After an emotional - and at times controversial -- season, army veteran and former "All My Children" actor J.R. Martinez came out the best among 11 celebrities to become the newest ballroom champion, alongside his partner and first-time mirrorball champ, professional dancer Karina Smirnoff.
In this way J.R. Martinez ended a storybook chapter to ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars' by hoisting the show's mirrorball trophy in victory following the finale on November 23.
Martinez, an Army veteran who often joked in the beginning of the season about how much of an unknown he was on the celebrity dance competition, went on to inspire millions of viewers with his story of recovery from a 2003 landmine explosion in Iraq.
During the show's two-day finals, Martinez, 28, and pro partner Karina Smirnoff, 33, also impressed enough with their fancy footwork to win the 13th season title, the first for Smirnoff. "Thank you, America, for believing in us," Martinez said.
After the show, a thrilled Martinez said, "I just want to breathe and take it all in. It's been such an amazing journey."