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DWTS recap: The celebrity dance duel episode

Abby Lee Miller appeared as this week's guest judge
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Judge Abbey Lee Miller appeared as guest judge as Mark Ballas opened the show singing his new single “Get My Name” and playing guitar proving that he is a multi-talented guy. How he managed to sing and dance like that for the opening is truly admirable. And, fortunately, both Danica and Amy Purdy appear to be in better shape than last week.

The Scores:

  1. Amy and Derek – 79
  2. Charlie and Sharna – 78
  3. James and Peta – 75
  4. Candace and Mark – 74
  5. Danica and Val – 72
  6. Meryl and Maks – 70

The Highlights:

Danica was absolutely stunning in the Tango with Val. She floated along the dance floor and hit nearly every pose to perfection despite still suffering from a cracked rib. We learned tonight that Danica’s mother and sister are both dancers and you can definitely tell that grace and musicality runs in the family.

James and Peta’s Viennese Waltz was also quite lovely. Albeit, James still needs to work on his posture a bit, his natural grace was perfect for this dance style. Your Examiner would also be willing to wager that every girl in that audience wanted Peta’s pale pink sequined and feathered gown.

Amy is working with a chiropractor and massage therapist to get back to where she was and it showed in the Tango she danced with Derek. Her upper body control and core strength paired with Derek’s brilliant choreography (he utilized a stool to help Amy conserve her energy) was more than worth the four perfect 10s they earned. If you want to watch only one performance, this would be the one to choose.

The second portion of the evening featured the dance duels and those scores were combined with the scores from the first part of the evening. Meryl and Maks danced with Danica and Val in a Samba earning 34 points; Candace and Mark danced with Charlie and Sharna in the Contemporary style earning 38 points; and James and Peta danced with Amy and Derek in a Jive for 39 points.

Of the three “duels” the Jive was definitely the most fun and upbeat. James and Amy’s duet was really quite good showing that they have grown enough in their technique to stand on their own (no pun intended). The Samba was fine but your Dance Examiner was left feeling that it was missing something. If you really want to see something impressive, however, watch Candace and Charlie’s lifts. Charlie is an excellent partner and Candace is not afraid to take risks while flying through the air which is why it worked so well.

James and Peta, Danica and Val and Candace and Mark were all in jeopardy this week. Danica and Val were the ones who were ultimately sent home.

Albuquerque viewers can see DWTS on Albuquerque’s KOAT 7 Monday nights at 7 p.m. (MST). Next week guest judge Kenny Ortega appears for “American Legends” night.

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