Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 31 January 2015

Martinez wins the DWTS mirrorball

JR Martinez and his partner Karina Smirnoff have been crowned Dancing With The Stars champions
JR Martinez and his partner Karina Smirnoff have been crowned Dancing With The Stars champions

JR Martinez has boogied past Rob Kardashian to win the latest series of Dancing With The Stars.

The actor hoisted aloft the mirrorball trophy with his professional partner Karina Smirnoff, after being crowned champion of the 13th edition of ABC television's hit show - the US version of Strictly Come Dancing.

Host Tom Bergeron called the Iraq war veteran "an inspiration".

The all-male finale was set up halfway through the final show when talk show host Ricki Lake was voted off, finishing third. Judges' scores combined with viewer votes to determine the winner.

The judges didn't provide much extra guidance during the final competition, a samba that the dancers had to perform with little preparation time. Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba gave both teams perfect 30 scores for their final dances.

"For one of you, that was your victory dance, but I think both of you are winners," judge Carrie Ann said. "That was a great way to end this season."

Martinez, 28, came into Tuesday's episode tied with Lake for second place. He reprised his jive routine from week two, and though he made a few mistakes, judge Len Goodman said, "You've got such a sparkling personality, you just light up this room."

After being seriously injured whilst serving with the US Army in Iraq, Martinez went on to win a role on US soap All My Children.

His victory brings his partner Karina her first mirrorball in 10 seasons. Though she said of Martinez, "he is my mirrorball trophy", she also acknowledged that they really wanted to win, saying it would be "a perfect ending to a perfect story".

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