War veteran J.R. Martinez was hailed as the conquering hero of “Dancing With the Stars” on Monday night, as he received perfect scores of 30 for both of his performances with partner Karina Smirnoff.
In fact, Ricki Lake, who has been J.R.’s chief competition all season, admitted backstage after the show, “J.R. was amazing. My vote would be for him tonight.”
J.R. simply left the other four remaining celebrities in the dust. He sizzled in both the waltz and the instant dance, in which all of the couples had to jive after getting their music just minutes before the performance. He told reporters afterwards with Karina by his side, “It’s absolutely amazing getting the perfect score. We started floating in the air and celebrating. It was like an out of body experience.
“It felt like everything fell into place. I was like a little kid showing your mom that you can do something.”
Watch: J.R. Receives Perfect Score On DWTS:
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And the former soldier, who danced the waltz with Karina to the song “What the World Needs Now is Love,” couldn’t resist commenting, “we got a lot of it tonight!”
Meanwhile, Ricki didn’t get the love from the judges on week eight and she and partner Derek Hough admitted backstage they could have done better. “It was one of those nights,” sighed Derek. When asked what was hurting her this week, Ricki, who has complained of a rib injury, answered honestly, “right now it’s my ego.”
While J.R.’s triumph was the talk of the night, here’s some other DWTS backstage chatter:
Cheers for Derek: While rumors have been flying about a possible Derek/Maks feud, it’s clear young D has the X Factor in his corner. His former celeb partner Nicole Scherzinger, who won her season with Derek last year and parlayed it into a gig as an “X Factor” judge, was seen in the DWTS audience. Nicole “was just cheering me on,” Derek told reporters. “She of course knows what I’m going through.” And, conveniently, “The X Factor” shoots right next door to the DWTS stage so they can always keep in touch!
Mama’s Boy Maks: He’s known as DWTS’ resident bad boy but Maks seemed like he’d rather be known as a mama’s boy. After the broadcast showed Hope Solo and Maks dining with his family, she revealed to XfinityTV.com what viewers didn’t see of the visit: “I fell in love with his mom. Beautiful cook, so much love inside of her. You can tell that she’s like the quiet strength,” Hope gushed. Maks said his Ukrainian mom, who doesn’t speak much English, has a special mantra: “She always says the man is the head of the family but the woman is the neck.” As in, the one who holds the family together!
The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship?: J.R. has been singing the Justin Bieber song “Never Say Never” on DWTS since the teen pop sensation performed his hit on the show. And it sounds like the war hero has a man crush on the singer. J.R. explained to reporters, “Beebs showed me love last week and congratulated me on all of my success and everything. That was really cool. It’s a great song, too, ‘Never Say Never,’ and that’s something that all of us should learn.”
Boo Boo in the Booth: Reporters laughed about a cameraman accidentally showing judge Len Goodman fumbling with his paddle before some scores were to be announced.
Rob Kardashian’s Weekend Update: The reality TV brother confided he didn’t have time to catch the “Saturday Night Live” skit everyone is talking about—the comedy show’s send up of his sister Kim’s divorce from Kris Humphries. “I heard it was really funny,” Rob said. “It’s a good thing if they’re doing parodies off you—not a bad thing.” The family was there again for Rob on Monday night–his mom Kris and stepdad Bruce were spotted in the audience and many of the Ks planned to go out partying afterwards. Rob wasn’t specific, but said, “There’s a bunch of birthdays going on, so we’re like celebrating, going to a salsa club. I don’t even know how to dance salsa but [partner] Cheryl [Burke] is coming so she’ll get my back. But my brother-in-law can dance.” Maybe Lamar Odom should appear on a future DWTS season, then!