"Dancing With the Stars" champ Hines Ward plans to put his mirror ball trophy right in between his two Super Bowl trophies.
The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and first-time dancer beat out funny lady Kirstie Alley and Disney darling Chelsea Kane when he won the ballroom dancing competition with partner Kym Johnson on Tuesday, despite her earlier neck injury.
"I have a place in my trophy case with my Super Bowl MVP trophy, right between my two Lombardis. It's gonna look nice," said Ward, a guest blogger on The Times' Fabulous Forum.
Hines earned a perfect score from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli when he and Johnson reenacted their Week 3 samba to Earth, Wind & Fire's "Fantasy," showing off the football player's fluid hips and winning smile.
"That was wonderful," Inaba said during judging. "You dance with heart and it shows."
(In all fairness, Alley and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kane and partner Mark Ballas also earned perfect scores in the much-hyped Season 12 finale.)
Steeler Nation definitely came through for Ward, perhaps with a little bit of help from Johnson's dazzling canary-yellow bustier and bouncy backstage jog.
The 35-year-old athlete said that the "Dancing With the Stars" title and two Super Bowl wins were equally important to him. Seriously.
"They mean different things," he said. "Winning the Super Bowl symbolized being the best in my profession. It along with winning the Super Bowl MVP is the ultimate goal both individually and as a team. It says we are good at what we do as professionals. Winning the mirror ball trophy for me symbolizes overcoming my fear of the unknown. It says that I was able to excel at something I knew nothing about. I was able to rise above difficulty and take a risk. Both prove that hard work pays off. Both are special."
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Runner-up Alley, whose body transformation from "Fat Actress" and chemistry with Chmerkovskiy won over many viewers this season, was disappointed by the loss.
"I feel like we did amazing, but you want to win," the 60-year-old actress told reporters after the finale. "We didn't win, so I can't say we didn't have any sadness."
But that didn't last long.
"Oh...ps don't be upset about us not winning for long.... I won so much in the last 13 weeks that it would take hours to convey...LOVE," she later tweeted.
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-- Nardine Saad
Twitter.com / NardineSaad
Photo: Champions Kym Johnson and Hines Ward with the mirror ball trophy on the "Dancing With the Stars" Season 12 finale. Credit: Adam Taylor / ABC/Associated Press