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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It’s Game Over for Dancing’s Lawrence Taylor

Dancing with the Stars

Kelsey McNeal/ABC

April 22, 2009

It was Lawrence Taylor’s happiest night at the ballroom. The NFL legend was eliminated from Dancing with the Stars on Tuesday night, and his reaction was something to behold: He couldn’t stop smiling after his name was called by host Tom Bergeron.

“You’re the happiest guy to go home,” Bergeron quipped to Taylor moments before the show ended.“He can’t wait to get back onto the golf course,” Taylor’s partner, Edyta Sliwinska said, laughing.

Despite never getting into the dancing groove, Taylor says he has many fond memories and friendships he’ll take with him.

“I’ve done a lot of different things in my life and this is something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life,” Taylor said to PEOPLE after the show. “I had a great partner and the experience was something that was enjoyable.” 

Even better, Taylor says, was the by-product of weeks of dancing. He dropped 15 lbs., and hopes to maintain that weight loss when he returns home to Miami.There were no tears shed, just happiness for the 50-year-old who honored his commitment to the dancing show and to the fans that voted him back week after week. 

“I played golf with him this morning so that tells you we became good friends so I’m sad to see him go, but he’s ready to get back to the golf couse again,” Tony Dovolani says. “He’s a good man.”

The admiration is mutual. 

“These dancers here are world-class athletes and their work ethic, I am really shocked at how hard they work. I’m in better shape than I have been in three or four years,” Taylor said with a smile. “Not bad for 50, eh?”

Six couples remain in the competition, which resumes next Monday night on ABC. Each couple will perform one dance together and one group number — the tango or the mambo — which the judges will score. –Monica Rizzo


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