published Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Dalton, Ga., native J.R. Martinez wins crown on 'Dancing With the Stars'

  • photo
    After ten weeks of the most riveting performances, dramatic eliminations and shocking moments of the show's 13 seasons, J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff were crowned "Dancing with the Stars" champions, on the two-hour Season Finale of "Dancing with the Stars the Results Show" on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET). (ABC/ADAM TAYLOR)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

War hero. Survivor. Actor.

And on Tuesday evening, Dalton, Ga., hometown hero J.R. Martinez added "dancer" to his list of accomplishments, taking home the top prize in season 13 of "Dancing With the Stars."

Martinez, a Dalton High School football player who was severely burned when his Humvee caught fire while he was on duty in Iraq, has been a crowd favorite since the first week on the show.

He ranked near the top of the leaderboard for weeks and was praised by the judges for his charm, inspiration and feel for the music.

Martinez was speechless for just a second after the winner was announced, burying his scarred face in his hands.

"You know what, I want to thank everybody who voted for us for 10 weeks," Martinez said.

Rob Kardashian took second place in the competition, and Ricki Lake placed third.

In Dalton, where friends had gathered at the Bradley Wellness Center to watch the finale, there were loud cheers and applause when the winner was announced.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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