Hines Ward has Super Bowl rings, but on Tuesday night (May 24), he got another trophy to add to his mantle — a disco-ball trophy for becoming the winner of this season’s “Dancing With The Stars.”
The Steelers wide receiver samba-ed for the win, besting actresses Kirstie Alley and Chelsea Kane to become the season 12 champ.
While he obviously performed very well, Ward credited the victory to his partner, who he didn’t want to let down.
“It’s phenomenal,” Ward said after the show. “I’m not going to apologize for winning. I didn’t want to let Kym down all season — I wanted her to win a second Mirror Ball. (She won with Donny Osmond in Season 9). I hope I represented well.”
He also vowed to do a “tribute” to her — an end-zone dance — after every touchdown he scores next season.
Ward came into the season finale tied for first place with Kane, who finished in last place when the votes were tallied, while Alley finished second.
However, Alley was a fan favorite all season, and Ward even admitted to a moment of doubt at the end.
“I heard it, but then I looked over and thought, ‘Oh jeez, everyone loves Kirstie.’ I didn’t think I’d match up,” he said.
The finale saw already eliminated contestants — Wendy Williams, Kendra Wilkinson, Sugar Ray Leonard and others — back on the stage where they brought their moves.
Famed sports announcer Michael Buffer called Leonard and pro wrestler Chris Jericho to the dance floor for a tough-guy dance-off. Wilkinson reprised her sexy, booty-and-bosom-shaking cha cha, then nearly fell off the judges’ table when she finished. Radio personality Mike Catherwood, who was the first contestant dismissed this season, poked fun at his lack of dancing skills and stripped down to a leotard during his goofy routine.
Ralph Macchio also returned with partner Karina Smirnoff for a reprise. Williams was the only who didn’t dance on the finale, and instead interviewed herself during a segment where she said Alley would “be a perfect drinking partner.”
The 35-year-old Ward is the second professional football player to win the “Dancing” crown, following Emmitt Smith’s win in 2006.