After ups, downs, injuries, controversy and 10 weeks of ballroom battle, Ricki Lake, J.R. Martinez and Rob Kardashian headed into the Dancing With the Stars season finale with one last chance to win it all.
Rob, surprisingly, held a slight lead heading into Monday night, with Ricki and J.R. in a tie for second just a few points behind. All three proved they were the cream of the Season 13 crop and then some.
But there could be only one champion.
J.R., Ricki and Rob vied for the Mirror Ball.
A dark horse underdog for weeks, Rob peaked at exactly the right time, turning in some truly outstanding performances and finishing the finals with the most points. Would that be enough, however?
It was enough to beat out Ricki Lake, but not J.R. Martinez, your DWTS winner.
"First and foremost, I want to thank everybody who voted for us, for 10 weeks," said the soap opera actor, motivational speaker and Iraq war veteran, who reserved his highest praise for partner Karina Smirnoff. "You are amazing, and I'm grateful that I could be a part of your first Mirror Ball trophy."
Karina's win was her first in 10 seasons as a professional.
"For one of you, that was your victory dance," Carrie Ann Inaba told J.R. and Rob after they performed instant sambas in round four (both were perfect). "But I think both of you are winners tonight."
Rob came in second, and after both he and J.R. scored 30s with said sambas, he ended up with a two-night total of 113, one higher than Martinez's 112. J.R.'s votes from fans put him over the top.
That's the way it goes, but if Kardashian was upset about it, he didn't show it. "I'm definitely not sad," Rob said, noting that he beat expectations all season long. "I already won in my book."
As for Ricki, who ended up in a somewhat surprising third? "I've loved basically every minute of this," she said afterward. "I had the best partner, the best teacher, the best motivator there is."
"I've accomplished something here that I really didn't think I could do."
And so it goes. We'll see you this spring for an exciting 14th season!
Did J.R. deserve to win Dancing With the Stars? Are you surprised that he edged out Rob? Who was your favorite dancer this season? Was this one of the best in recent memory? Tell us below!