JR Martinez on Dancing With The Stars

JR Martinez, Iraq war veteran, was crowned the winner of Dancing with the Stars alongside his partner, professional dancer Karina Smirnoff, last night (22.11.11). He wowed the judges with his dancing, throughout the 10-week competition and overcame an injured ankle in the final weeks of the popular dance contest.

JR Martinez also former All My Children actor, beat reality star Rob Kardashian to scoop the mirror ball trophy with his dance partner.

“First and foremost, I want to thank everybody who voted for us for 10 weeks. Thank you America for believing in us.”-Dancing With The Stars winner said upon hearing the news.

Earlier in the evening, there was a shock when Ricki Lake and Derek Hough were eliminated after the first round, despite winning 30 additional points and topping the leader board with the judges’ scores. Dancing With The Stars two-hour finale show also included appearances by this season’s former contestants including actor David Arquette, singer Chynna Phillips and activist Chaz Bono, son of singer Cher.

JR Martinez was serving in Iraq in 2003 when the US Army vehicle he was driving hit a landmine. He suffered severe burns over 40% of his body and had dozens of operations during his three-year recovery.

“There are a lot of challenges we go through in life. Unwillingly, we are put into situations, like what happened to me in Iraq. And like this, I willingly joined the show (Dancing With The Stars).But with those challenges, you have to continue to maintain a positive attitude. You’ve got to believe in yourself. I proved to myself that I really can accomplish a lot of things when I’m willing to put my mind to it.”-JR Martinez said.

Congrats to the winners!