Ward's dancing debut earns praise


Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward made his "Dancing With the Stars" debut on Monday night on ABC and impressed the judges, fans and former Steelers Jerome Bettis, Mel Blount and Franco Harris who were in the audience watching.

Ward and his dance partner Kym Johnson performed the cha-cha, which drew cheers from the audience and even had Harris standing and waving a Terrible Towel.

The three judges each gave Ward and Johnson a seven out of 10, and so they finished the performance with 21 out of 30, good for a tie for third place out of the 11 couples who performed in the two-hour season premiere.

Ward will dance again next Monday, and on Tuesday, March 29, one couple will be eliminated. Scores are based on the judges and fan voting.

What The Judges Said during the show:Carrie Ann Inaba - "Well, who knew under that helmet and all of that football gear was all of that. You are just exuberant and your smile lights up the whole stage. You were in control out there, and normally we don't see that until the third show. Good job, nice control, great performance."

Len Goodman – "You continue the tradition of footballers being able to dance. It was clean, it was crisp, you were confident. You've got to work on your posture and get cleaner footwork for your quick step. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. Good job, well done."

Bruno Tonioli – "So nimble, so light-footed. The timing was excellent. You really have natural performance power."

What They Said:

Hines Ward

"I don't do touchdown dances because first I can't really dance. I wanted to Dancing With the Stars because coming off the loss in the Super Bowl this year, I am ready to snatch that Mirror Ball and take it to the crib." – during his intro on Dancing With the Stars

"It feels good especially being the first time ever. It's so nerve-racking because you really don't know what to expect. But 21, we'll take that. Unfortunately I wasn't able to bring home the Lombardi Trophy so I told Kym to whip my tail and try to get this Mirror Ball." – Comments from Ward during Dancing with the Stars after hearing his score of 21 out of 30.

Jerome Bettis – "I think he has a great chance of winning. He is a competitor. He is taking this thing really serious. He is watching tape. I think he's got a great chance of winning." – WTAE-TV

Mel Blount – "I think it was incredible. Hines represented. He did a good job. Hines is competitive so it will be interesting to see." – WTAE-TV

Franco Harris – "Hines did great. It was a great start. The big thing is every week to get better." – WTAE-TV

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