EXCLUSIVE: Peta Murgatroyd pushes for the Dancing With The Stars semi-finals 0

Dancing With The Stars Season 18 contestants James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd

Image: ABC

Earlier than expected this season on Dancing With The Stars, Peta Murgatroyd and James Maslow found themselves in danger of going home. They’ve managed to escape elimination two weeks in a row, and are looking to their fans to help push them into the semi-finals.

“I constantly think that James has been improving from week to week. I think he’s up there with the best of them,” Peta told That’s Your Reality. While she feels that the judges have been fair in their scoring and feedback, she admits, “They nitpick on James a little bit but that’s going to make him all the more a better dancer and give him more awareness of his body. He’s really good about it.”

Their most successful dance to date was their contemporary routine in Week 5, set to “Let It Go” from Frozen, earning a perfect 40 from the panel. “He was able to express movement that was comfortable. Some things are harder for his body but no excuses there. I think he’s doing so amazingly well!”

Much has been made this season of whether or not the pair are in a relationship, and their undeniable chemistry has certainly benefited them. “We’re having fun with each other, it’s just a natural thing we can’t control,” she said. “You can see how much we like each other. I’m okay with it, he’s okay with it, and we’re just having a blast.”

Last week, things took a bit of a negative turn when guest judge Abby Lee Miller went toe to toe with the Chmerkovskiy brothers. This week, Kenny Ortega joins the panel to offer his feedback, something that all of the couples are looking forward to. “He’s an amazing choreographer. His insight will be amazing to take on to the next couple of dances. I would love to hear what he has to say,” she said.

Both James and Peta are hoping to make it through this week’s elimination round so that they have their shot to compete in the semi-finals. With a strong fan following, Peta feels confident that they can help them achieve that goal. “I want the fans to see our growth since day one,” she said. “I think it’s so evident how he’s improved as a dancer and we’re just trying so hard and we want it so badly. If you vote us in, we’re going to give you an amazing freestyle!”

Dancing With The Stars airs Mondays at 8pm ET on ABC.