Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke dancing to a classic song from “BAD25,” the album released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s legendary “Bad” album, on “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” Monday, Nov. 19, 2012
*He may have three Super Bowl trophies to his name, but after last night, Emmitt Smith will have to live with just one Mirrorball Trophy.
The former NFL star was voted off of “Dancing With the Stars – All Stars” on Tuesday, ending his chance to repeat as champion.
Emmitt Smith and his partner Cheryl Burke, who placed first in season 3, had the advantage of being one of the All-Star season’s few reunited original pairings, but it wasn’t enough to save him from elimination.
“You know, it’s been a tremendous experience. It’s been a great ride,” Smith said, adding that Burke, has pushed him “to another level.”
“Season three was something else, but this right here takes it over the top,” he added.
Smith’s exit paves the way for an exclusively female finale that puts two former winners – Melissa Rycroft and Kelly Monaco – against a second runner-up, Shawn Johnson.
*Pittsburgh Steelers star Hines Ward has been crowned champion of “Dancing with the Stars,” taking home the mirror ball trophy after beating Kirstie Alley in the final.
The 35-year-old NFL star and partner Kym Johnson emerged victorious during the 12th season finale Tuesday night, and the athlete admitted he hadn’t expected to make it to the end of the contest.
“You know, starting this competition, I never thought I’d be in the finals,” he said. “But I owe it all to Kym. She’s an amazing teacher, and I want to thank the judges for giving us the constructive criticism to help me get better each week. Also, I want to thank all the fans.”
His commitment was especially evident after Johnson suffered a serious neck injury during rehearsals two weeks ago. The couple triumphantly returned to the dance floor, earning perfect scores for their performance and drawing tears from Ward, Johnson and judge Carrie Ann Inaba.
“I’m so impressed with you, the way you partnered with her through that routine,” Inaba said. “The connection was beyond what we ask for in a dance routine.”
Through misty eyes, Ward said, “I was just elated that she was out there dancing three days after that horrific injury that she just had.”
The couple earned five perfect scores for their final six dances.
“It’s special,” Ward said, glittery trophy in hand. “With football, it takes all 53 guys. With this mirrorball, it was just Kym and I together in the studio putting in the hours. I’m just glad I didn’t let her down.”
Professional athletes have taken the “Dancing” title six times in the past 12 seasons. Besides Ward, the other athletic “Dancing” champs are NFL star Emmitt Smith, speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and gymnast Shawn Johnson.
Football stars Jason Taylor, Warren Sapp and Jerry Rice were runners-up on the show, as was Olympic skater Evan Lysacek.
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough win "Dancing with the Stars"
*For the first time since she was voted off of “Dancing With the Stars,” Brandy and her professional partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy returned to what many consider the scene of the crime for the finale Tuesday night.
The pair had narrowly missed a place in the finale when they were eliminated last week despite achieving a perfect score for their Argentine tango – only to watch last place couple Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas advance to the finals due to America’s vote.
Before Jennifer Grey was crowned the winner [watch below], followed by Kyle Massey in second place and Palin in third, Brandy and Maks performed their popular quickstep routine to the tune of ‘I’ll Be There For You’ by The Rembrandts.
Writing on her Twitter account after the show, Brandy said: “Tonight was a beautiful night!! So much love in the DWTS building:) Congrats to all the finalist and the entire cast!!”
In a separate message to Chmerkovskiy posted alongside a photograph of them backstage, she said: “You will forever be my champion!! Love you so much:)”
He responded by writing: “Baby, you never lost!!! Love u 2!” He also added to his followers: “SEASON 11 IS OVER!!! Been an amazing ride! Loved every second of every season…….in hindsight Appreciate all your love and support!!!”