We have a champion! Dancing with the Stars picked a new winner last night. After weeks of winnowing the herd, only three “stars” remained. But much like Highlander, there can be only one.
While the trio of finalists — Ricki Lake, Rob Kardashian, and J.R. Martinez — danced their hearts out, the real question on everyone’s mind last night was: How could they possibly fill up two hours of primetime?
The verdict: Iraq war veteran and actor J.R. Martinez and partner Karina Smirnoff are the winners of season 13. The duo managed to out-dance its competitors, despite being behind in points and being far less famous than either Ricki Lake or even Rob Kardashian. More impressive, they were able to defeat Rob Kardashian despite his family’s considerable Twitter pull. When a landmine survivor can beat a reality star, it gives you hope for America.
Chestiest moment: To help kill time on the two-hour show, Grammy winning group Lady Antebellum played new single “Dancing Away With My Heart,” while the pros performed some of the season’s final dances. To mark the occasion, not a single shirt was buttoned. We’re going to miss those guys, right ladies?
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Weepiest moment: During the competition’s first half, each finalist selected a dance for a repeat performance. Reality star Rob Kardashian opted to once again foxtrot to “Fly Me to the Moon,” a song he chose to honor his dearly departed father. His performance left the judges gushing and mom Kris Jenner testing the limits of her waterproof mascara by crying her eyes out on the sidelines.
Biggest compliment: After Rob completed his waltz, Judge Len Goodman announced, “You’ve got the best footwork of any guy I’ve seen on this show ever.” Which is Len’s way of saying that they aren’t going to stop trying to make Rob Kardashian happen any time soon. We all get Mean Girls references, right?
Most awkward judging moment: While Judge Len doesn’t normally subscribe to the rule of “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all,” something happened when faced with critiquing J.R.’s jive. Instead of berating the veteran’s missteps, the crotchety judge announced, “The one thing that’s always consistent … is our band and singer.” Ouch!
Most shocking moment: After the mid-show scores, host Tom Bergeron lined up the finalists to announce the third place contestant (a.k.a. the evening’s loser.) It was truly anyone’s game, yet it was still shocking when Ricki Lake, the consistent frontrunner and judges’ top scorer, was eliminated from the competition. Does this mean that the show isn’t judged entirely on talent?
Best shots at redemption: Both reality star Kristen “I’m not a bitch!” Cavallari and Chynna “Wilson” Phillips were once touted as potential frontrunners in the dancing competition. But Kristen was voted off early on and Chynna choked during Hollywood week. In their return to the ballroom the stars seized their big shots. While Kristen learned an entirely new routine, Chynna opted to redeem herself by actually completing her tango to the “Mission Impossible” theme song. Hope it was good for them, because it was kind of tedious for us.
Best Vogue: For his return to the dance floor, former Queer Eye for the Straight Guy star Carson Kressley promised he was going to let it all hang out, just “not as much as Nancy Grace.” The fashion maven delivered a fun routine that demoted his pro partner Anna Trebunskaya to mere back-up dancer, although she didn’t seem to mind. Plus Carson got to cross “dance with a Chmerkovskiy” off his bucket list while the rest of us just sat there watching.
Best dance of shame: Remember way back when NBA player Ron Artest a.k.a Metta World Peace and George Clooney’s ex Elisabetta Canalis were on the show? Me neither! Yet the producers saw fit to bring them back to perform the dances that got them eliminated in the first round. Anything to help wile away the hours.
Most superfluous dance: In the last half of the show, the two remaining finalists, Rob and J.R., were instructed to learn a samba to Ricky Martin’s “Shake Your Bon Bon.” They complied with the request, performed their sambas. Then the judges awarded everyone 10s — Oprah-style (And you get a 10! And you get a 10!) — and more time was wasted until it was the last three minutes of the entire season and J.R. was crowned the winner. The end.
Do you think the right person went home with the trophy? Did Rob Kardashian deserve the win or did J.R. Martinez earn his trophy? Tell us in the comments below.