Mario and Emmitt Count Down to ‘Dancing’ Finale
November 14, 2006

It’s officially game time for actor Mario Lopez and pro-football legend Emmitt Smith, as the duo faces off in the “Dancing with the Stars” season finale.

Only “Extra” has the breaking news about the show-stopping showdown.

We’ve just learned that Sara Evans, who quit the show due to her divorce scandal, will be back in the audience, although she won’t dance.

As for Mario and Emmitt’s face off, Smith told us, “Mario has what I would consider the lead advantage.”

“There’s no shame if I happen to lose to Emmitt,” Lopez added. “He was one of my idols.”

Only “Extra” was with the final two moments before their big night. Our Jon Kelley caught up with Emmitt and “Dancing” partner Cheryl Burke in rehearsals, where they admitted how much they want to take home the coveted title.

“We’re going to the Super Bowl,” Emmitt said. “Now it’s time to turn it up and shine; I want to be the MVP!”

While Jon hooked up with the football great, Mario dropped by the “Extra” set, where he shared his true competitive spirit.

“I’m not going to lie,” Mario said. “I’m extremely competitive. I mean, I’m not going to resort to any Tonya Harding nasty moves or anything.”

As both Mario and Emmitt get pumped up for their fateful night, each credits their lovely partners with their success. However, both Cheryl and Karina seem to have very different approaches.

“My teacher-partner works in mysterious ways,” Mario revealed. “She listens to the music for a long time, and she lets it come to her, and then she starts teaching me. Then after about an hour or two of teaching me a certain part of the routine, she decides she doesn't like it and she wants to change it; she wants do it all over. So it's so incredibly stressful, but at the end, we manage to make it work.”

Meanwhile, Emmitt revealed that Cheryl has truly blessed his life through dance.

“Cheryl has been a true blessing for me because she's patient but yet at the same time she's very disciplined, very stern,” Emmitt revealed. “Reminds me of a lot of the coaches that I've played for, so I feel confident as long as we win it, we win it. When you win it, everything is good. Winning cures all problems.”

But who will win the tightest race yet on “Dancing with the Stars”? You’ll have to tune into ABC Wednesday night to find out!

 


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