Excitable "Dancing With the Stars" judge Bruno Tonioli suggested last night a possible post-football career for Hines Ward.
The bubbly Italian gushed that the Steelers wide receiver was a "full-time dancer" following Ward's show-closing Quickstep to the tune of "Part-time Lover."
Ward and partner Kym Johnson tied for the best score of the night with a 23, receiving eights from Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba and a seven from Len Goodman.
Ward and Johnson's score matched rapper Romeo Miller and partner Chelsie Hightower and WWE wrestler Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke. Through two weeks, Ward has scored 44 out of a possible 60 points.
The first results show is at 9 tonight on ABC, but Ward and Johnson appear to be safe from elimination.
"That was amazing," said Inaba, "your posture, your technique, your hold, the way you changed direction with ease and grace and control."
In the introduction clip before Ward's routine, the Super Bowl XL MVP joked, "Why did I sign up for this?" upon learning the nuances of the Quickstep, a dance that combines elements of several other dances.
But his performance with Johnson went off with few hitches. Sporting a black suit, matching tight-fitting fedora and a red tie -- a relatively conservative-but-classy outfit for the show -- Ward earned a large applause following the dance.
The introduction also showed some humorous bits with Ward teaching the Australian Johnson some snippets of American slang. "What's up shawty?" and "Let's get krunk" were some highlights.
But, apparently, Johnson has had an effect on Ward, too.
"I've got a great teacher," Ward said following his dance. "I never in my wildest dreams think I'd be able to cha-cha and Quickstep, so I'm just happy I got through it."
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