Emmitt Smith judges Warner’s tango

Several former NFL greats from Warren Sapp to Michael Irvin were in the audience to watch Kurt Warner compete — an upset in itself considering Warner’s performance last week seemed certain to send him home. This was the 200th episode of “Dancing with the Stars” and to celebrate, the producers invited back favorite contestants to judge the current participants. Season 3 champion and recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Emmitt Smith was on hand, and his iconic tango was Warner’s challenge this week. Looks like Kurt was up to the task — or, should I say, secret agent Warner was up to the task.

Warner created a 007-like character in a sophisticated tango to the song “Simply Irresistible” with partner Anna Trebunskaya. It wasn’t perfect, but Emmitt still gave Warner a perfect score. Judge Bruno Tonioli exclaimed, “You went from ‘Mission Impossible’ to mission accomplished!”

Great news if you were like me and thought Warner was a goner after last week. The audience saved him. And thank goodness, because this week he got a chance to bring Trebunskaya to a Cardinals practice. Trebunskaya is always downplaying the difficulty of Warner learning to dance. After just two football drills, her demeanor changed. A new respect for Warner emerged after she took just one trip through the agility ladder. She didn’t even try to hit a sled.

After practice Trebunskaya and warner spoke with Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who assured Warner’s partner that his former quarterback watched the show every week. “I’m going to support him always,” Fitzgerald said, who also had some words for the harsh critiques of Warner: “The judge, the guy in the middle, was sayin’ bad things about him. It’s like when someone’s attacking your friend. I was getting upset. I was like, ‘This dude is stupid.'”

On Monday, the “dude” liked Warner. After Tuesday, we’ll find out if Warner’s 61 out of 70 can keep him “Simply Irresistible.”

— Tiffany Shine

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