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'Dancing With the Stars' season 18 week 10 recap

It was the last episode of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ before the finale. Four couples were still in the competition: James and Peta, Meryl and Maksim, Candace and Mark and Amy and Derek. There were no guest judges this week. Here’s what happened. Each couple did two dances. The first round was:

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: Their tango showcased James’ improved posture. He still looks stiff, but he had more attack. The mid-routine kiss might have been overkill. Carrie Ann noticed that he looked awkward. Score: 29

Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Another tango, this dance was truly standout. Meryl continues to improve as a dancer. Her footwork and chemistry with Maksim get better every week. Score: 30

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: Their quickstep fell slightly flat. Candance’s confidence seems to be faltering. Mark had a shoulder injury, though, and that didn’t help. Still, she looked tentative and seemed to make a few mistakes. Score: 27

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: Amy dazzled in this salsa. Her musicality and speed were amazing. No points to Derek for using her derriere as a set of bongos, though. The judges complimented her technique. Score: 30

Then, there was a second round of freestyle dances.

James and Peta: This was high on the sexy scale, as is usual with them. The production was great, though, and James’ martial arts inspired moves were impressive. The stick fighting at the end might not have had too much to do with dancing, but it was a clever touch. Score: 29

Meryl and Maksim: Their contemporary freestyle gave Meryl’s gracefulness a chance to shine. She and Maksim have unbelievable chemistry. Carrie Ann thinks they should get married. Score: 30

Candace and Mark: Candace rocked the gold jumpsuit, but she struggled to find the rhythm and seemed uncertain about some of the choreography. The judges love her enthusiasm. Score: 27

Amy and Derek: Their freestyle was a dance version of Amy’s story. It wasn’t quite her best performance, but it was still beautiful. The aerial work at the end was lovely. Score: 29

James and Peta were eliminated.