I have been a wee little bit too invested in Dancing with the Stars the last couple of weeks, as it came down to the wire between Mario Lopez and Emmitt Smith. For a long time I was okay with both, thinking “Mario’s the better technical dancer, so that’s fine, he deserves it …” but in my little fangirl heart, Emmitt had it locked up. His earnestness in devoting himself to an unfamiliar discipline, his running back’s grace and footwork, his gorgeous smile, and his laid-back charm, dubbed “The Big Easy” by the judges, totally won me over. Mario is good, but everybody loves the underdog–Mario had a dance background and a little too much defiance in the early going. But what really tore Mario’s chances with me was his mimicking of Michael Jackson a few too many times. Dude, I know you grew up in that era; I did too, but please understand, Michael Jackson is done, forked, and totally disgusting, and idolizing him doesn’t win you points with any sensible fan.
But back to Emmitt. As good or better than watching him become an accomplished dancer, for me, was finding out a little bit about the person he is. I’ve grown to expect so little out of sports figures, and knew so little about Smith going into this show, that it was really nice to see that the career rushing champion is a genuinely good guy, a hard worker, and yes, a good role model. And major kudos to his partner, professional dancer Cheryle Burke, for making the most of his strengths and showing them off.
Nice work. And good show.