Dancing With the Stars pro Derek Hough is a master at choreographing routines to highlight his partner's strengths, while hiding any weaknesses.
Last season, when Amber Riley's knees were hurting, he choreographed a Jazz dance that started at a table and was tailored around helping Amber's knees. The dance was questioned by some fans, since so much time was spent seated, but it got three 10s and a 9. That’s the same score Amy Purdy just got for her Season 18 Semifinals Jazz routine, which also featured a table.
If you compare the two dances, Amber definitely had to move around more, whereas Amy's routine — which was sexy as all get-out and featured lots of leg crossovers — didn't really require her to move much from the table, or travel around the dance floor with her prosthetic legs. She also spent a good amount of time seated on a stool last week in her Argentine Tango.
Good for Derek for crafting smart routines, but it’s the celeb who is meant to be judged, and what if that celeb just doesn’t dance as much as the other competitors? Isn’t it fair to mention that?
Still, Bruno Tonioli said Amy’s routine was classic Jazz at its best. Len Goodman saluted Derek and gave them a standing ovation. Guest judge Kenny Ortega said Derek redefines choreography for his generation, and didn't even comment on Amy's dancing. Carrie Ann Inaba was the only one to mention that, during the side-by-side choreography, there were some non-synchronized moments. She got booed for that, and quickly added that she’ll never forget the slide down the table.
No one likes to be booed or deemed a hater, but several fans online questioned whether the routine deserved three 10s and a 9 — especially when Candace Cameron Bure did a Jazz earlier in the night that required a lot more dance performance, and it got a slightly lower score.
As some fans commented:
• "All Amy did was sit on a table, made a mistake and no one called her on it except Carrie Ann."
• "Since the final 3 were the three olympians, Amy should have gone home. She was overscored last week and was overscored this week."
• "Derek is exceptional in the [choreography] but I didn't like the table dance.....clever though it was Amy did not do the same amount of difficulty that the others did. If we can't judge the handicapped fairly then we should do like the Olympics and have Para-Olympics of Dancing With The Stars with this too. Love the show but feel this whole season has been slanted to Amy and Derek and last night proved it to me!"
• "I can not believe that Amy got 10's when she rolled around on a table and still couldn't stay in sinc with Derek. Why is it that there are no points deducted when she does something wrong????"
Do you agree with these questioning fans, or are you on the other side, defending the 10s for the performance value, teamwork, choreography and effort from Amy?
DWTS Season 18 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.