Mario And Emmitt: Who Will Dance To Victory?

Emmit Smith, Mario Lopez ABC Emmit Smith, Mario Lopez ABC

LOS ANGELES (November 15, 2006) — Emmitt Smith and Mario Lopez ended last night’s “Dancing with the Stars” competition dead even. Each got perfect scores on two of their dances, and a one-point deduction on the third. Each also got high praise from the judges.

Head judge Len Goodman calls the former Dallas Cowboys’ great his dancing “hero.”

Judge Carrie Ann Inabasays Mario Lopez’s freestyle couldn’t have been better. She says it was the best she has seen all season.

For Emmitt Smith, a winning football player in his previous life, winning is just about everything, including on “Dancing with the Stars.” He says it means so much to him that “you don’t get into a competition unless you think you can win.” But, Mario Lopez doesn’t see it the same way.

Lopez says Smith is “a hard-nosed competitor. He obviously grew up playing athletics.” Lopez says he has, too. But, he’s “been more at peace with it” as he’s gotten older. We’ll see their reactions tonight when the winner is announced.

Once and for all, Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff deny they’re a couple. Lopez tells AP Radio he thinks “it’s a lot of clever editing” on “Dancing with the Stars” that makes it look like they’re an item. He says the producers “want to portray things in certain lights” as a form of entertainment. And, Smirnoff says they’re not dating, but they are “great friends.”

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