When ABC announced the celebrity lineup for this season's "Dancing With the Stars," few could have predicted that J.R. Martinez would have made it past the first few weeks, let alone the finals.
After all, the actor and Iraq war veteran didn't have the name recognition that many of his fellow competitors had.
But Martinez quickly won over the viewers and judges with his optimistic attitude, energetic performances and overall passion for the competition. It was those qualities and more that gave Martinez the title of "Dancing With the Stars" champion.
Martinez beat out reality star Rob Kardashian and talk show host Ricki Lake in the 13th season finale of the popular ABC show. For Martinez, who suffered severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body while on duty in Iraq back in 2003, the victory showed that, if you put your mind to it, anything is possible.
"In Iraq, what happened to me was something that I didn't want, I didn't predict," Martinez told CNN after the show. "But that's how life is. Some things you want are going to be thrown at you, [and] some things you don't want are going to be thrown at you."
He continued, "You have to be willing to step up to the challenge. You have to maintain a positive attitude, be patient and just fight. If you do those things, good things will come to you and, one day, you too will be able to hold your own personal trophy."
The victory was also bittersweet for Martinez's pro partner, Karina Smirnoff, who captured her first title after 10 seasons on the show.
"At the end of the day we wanted to impress the judges, but we wanted to impress you at home," Martinez said. "Thank you for believing in us as a partnership."
What did you think of last night's finale? Did the right competitor win? And what are your hopes for season 14?
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QUE BIEN JR TE LO MERESES SIEMPRE TUBE FE EN TI Y TODOS LOS LUNES TE BEIA Y LE PEDIA A DIOS QUE TU GANARAS ME SIENTO MUY FELIZ POR TI TE QUEREMOS MUCHO GRACIAS
He was my favorite for the get go! I have followed his story off and on for a few years! This man is one of the most beautiful people on this planet! I am so glad to see that he took what happened to him and made it a positive! I will forever be in debt for his service! and I will always be a fan! WAY TO GO J.R.!!
On one hand,congrats and respect for being a vet,etc
On the other hand,when are you gonna get Batman,Two Face?
I only watch this stupid show to see Anna Trebunskaya......I'm in love with her.
the judges are fine, carrieann, len, bruno. yes, the audience votes are based on popularity, however (and I'm no fan of the kardasian's) i was extremely impressed with Rob's improvement throughout the contest. IMO, based on performance solely, it should have been Ricki/Derek with a win, Rob in second for his improvement (that's what the show is supposed to be about) and JR third. JR came on very strong mid-season but really peaked too soon and didn't "bring it" for the finals.
The right person won! Congrats to you J.R. Congrats to Rob also because you actually were striving to be the best.
All my votes went to J.R. Sorry Nancy did not go farther. How about Gary Senice next season. Congrats to J. R. and Karina. I love the show. What is all the bark about Carrie Ann.
Carson and Chaz should have made the finals. Then I would have watched this h o m o show. -Art
I will never watch this show again. They should rename it Dancing is a Popularity Contest. First of all, they should not have put a sympathetic character like JR in this show to begin with. If it was judged by judges yes, but not by the public. He had the advantage from the start. A scarred veteran? C'mon. Rob wasn't even in the same league as Ricki. Hope her new show becomes the next Oprah and she rejects the K's requests to be on it when their 15 minutes are up. Ricki was by far the best, JR 2nd, and Rob should've been gone weeks ago. The order was totally wrong.
this show is G A Y and SO AM I!!!!!
i love Love LOVE IT!!!! \O/ jazzhands!!!!
i do feel ricki was robbed tho.
This show is g a y!
terrible season the best finished in third place the season was a joke, the finals and the so called winner was rigged with sympathy votes. this is what happens when you give to much voting power to liberal cry babies...and DWTS lost a loyal fan the season sucked and so di the winner it was handed to him
It is sad that this guy family's root are salvadorean and he never mention nothing about it, so many people mention their country of origin when they won an award, but him, just pretending he can help others except his own family. The salvadorean tv news made a report about his family and they said that they never help them, not even call them. And he is a hero forgetting his own family that live in poverty. Research it for yourself and you will see that everything I said is truth.
Ah.... that is so sad, but somehow I kinda believe you. When he won last night, he hardly allowed Karina to touch the mere ball trophy (?spelling).
J.R. & Ricki were the best dancers all season. They should have rightly been #1 & #2 in the end. Rob improving & being lucky enough to peak at the end didn't make him better than either of them. He had many little errors in his technique that he was NEVER called on while Ricki & J.R. ALWAYS were. The day Rob got a 10 & J.R. got a 7 was re-frickin-dick-ulous!!!
The wrong person won for all the wrong reasons! Ricki Lake's technique and style was far superior to JR's. Her mistakes and mis-steps were far fewer than his also. The final three weeks were not good ones for JR, but I do believe that because he was a member of the armed forces and overcame extreme adversity, the American Public saw fit to vote for him over two more talented dancers. I adamantly diagree with the rsults but unfortunately the results must stand!
Uh, who the hell is J.R. Martinez?
I thought Kate Gosselin was the best by far, a couple seasons ago. So what do I know? -Art
The dedication and hard work jr and karina put in paid for itself but jr martinez outlook on life in general is what its all about.my warmest congrats to jr and karina on a well deserve inspirational win.good luck to the both of you on ur future endevours.
Who cares who won as long as Rob lost!!
Ya, I was so tired of seeing his stupid family in almost every audience shot....
Sooooooo glad Rob lost. F those Kardashians! Now, if only they would ALL fall into oblivion...starting from that ugly 14 yr old all the way up to their heifer of an older sister and their greedy, sorry-excuse for a mom whose butt could feed Ethiopia.
I'm so glad that Rob didn't win, I hate those Kardashians. YUCK!!!!
Rob was robbed!!!
He wasn't robbed. He should have been DQ'ed back in October when his stupid lame ass sister posted a tweet saying that Justin Bieber was accepting calls for an hour and then posted Rob's 800 number. That just so happened to be the week that him and Chaz were at the bottom.
Of course he won.... it's called the "pity vote".......
JR absolutely deserved this win!!. Lets not forget Ricki has had dance experience and training (Hairspray) so she had an unfair advantage (as did Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond and Nicole Sherzinger and Jennifer Gray) So JR and Rob deserved to be #1 and #2 as neither had danced a step in their lives.
Scherzinger actually had a degree in dance so that was a way unfair advantage.
I am so glad J R won. He deserved it but Riki was robbed of her well deserved second or even first place. Sorry but Rob Kardashian was not as good. He received all the votes because the clan following.
I think that JR was dynamic and wonderful! I loved Ricki as well. I think that Rob was most improved also. I thought Ricki most consistently danced well. I am always a bit put off by the popularity aspect of the show, but I think the top 3 certainly earned their spots!
Yes! im glad j.r won and yes ricki shuld have been second! but gud job j.r im ur biggest fan!
Glad jr won but ricki should have been second.
My hope is that they actually have stars instead of these fake celebrities they have on the show year after year.
That's not gonna happen. Real stars don't need the little money they get from DWTS, nor do they need the publicility, and they just don't have the time to be dancing all day- everyday. Dancing with the stars are for people who were on the show, Ricki needed to be seen again, JR needed to be seen and so did Rob. That David guy also tried to use the show to redeem himself. So it's for the fallen stars.
Ricki was the overall best dancer all season. JR started out great but seemed to decline. Rob was most improved. Ricki should have been the champion.
Yea, I agree with you. One more week of dancing and I don't know if JR would have held on. Rob just always appeared to be the nice dog and knew he was the undergo, but still kept humbled. ricki i think people saw right through her when she had the Dr. come in to help her with her "injury" but then danced a stella performance. She was over confident, and tried to correct it too late in the show.
OOPS! I meant to say the nice "guy" and he knew he was the "underdog". Sorry.
Seriously people...you have to use the 'R' word? And just because he is a burn victim you call him that? CNN – I know there is freedom of speech, but why do you let these posts get on here? Incredibly mean and an insult to mentally handicapped people. They cannot help that they are mentally handicapped, JR can't help that he was burned...these people can choose different words.
I believe J R deserved it. Rob did a great job and so did Ricki.
happy for j.r., BUT,the real winner was ricki & derek,no one was even half as good as them.as to calling derek a snob,you are a moron.r.kardashian is a lowlife just like the rest of his family.they had to buy their votes,sick of that sick family. DEREK will always be the best,like it or not.....
Congrat JR on your performance!
However, who would defind "star" here?
and is it always that US soldier = American hero ?
Yes, US Soldiers = American Heros. Apparently you haven't served this great country if you think otherwise.
I'm delighted JR won. He gave the best performance overall and his freestyle was phenomenal. Ricki was very good, and dancing with Derek certainly gave her an edge – he's a superb dancer – but she ultimately lost it in the freestyle. Rob never did get his arms right in the waltz and his face always appeared to have a sort of "did I get it right" look. He advanced much farther than I expected which I believe is a producer's gimmick. The judges do work for the show's producers and are most likely advised to slant their judging to get more people to vote. If a viewer really likes a dancer, a judge's low marks could generate frantic voting.
I am NOT a Kardashian fan by any stretch. However, on DWTS I became a Rob fan, because he did an excellent job week after week! I'm thrilled with the results, and feel that they were fair. Congrats to the top 3!
Agree with your comments. i too am not a Kardashian fan, and never will be, but Rob won me over a bit. I didn't think he should have won, so second place was a win for him. Something about Riki's chin i think makes her look weird and unappealing at times.
Finally this show got it right. JR proved to be a frontrunner for the entire season except when he hurt his foot. I do not agree that Rob should have been the runner up because he was not anywhere as good as Ricki/Derek in my estimation. I do believe that the way this show takes into account the fan's calls needs to be redone. The judges went much easier on Carson and Chaz and came down hard on others this season which seemed very unfair. I think maybe it is time to redo the judges. I am just very glad JR won. He truly deserved it.
JR is a star in my eyes. I don't care if he was on a soap opera for 1 day or 10 years. He's a veteran. He stood on a wall for our country, and I am so proud of him.
Succinct and well said. The most profound and humbling dance he and Katrina did was the "lost soldier" waltz....made me cry. Bravo, JR!
Veterans Rule! They are the best among us, putting themselves in harm's way to protect the rest of us. They and their families deserve the best that our country can provide them when they return. Raise my taxes if it means better treatment for our vets!
Good for them, they were the best!
Definition of 'star' is up for debate – maybe it's about the person with the most dignity, class and humility. Any three of the finalists could have won – it had to go to someone. Bravo to JR !
Of course these personalities are not stars. What, you think they're going to call the show "Dancing with the People You May Have Heard of Before"?
Outstanding performances from Rob K, but I do believe the wedding debacle hurt his chances with the public. Sad indeed.
What on earth is the issue with Carrie Ann? I think her assessments and commentaries are always spot on - she knows her stuff, she expresses her reasoning eloquently, and she is able to give both praise and supportive criticisms. What don't you like?
I agree with you. It's nice that they have three very different judges that speak their minds and don't just agree with each other all the time. I don't always agree with Carrie Ann but she generally has constructive criticisms.
I'm glad JR won. He really deserved it. Ricki Lake got robbed. And I am soooo glad Rob Kardashian didnt win...I could see the dollar signs in his mothers eyes, plotting her next money grubbing gig based on his win.
I'm sitting on the toilet.
JR and Karina was the only couple on the show that didn't fuss and argue. JR did everything Karina trained him to do and she was quiet and very professional. They both danced their best at all times and they deserved that win! Congratulations!
JR deserved it, Ricki was robbed and the zero hero ROB did not deserve to be one of the final 2. The kardashian kontroversy had the oesky judges keep Rob
get rid of Carrie Ann , cant agree more!
I'm sooo Happy Martinez won! Good Job J.R!
I am so thrilled that JR and Karina won–it was an exciting moment for many fans! He is a winner and an American Hero. This season was my favorite. All the couples really got along. There were times the judges were too harsh and it appeared that they were inconsistent with different dancers. With that said, I am stoked that the right person won! He worked hard and and won adoration and the hearts of many. Once in a while someone comes along and touches your heart, While I never met JRM he did just that for me. His message of hope and perseverence was brought to the dance floor every week. JR,
'If You're Reading This" thank you. You are an true American Hero and you have touched my heart. Congratulations! May the happiness and joy you give to others follow you on your journey.
I watched all the shows. (let's be for real) – the last two standing should have been JR and Ricki Lake – not Rob Kardashian. My vote was on Ricki Lake but am happy for JR and Karina. I know Derek will make a come-back with whoever he dances with.
Totally agree! Ricki & JR should have been the top 2. The Kardashian clan likely paid for Rob to be in the final.
Ok all you Kardashian haters! Get over yourself. Ricki Lake and Derick both acted a little stuck up who thought a win was a shoe in for them. They expected it. JR danced well and i am glad that he won over Ricki Lake but I voted for Robb because he came so far in spite of all the Kardashian haters out there. I believe people voted for him NOT because of his name, but because he was such a long shot to win and really put in the time and effort to do well. Ricki Lake was not robbed by Rob Kardashian – it is based on votes people. If you wanted her to win you should have voted. You probably didn't vote, but just like to spew your hate around on these discussion boards. So over haters.
JR was good, but Ricki should have won. She was the best. Overall though, I'd say the Top 3 all deserved to be there.
I disagree. I think all three were very good, which is why they went to the finals. At the end of the day, their scores were very close for dancing, and when that happens, it does come down to a popularity contest. Ricki was hurt by a less than spectacular Freestyle, and I do believe that cost her in the end both in points AND viewer votes. It was unfortunate that she had an off performance on that particular dance, but that certainly does not mean she was robbed!
You idiots. I can't believe you let these people make money off of you.
@ Casey A.
Haven't you learned to keep your trap shut!
For once the judges and people got it right.
JR could have been the winner the first dance he danced, but Ricki Lake was robbed by Rob Kardashian.
@Ben: The show isn't called Dancing with Regular Down to Earth Cool Guys. He is not a star. He has done a small amount of acting and is a veteran. On the same token I don't feel like any of the reality show people are really "stars." I think he danced very well but I also think they just wanted a sob story for the show to pull in a different demographic. For a show essentially based on a gimmick, this season was the gimmick-iest.
And who are stars by your standards?
I said like this, GO TO YOUR ROOM W/O TV!
I wonder what you have ever done with your pathetic life... that's what I thought.
Happy to see JR win! Rob K. repeatedly came off as arrogant and condescending, especially when he was caught candidly by the camera interacting with his dance partner back stage. Ricki was awesome, and should at least have been in the final two!
Very happy for JR, but I agree Ricki was robbed. It should have been Ricki and then JR.
I think you are mistaken for one reason – Ricki, unfortunately, did not perform a spectacular Freestyle. Had she scored a perfect 30, I think she would have been runner up or possibly winner. But, based on the Freestyle performances, the fact that all three were scored very closely, and Rob being the most improved star of the season, I do believe it fell out as it should have.
Ricki was absolutely robbed. Great form, great posture, GREAT footwork, Rob was sloppy and off beat, and JR missed his beats from time to time as well.
That was ricki's, I'll never watch dwts again.
I thought it was dancing with the stars? I dont watch the show, but who is that dude? He definitely not a star. In a competion the winner should be who performed the best, not who you feel most sorry for.
Seriously Jimmy ___ U R and I D I O T – you didn't watch the show so how can you ASSume it was out of pity ... clearly as Red would say on That 70's Show you are a D*umbA*s
If you don't watch the show, how can you say he won because people felt sorry for him. He was awesome!!
You should have ended your comment with I don't watch the show.
You obviously didn't read J.R.'s bio, as he has acted on television, albeit a small part. Further, J.R. NEVER asked anyone to feel sorry for him, he danced his behind off, always graciously accepted the judges comments and worked hard to improve his skills. Do your homework before you spout off!
He may not have been a "star" by your standards, but JR is best known for his role on All My Children. At least do a little homework before you make your comments. I do not feel sorry for him, I feel pitty for you.
LOL@jimmy! That's what I said when Bristol Palin was on! The right person won this time. Congratulations to JR. Kudos to Rob K too.
Wow, Jimmy. Looks like the consensus is...you're a d0uche.
@ jimmy, you still haven't learned! Go to your room w/out TV!
Who is JR Martinez Jimmy? He's a HERO who fought to let people like you exercise your first amendment rights.
Jimmy, truer words have never been said. It was a pity vote plain and simple.
Really happy for J.R. just a regular cool down to earth guy who served our country proudly. Congrats!!
So happy that it was either Rob or J.R. in the final spot to win! The right man was chosen! Amazing person and amazing story!
The 3 finalists were all great,but the right person won .
i am happy for jr, he is amazing. however i believed he should have been runner up. ricki lake was robbed. she was clearly the best dancer all year. rob k 2nd big mistake. while this show is based on 'popularity' (can you say kardasian) and not on actual dance ability i will no longer watch the show. i am disgusted w/the voters.
I'm a professional dancer and have been the business for years. Rob K made it to the finale because his technique was spot on – not because he is a Kardashian. I could care less about his reality star family but do not disregard his abilities (and people who voted for him) merely due to the fact that you aren't a fan. This was by far the best season and the right people made it to the finals. Happy for JR...
I agree with you. This was the first time I had watched it and realized it was a popularity contest when Chaz and Carson stayed on the show longer than some of the ones that were voted off that were alot better than them. Rob had improved the last two weeks but then to say he was 2nd when Ricki danced her butt off every week. What a joke!!!! Jr. had everyone's emotions because he is a burn victim and even worse it was done in the war with Iraq. I'll never waste my time or money voting on this show again. Not to mention all three judges had JR picked as their favorite from the beginning. Carrie Ann never had anything good to say about the dancers. They need to get rid of Lynn and Carrie Ann they can't vote fairly over their own personal favortism. Goodbye DWTS!!!
Tom Bergeron is ANNOYING. I love the stiff mike and limp mike trick. Stiff when he talks then it goes limp. My mom used to say, never trust a man with no lips! Also, the "Dance Center" was mildly annoying the first year, now it's not tolerable. I switch channels when they do that worn out schtick. Anyway time to replace Ramundo Profundo (Bergeron) with a person with lips and a normal sized head.
I was so glad it was between Rob and JR in the final few moments. They were both winners as far as I'm concerned. Now if they can just get rid of that pesky Carrie Ann..........Please :)
Congrats to JR and happy for him, I did not watch, and will not watch till Carrie – Ann is gone.... and I'm sure so many others feel the same.... she is so out of line for this show....
Carrie-Ann is not as disturbing as Maks. I hope that he doesn't come back next year. As far as the winners – all 3 of the final teams were awesome and worthy of recognition.... not just for their dancing but their ability to work as teams.
I am so glad that the right person won for all of the right reasons.
God gave some people legs to dance,he gave some people hands to play ball,he gave some people a voice to sing.god give different people talents,because if he did not it would be like the president in America or the judges sitting on the benches in America there would be nothing but white faces grabbing every dime and lieing to get it.I am thankful every day god has the last say so.And don't for get he punishes all haters.
How old is Julia, 7? 'Lieing' IS lying. Nothing ticks someone who has an English degree off *more* than someone who cannot spell, but keeps on posting on the internet.
It's a dancing show, so it's not like the winner really matters, but let's be honest here. He didn't win because of his dancing talent. He won because he was a disfigured war vet. I'm fine with that- he sacrificed a lot for his country, and if winning a mirror ball trophy pays him back even a little, then hey, I'm glad he won. But let's at least be honest with ourselves.
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