was fabulous! Fabulous!
Carrie Ann: What about Amy stepping into Peta’s shoes? What was so fantastic is when you switched partners, you danced with the same level as both of you dance with your partners, which is beyond incredible.
Len: Everything and more that I could have wished to see. I tell you what, it’s in the title of the song, Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That.
• Have you heard the good news yet? Derek and Amy are headed to the semi-finals!
• That makes 11 times that our man has made this trip to the semi-finals.
• Yep, 11 times in 13 seasons. The only other pro who even comes close to this record is Cheryl Burke with 10 times.
WEEK 9 – Semi-finals – American Icon Week
PARTNER DANCE – Quickstep
• You Can’t Hurry Love by The Supremes was the music this week for Derek and Amy’s sassy, saucy, and “bouncy” Quickstep.
• In a clever move, designed to help her move quickly across the floor, Amy chose carbon-fibered running blades for her feet. Imagine. No, you don’t have to. Watch here. ☺
• Judging from the wildly exuberant applause, the audience seemed to really enjoy the dance, and appreciated what it took for Amy to perform it.
• Bruno spoke for most all of us, “My jaw was dropping on the desk. If I was not watching this live, I would think you were on wire. The lightness of touch, the variety of steps, the speed, the flow-craft [Is that a word, Bruno?], everything was just incredible. How do you do it, girl?”
• Guest judge, Kenny Ortega exclaimed, “America! Do Oprah and myself a giant favor and please bring this team back next week…” (huge applause)
• Kenny was referring to the phone call to Amy from Oprah Winfrey in which she informed Amy that she’s been voting for them. And — she’ll take them out to dinner if they win. Too cool! ☺
Macy’s Stars of Dance – A Salute to Old Hollywood
• This week’s Macy’s Stars of Dance was another highly engaging and entertaining performance that was choreographed by Creative Director Derek and a fellow choreographer, Christopher Scott (So You Think You Can Dance).
• Think of the glamour of old Hollywood, featured dancers Derek and Jessica Lee Keller, 26 other highly skilled professional dancers, and you’ve got the idea for this fantastic routine. Take a look.
• Here are just a few twitter comments about this routine.
- @RickiLake – Are Your Freaking kidding me?????
- @Livelihood – That was another Emmy worthy performance. Perfection.
- @NotEnoughHough – Beautifully energized dance, building to a Broadway style showcase ending…..Macy’s Stars of Dance by Derek Hough. Loved it !!
PARTNER DANCE – Jazz
• How clever is our Derek? Amy And Derek’s compelling, mesmerizing Jazz performance had Twitter abuzz after a routine that incorporated a table as a major prop.
• Unlike the table used with Amber’s Jazz Hands from last season, Amy was seated on top of the table; moved across it; sensually embraced Derek on it; feigned to kiss him from it; spun around on it; slid from it after Derek held it on an incline; and then next to it, the two of them did some fancy leg work, followed by neat dance steps across the floor. Riveting. You gotta watch here.
• All of these moves matched perfectly to the song It’s Too Darn Hot by Ella Fitzgerald. Yea, and that dance was hot.
• Tom said afterwards, “Amy, Derek, and a very happy table”. ☺
• Bruno, “This was classic Jazz at its best”.
• Len, “Derek, I salute you! — Amy, that was fantastic!” (He then claps and gives them a standing ovation.)
• Twitter buzzed after this dance. Here are just a few tweets:
- @PeopleMag – The sliding down the table move was just..Wow. Way to master @derekhough’s over-the-top choreography in your 2nd dance.
- @Nobleze – OMG OMG OMG! Darn sexy Jazz! My! That’s the sexiest table I’ve ever seen in my entire life!!!
- @Snooki – Just catching DWTS and OMG @derekhough you’re choreography is brilliant!!! Absolutely loved that dance.
- @ Tajavsimpson – @derekhough is by far the BEST choreographer of our time. The way his mind works is so beautiful! Makes me want to dance again.
- @Elmaril – Choreographers can make dancers look good, but genius choreographers make non-dancers look AMAZING! @derekhough is a genius!
- @watermellonbeeb – @derekhough ‘s choreography is insane! HECK if I were the Emmy committee I’ll give them all to him.
• And folks, Derek is headed to the finals for the eighth time in 13 seasons. My, oh my! Congrats Derek and Amy! You really deserve this!!! ☺
WEEK 10 – Finals
• Congratulations to Derek and Amy, who were winners all this season in more ways than one.
• Our favorite team managed to achieve 2nd place!, even though sweet Amy danced week after week on two prosthetic legs.
• Depending on the requirements of the dance, Amy even experimented with an assortment of feet developed by her longtime sponsor Freedom Innovations.
• She is the first person in the world to dance on swimmer feet, and how can we forget that Quickstep in running blades! Incredible, huh?
• Unbelievably, Amy had no dance experience prior to Dancing With the Stars.
• Thanks to the fantastic teaching, training, coaching, and choreography of our man, Derek Hough, Amy ended up performing the full 10 weeks of the show.
• Derek and Amy’s memorable and sweet journey went by far too quickly.
• This team took up residence in our hearts for sure. I will miss them terribly.
• For their final curtain call, Team PurdyHough had an amazing, crowd-pleasing two nights of dancing and performing.
• Watch them as they present a repeat performance of an improved, and sizzling hot, Salsa.
• Amy was “flying” high (figuratively and literally) doing aerial acrobatics for an emotive contemporary Freestyle that recreated the emotions of her own personal story. Viewers were mesmerized.
• Team Loca had the opportunity to reprise their Contemporary Freestyle, and this time Amy was able to join them.
• Derek did it again! Watch this creative, well-executed, mind-blowing Argentine Tango/Cha Cha Fusion.
• And folks, this is a wrap on an absolutely remarkable season. Until next time, thanks for reading.
• Season’s Points: 512/550 Amy’s Season Average: 28.58 Derek’s Season Average: 27.88
Derek and Amy’s WEEKLY DANCE SCORES
Click on the Dance Name to see a video of the dance
|1||Cha-Cha||8-8-8=24||Placed 3rd, tied w/2 other couples.|
|2||Swing||8-8-8=24||Placed 2nd, tied w/1 other couple|
|3||Contemporary||9-9-9-9=36||Placed 2nd, tied w/3 other couples|
|4||Amy’s Salsa||9-8-8-9=34||Placed 3rd (Amy’s score counts towards Derek’s total, despite being danced w/Mark Ballas)|
|NeNe’s Jazz||8-8-8-8=32||NeNe’s highest score to date. (This score counts towards Tony’s total, despite being danced w/Derek )|
|5||Waltz||9-9-10-9=37||Placed 3rd, tied w/1 other couple.|
|Latin Freestyle||10-10-9-10=39||Won the team competition.|
|8||Argentine Tango||10-10-10-10=40||Placed 1st, and headed to the Semi-Finals.|
|Jive Duel||9-10-10-10=39||Placed highest|
|9||Quickstep||10-9-10-10=39||Placed 2nd for the evening, tied with 1 other couple.|
|10||Salsa||10-10-10=30||Ranked 2nd for the Night and the Season|
|Argentine Tango /Cha Cha Fusion||10-10-10=30|