Before Dancing With the Stars Season Thirteen even started it gained a lot of press, with rampant rumors about which celebrities would star in the ABC dancing competition. Once the season's stars were announced, controversy ensued over the inclusion of transgender activist Chaz Bono.
Bono and former Queer Eye fashionista Carson Kressley may have drawn fans but it was the moves of another contestant, Iraq vet J.R. Martinez, that garnered acclaim from Dancing with the Stars judges. Martinez and his professional partner, Karina Smirnoff ruled the leaderboards most of the season.
But then in the semi-finals top-ranked couple Martinez and Smirnoff suddenly fell to third. In that competition, former talk show host Ricki Lake and her dance partner, Derek Hough, topped the judges' leaderboard after getting a perfect, 30-point score for their samba. Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian's brother Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke moved into second place.
So, entering the finale, the mirrorball seemed up for any of the finalists to claim. After Monday night's performances, Martinez and Smirnoff were tied with Lake and Hough.
During Tuesday night's finale the three finalists each performed their favorite dance of the season, with Lake and Hough revisiting their tango and getting 30 points for their efforts--which put them in first place. Martinez and Smirnoff performed a jive and were rewarded with second while Kardashian and Burke also danced a jive and ranked third.
These scores were then added to the couples' Monday night scores, which put Lake and Hough in first place with 84 points, Kardashian and Burke in second with 83 and Martinez and Smirnoff in third with 82 points.
Then viewer votes were tallied--and Lake and Hough were eliminated. The remaining couples performed a final "instant samba" dance-off to Ricky Martin's "Shake Your Bon Bon." Both routines received perfect 30 out of 30 scores from the judges. Now Kardashian and Burke were in the lead with a score of 113 while Martinez and Smirnoff were in second place with 112 points.
But the night wasn't over yet. Judges' scores from all four performance rounds were combined with each couple's shares of Monday's viewer votes and with that, Martinez and Smirnoff finally regained their top billing and won Dancing With the Stars Season Thirteen.