Emmitt Smith Named MVP of the Dance Floor
November 16, 2006

The Super Bowl champ proved to be the MVP of the “Dancing” game Wednesday night, as Emmitt Smith and partner Cheryl Burke were named this year’s “Dancing with the Stars” champs.

While Emmitt and Cheryl shined, the world’s eyes were on Sara Evans, who showed the world her boots were made for walking.

Sara joined the other 10 “Dancing with the Stars” couples for the season finale, as Mario and Emmitt used their twinkle toes to compete for the trophy.

Once Emmitt and Cheryl learned they were the champions, the football great dished to “Extra” just where he’ll put his hard-earned trophy.

“I've got to find a spot on my mantle,” he said. “When I left the house, I didn’t clear a spot.”

But second-straight title winner Cheryl had another plan for her disco-ball trophy: “I’m going on tour, so maybe it’ll be on the tour bus with me.”

After the show, we spotted Judge Carrie Ann Inaba backstage congratulating Emmitt on his big win. And on Thursday morning, the beautiful judge stopped by the “Extra” set.

In an exclusive interview, Carrie Ann revealed to us why it was Emmitt who ultimately waltzed away with the “Dancing” prize.

“He made such an amazing journey. We really saw him in the beginning, just kind of being this guy who had a groove who became a dancer,” Carrie Ann said. “It’s like the manly man who learned how to dance.”

But Mario, who was once considered the frontrunner, proved to be a good sport.

“Everybody was so supportive, and they voted for us to get to this point,” Mario said.

One of Mario’s biggest fans (and close friend), Eva Longoria, was standing by her man at the “Dancing” after party.

But how did the “Housewife” hottie console her amigo? “[I told him] I was proud of him,” she said with a smile.

Also smiling as she saddled up and made her way back to the “Dance” floor was Sara, who dropped out of competition due to her salacious divorce scandal.

At the end of the show, Sara opened up about what made her and partner Tony’s brief run on the show so very special.

“Making a lifelong friend in Tony,” Sara stated.

“She’s really doing well,” Jerry Springer said of Sara. “We’ve had an opportunity to talk to her quite a bit these last few days. Honestly, considering how tough the situation is, she’s great. She’s strong.”

Monique Coleman’s partner, Louis, who is also heading out on the upcoming “Dancing” tour, made this personal plea to Sara: “I'm personally hoping that when we hit Nashville, Sara will actually come with us on the tour for that one night.”

“Extra’s” own special correspondent even wound up back on Wednesday night’s finale, falling into the arms of her “Dancing” partner, Jesse.

“It was a great little ending,” he said.

Now, have no tears about missing a hefty dose of “Dancing with the Stars;” the show is rumored to return to ABC next spring where it may be slotted against FOX powerhouse “American Idol.”

 


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