Wide receiver Hines Ward had to step up his game on Monday night's "Dancing With the Stars" on ABC as the contestants performed two dances, one a team dance and the other an individual dance. And he did just that, once again being safe and advancing for another week following the result's show on Tuesday night.
Ward and Disney actress Chelsea Kane were the team leaders as a result of having earned the most points from the judges so far this season. Ward selected actress Kirstie Alley and reality star Kendra Wilkinson to dance the cha-cha to Ke$ha's "We R Who We R."
The team performance earned Ward's team a total of 30 out of 40 points, tying with Kane's team. The 30 team points were added to each individual's score.
Ward and dance partner Kym Johnson danced the tango for the main dance, and he got some tips before hand from ballroom legend Luca Bariccchi who was there to mentor the dancers as well as former teammate Jerome Bettis, who came to his rehearsal.
"Having Jerome there I really wanted to put a show on for him," said Ward. "If I can impress him, I can impress anybody. "
Bettis teased Ward, but also knows he is in it to win it.
"This guy is the ultimate competitor," said Bettis. "Pressure is going to make him perform better. I am happy to provide some pressure today."
Ward, who has scored nine's from the judges, wanted to take his performance to another level in week seven of the competition.
"It's getting late in the season and I haven't reached that 10 mark yet," said Ward in a taped interview before his performance. "That's my next goal."
And to nobody's surprised he reached that goal, with judge Bruno Tonioli awarding him a 10 for his performance, for a total of 36 out of 40, tying him for first place with Ralph Macchio.
What The Judges Said During the Show:Carrie Ann Inaba - "What you do that is so unique and sets you apart from everyone else is you take command of every dance. I believe the way you command your movement, partner and the audience is really unbelievable. Tonight, though, despite your incredible musicality and connection with Kym which was new, I felt you were a little off balance at points."
Len Goodman – "It was a mixture for me. Some of it was full of drama and you were like a tiger stalking his prey, coming out there sharp and crisp like a pickle. Then it goes into a fairy mode and it was as bit too dainty for me. Overall I liked it very much. You are a good dancer and just here and there it could have been a little bit more determined."
Bruno Tonioli – "I liked the way you play it. Big strong, masterful, determined yet you managed to retain the slinky, smooth, stealth action of a panther on the prowl going for the kill. That was a kill tango. "
Guest Judge Donnie Burns: "I had a dance teacher that used to say to me dance with your heart but use your head. I think you do that. You have this kind of good charisma on the floor that sucks people in and makes them like you."
What He Said:
Hines Ward – on earning a 10 and his performance
"All those guys have been dancing great all year. We just want to be consistent and finish in the top three. That's always been our goal. We'll see what the judges say. It's new to me trying to be an actor and trying to be James Bond was fun."