Emmitt smith and cheryl burke dating

, the winning team was finally announced: Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke. No vote totals were announced, probably just to fuel conspiracy theories that Mario, who dressed up for the occasion in a brand-new A-shirt from Wal-Mart, was robbed, even if he was a ringer.

The announcement came after encore performances, a brief pitch for the show’s tour, a clip package that recapped this season, dances with the eliminated couples who pretended to look like they still cared, clip packages with each of the two finalists’ friends and family, the eliminated celebrities telling us their favorite moments and trying to be witty, a clip package and interview with the finalists and their partners, and co-host Samantha Harris doing her best Rita Cosby impression.

The segment with Mario and Karina Smirnoff did its best to ambiguously suggest the two are in a relationship, even though they denied they are a couple, with Mario saying it’s just “clever editing.” In the interview, however, Karina said, “I think of him as my castle, as my wall of protection, simply because I don’t think there is anything that we won’t be able to overcome in the future if there is any more obstacles.

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She’s my stand-up comedian, she’s my friend, she’s my little dictator, she’s all the wonderful things you can think of that make for a great pair.” And then Karina said, ambiguously, “I hope this is going to last for a long, long time for us.” If it does last a long time, hopefully it won’t drag as much as the damn finale.

Emmitt James Smith III (born May 15, 1969) is a former college and professional American football running back who became the National Football League's (NFL) all-time leading rusher during his fifteen seasons in the league during the 1990s and 2000s.

Smith grew up in Pensacola, Florida and became the 2nd leading rusher in American high school football history while playing for Escambia High School.

, Burke, 26, writes that people assumed she and Chad were "an item" last spring because they had great chemistry and were both single.

(There was also the matter of that ,000 ring he gave her.) And now she tells Lifeline Live that, yes, "We had a little bit of a fling."They dated?

"We didn't ."She says, ultimately, "He was never really available to me.I 've had that pattern of dating unavailable men in my life and it was hard to resist, obviously, but it was still something I knew from other relationships."Burke says she doesn't have a boyfriend."It's been a little over a year and I've taken this time for me and taken the time to really get to know who I am. For now, it's best that I work on me and focus on my career. It's helping me and I feel like I'm helping people."She admits, "I did think about it for awhile. But this is my story."And she's ready to return for the new season of , although she won't know her celebrity partner until after they're all announced on Feb. "I have no idea" who will be on, she says, and adds, "We have no say" about who she'll be paired with, which is why "every season has been a different experience" -- from Tom De Lay to Wayne Newton to Gilles Marini to Emmitt Smith.I'm ready to date, but I'm always traveling."The "healing" she's talking about stems from being molested as a five-year-old by a family handyman, which she reveals in the book. She doesn't foresee leaving the show anytime soon, as pros Julianne and Derek Hough have.From being beaten with a belt by abusive boyfriends. If anything, she says, she'd like to "maybe do another dance show on television or have a talk show, be a spokesperson for young women.And from being hurt by media scrutiny over her weight.