October 25, 2011 by staff
J.R Martinez, JR Martinez Actor loved the “Dancing With the Stars” audience and judges alike since the first week of the season competition 13. Now, six weeks after the hit ABC series, which looks set to go all the way.
Martinez, who is a native of Dalton, Georgia, suffered horrific burns while serving in U.S. Army during the war in Iraq, but his zest for life, reflected in his performances, has been near the top of the leaderboard throughout the competition, and last week took first place with a sizzling samba that earned a standing ovation from the audience in the ballroom.
“Speaking of hip action. You were like a back-breaking sex machine,” judge Bruno Tonioli said the performance.
For three weeks, moving from the old rumba “All My Children” actor – who dedicated to those who lost their lives during military service – brought back to the audience to their feet and tears to the eyes of judge Carrie Ann Inaba .
“You touched us all,” he said. “That was one of the most moving, dancing honest I’ve seen.”
When Martinez was 19, he joined the army and was sent to Iraq. Two months after his tour there, he was driving a Humvee struck a mine. It burned 40 percent of his body and has undergone more than 30 reconstructive surgeries. His face remains partially disfigured.
“Since my injury … I’m much more spiritual harmony of what is happening in my life, and I can see things in a different light. … As long as you do things well and have a great attitude, keep strong, stay positive, all these things are only going to happen, “he told” Good Morning America “correspondent Cameron Mathison, who happens to be a personal friend and fellow” All My Children “alum.
A popular motivational speaker, Martinez has taken his message throughout the country.
“In my view, I was given a second chance, and not many people get a second chance in life … so I want people to understand some things I have learned a second time on how to make your much more significant first opportunity, “he added.
When “GMA” Martinez met recently chatted with him about what life is like in the dance floor. In a word? Painful.
“I hate the man. I never thought it would be this hardcr dancing,” said Mathison.
On and off the dance floor, Martinez is focused and determined. But he also enjoys the small pleasures of life.
Asked what his favorite food was, Martinez said, “. I love, I’m a fool (a) the spaghetti and meatballs”
As for her favorite dessert? He is described as “a brownie fan.” Just add a little ice cream.
And when he’s at a party, his favorite dance step?
“I do spray irrigation,” he said. “I am spreading the love and joy of the people.”
There is no “Sprinklering” on the dance floor, the head judge Len Goodman, a purist known, he frowned and offer a scathing critique. But behind the scenes, he and partner Karina Smirnoff have a ritual they do before each dance.
“Karina Before going live, and I have this thing, so a sentence together, and not a prayer for us is a prayer for all. Although this is a competition, we do not want to hurt anyone” said.
He asked what was going to pick dancing pro had it not been paired with Smirnoff, said:
“This will get me in trouble … I think Kym Johnson, we would do well, but it is taller than me, so it might not be as good, maybe Cheryl Burke.”
He is not above playing practical jokes – even briefly, Smirnoff cheating on the belief that he had been wounded.
Smirnoff believes his greatest strengths ballroom are its speed and is very light on his feet.
The couple have two tonight. They are programmed to perform the paso doble.
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