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'Dancing With The Stars' Finale Crowns J.R. Martinez The Hero Of The Ballroom

November 23rd, 2011 9:14am EST

JR Martinez Wins 'Dancing With The Stars' So last night ‘Dancing With The Stars’ crowned a new champion for it’s thirteenth season, and it was an outcome that I wouldn’t have predicted. Then again, I feel like I’ve been swinging back and forth all season, so it’s nothing new.

After Monday night’s show, Rob held onto the top spot, and I really hoped he would hang onto it. Here’s where the leader board stood on Monday:

1. Rob and Cheryl - 57
2. Ricki and Derek - 54
2. J.R. and Karina - 54

As usual, all the fallen stars took the stage in the first number, and it never fails to be kind of nostalgic. Which is weird, considering it’s only been ten weeks! Lady Antebellum was our musical guest for the night, but really, there wasn’t a whole lot of additional filler in this finale (thankfully!). The stars still had two dances left for judges points alone.

They all had to perform their favorite dance of the season, and they didn’t get the regular scores, but were awarded a 30, 28, or 26 depending on how the judges ranked them. After that ranking, the ‘Dancing’ nerds broke out their calculators and gave us the third place star, after which only the top two moved on to do an instant samba.

Favorite Dances Round:

Ricki Lake (actress and talk show host) & Derek Hough
Dance: ‘Movie Week’ Tango (week four)
Len said it was one of the most memorable dances of this season or any other. Bruno said it was a grand cinematic extravaganza, and unforgettable. Carrie Ann said it was everything it could have been, perfect the first time, and beyond perfect this time.

What is there to say about this dance that the judges didn’t say? It is certainly a very memorable dance for me, and I was happy to see it again!

Rob Kardashian (reality star) & Cheryl Burke
Dance: ‘Most Memorable Year’ Foxtrot (week three)
Bruno said Rob had improved beyond anyone’s expectations, and even made his “little hiccup” look charming. Carrie Ann said he’d grown so much that he made it look like it was easy for him now. Len said Rob had the best footwork of any other male celebrity on the show.

That’s pretty high praise from Len! I don’t remember much of Rob doing this dance the first time, but I know that it certainly wasn’t this good. If it had been, I would have remembered it. I’m not sure I saw this slip up the judges mentioned, though. Perhaps when he slid Cheryl across the floor and did that awkward little step on his way over to pick her up?

J.R. Martinez (actor and U.S. Army veteran) & Karina Smirnoff
Dance: Jive (week two)
Carrie Ann said J.R. had a little bit of a hard time, but called him a catalyst for joy. Len complimented the band for their consistency whether the dancers had good nights or not, but said J.R. had a sparkling personality. Bruno called the dance energetic, fast-paced fun.

When J.R. and Karina first jumped off the upper stage, I was worried that J.R. hurt his ankle again. He sort of hesitated, and seemed to lose his place for a few beats. He caught back up pretty quickly, and the rest of the dance was good, but... it seems like after J.R. got injured, he just never returned to his former glory.

Scores: Ricki - 30, J.R. - 28, Rob - 26
I totally disagree. Rob got... well, robbed. He and J.R. should have been in reversed positions, at the very least.

Who took third place? Ricki.

Wow. I really did not expect that; in my mind she was going to take first or second place, especially with all the struggling J.R.’s been going through. Looks like Derek’s streak has been broken!

So to fill the time until the second round, while the remaining stars rehearsed, we got a trip down memory lane, revisiting each week of this season. All of the previous stars then took turns on stage to either relive some or their memorable dances, or give us a whole new performance. Some highlights: Elisabetta almost shoved Val off his feet, then later his brother Maks swung Hope out into the lights that lined the stage. Chynna and Tony got a redo on the dance that got them sent home . Carson got his wish to dance with a Chmerkovskiy in his own version of Madonna's “Vogue”, and David tried to run away with the trophy.

That probably covers it, so...

Instant Samba Round:
Len gave them his own little standing O. Bruno said J.R. could turn the party on at will, and Rob was beyond the rainbow last week, but in orbit this week. Carrie Ann said both of them were winners.

Aw, of course the judges final critiques were very diplomatic. In this case, though, it didn’t feel forced. Rob and J.R. both did equally well, and their scores reflected that: both of them got three tens, leaving their final totals at 112 for J.R. and for 113 Rob. Yiiiikes, only one judges point separated the final two.

So who won the mirror ball trophy? J.R.!

Well, Rob did hold on to the top spot in the judges scores, at least. Given the last couple weeks, I feel like Rob or Ricki deserved the trophy the most, but I can’t feel too disappointed in J.R.’s win. Not only was he a great competitor with an amazing spirit, this was the first time Karina has come out on top after performing on the show for ten seasons. The season has been unpredictable, and the finale was too, for the first time in a while. Great night!

Now I suppose I twiddle my fingers and just dream about dancing until March. See you all then!

Related: Anna Trebunskaya, Brooke Burke, Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba, Carson Kressley, Chaz Bono, Cheryl Burke, Chynna Phillips, Dancing With The Stars, David Arquette, Derek Hough, Elisabetta Canalis, Hope Solo, J.R. Martinez, Karina Smirnoff, Kim Kardashian, Kristin Cavallari, Kym Johnson, Lacey Schwimmer, Lady Antebellum, Len Goodman, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Mark Ballas, Nancy Grace, Peta Murgatroyd, Ricki Lake, Rob Kardashian, Ron Artest, Tom Bergeron, Tony Dovolani, Starpulse Exclusives, Recaps, Television, Reality, ABC

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Photo Credits: ABC-TV, Adam Taylor

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