Moments after Emmitt’s win last night, the ABC message board was filled with racist tripe claiming the reason Emmitt won was because he is Black not because he was the better dancer.
What that racist mentality fails to accept is Emmitt is not a dancer and if you watched him on the show for the entire season you saw him incrementally and dramatically improve each week.
Emmitt’s nemesis in the finals was Mario Lopez and his professional dancing partner Karina Smirnoff. Mario, an obviously trained and highly experienced dancer, moved much better on stage than Emmitt, but his previous training provided him an unfair advantage and the voting public knew that and felt that and made their displeasure known in their final vote totals.
No man moves his hips like Mario Lopez without previous professional training! Those who fail to understand the television show are playing the Racism card. It is a popularity contest first and a dance contest second. Emmitt is a likable guy and he didn’t talk back to the judges or break the rules. He did his job. He had a seriousness of purpose that others admired and aspired to imitate.
Mario may have wrapped up the young teen female vote, but Emmitt always had the male vote as well as the vote of those who wanted to see an aging star athlete make a comeback in an unfamiliar arena he had not previously mastered and then beat down a younger, brasher, talent just as he did to win the all-time NFL rushing record on the way to three Super Bowl wins. It was Emmitt’s grace under fire that won him the day and his dance partner Cheryl Burke also deserves tremendous credit for the win. Cheryl is an excellent choreographer. She dances with spirit and joy. She is a great coach and a greater inspiration.
Last season Cheryl also won Dancing with the Stars with the young, semi-star, Drew Lachey. Since there is no such thing as a coincidence, one must know the common thread between the two wins was not the disparate ages, body types, and dancing talents of Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith — the warp and the woof of the wins was sewn into whole cloth by Cheryl Burke. It was Cheryl’s genius that was malleable enough to discover the strengths in her dancing partners and then bring out the best in them in rehearsal and performance.
We cannot, and must not, underestimate the fact that when Cheryl Burke touches you, she makes you better.
Congratulations to Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke and I hope the false accusation of their “politically correct” win dies out along with the unnecessary catcalls of racism winning the day and ruining the dance.