Each couple has a shot to win the spring 2014 season, for different reasons. Here are three reasons why Amy and Derek could be the ones to take it home.
1. Amy is the inspiration story of the season. Amy isn’t just dancing on prosthetics — having lost her legs below the knee at age 19 — she’s dancing incredibly well. She is a Paralympian, with all the fitness, discipline, and skill of all Olympic athletes. Amy’s graceful, toned body creates beautiful lines and she’s adapted to her prosthetics enough to wow anyone who might think dancing was out of the question after a double-amputation. Is she a pro-level dancer? No. Does she still need support from Derek, or Mark Ballas and James Maslow, when they dance with her? Yes. She’s not at a Meryl Davis or Charlie White level — but she’s not too far off. Even if she weren’t dancing on prosthetics, it would be impressive how good she is without previous ballroom training. She is a great dancer, and every week she inspires new fans by pushing through pain and discomfort to create stunning routines. That’s why she’s Amazing Amy.
2. She and Derek are perfect partners. Amy and Derek were meant to be paired up. She was great with Mark in Switch Up Week, and again in the Dance Duel with James, but Derek really helps her to shine. He’s an extremely creative choreographer who knows how to showcase the best in his partners while camouflaging any weaknesses. He’s clearly inspired by Amy as a person, not just challenged by choreographing around her prosthetics, and all you have to do is watch her face in interviews to see how much that respect is returned. They are a positive, inspiring couple — two role models making history on DWTS together.
3. Derek tends to win. It would be naive to ignore Derek’s track record of winning. He started with the show in Season 5, and won Seasons 7, 10, 11, 16, and 17. When he doesn’t win, he at least gets close. Derek + [Fill In Any Name Here] = Frontrunner, if not winner. We can only imagine he’ll pull out all the stops for Amy’s Freestyle and wow the audience into a voting frenzy. It would be Derek’s sixth trophy, but it’s the celeb who counts, and it would be Amy’s first and probably only trophy (unless they do All-Stars again).
Amy shouldn’t be punished just because Derek tends to get contenders on a regular basis, or because the judges may score her differently because of her legs. That’s not something she can control. Besides, this could’ve gone either way — Heather Mills danced on a prosthetic limb; Marlee Matlin danced without being able to hear the music; Buzz Aldrin danced as an 80-year-old former astronaut; and they never got this far. DWTS celebs have faced many challenges over the years, and Amy isn’t still here from sympathy, she’s still here because on her own she’s good and with Derek she’s great.