Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Dancing with the Stars season finale recap: J.R. and Karina win!

Mirrorball abacus overload! The viewer vote determines the season 13 winner

Posted on

Dancing Stars JR Wins
Adam Taylor/ABC

Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Erin Andrews, Julianne Hough
Current Status:
In Season

After a two-hour season 13 finale featuring two more competitive dances, the return of the entire cast, and the ChmerkoVogue routine of some of Carson Kressley’s naughtier dreams, the winners of Dancing With the Stars are J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff. This marks the first time Karina’s tiny, sexy fingers got to barely scrape the bottom of a COVETED MIRRORBALL TROPHY of her own. I think I’m just as excited for Our Prematurely Nostalgic Pro as I am for Our War Hero!

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke took second place after (of course) tying J.R. and Karina with perfect 30s in an instant samba that pitted two of America’s most powerful factions against each other: pink and yellow fringe/jeweled suspenders VS. lime green and turquoise tiered ruffles. It was a rainbow sherbet vs. funfetti ice cream battle for the ages, appropriately set to a song about bonbons. Everybody won. The DANCMSTR even opted out of his usual air of condesc-Lension and gave a standing O to both J.R. and Rob.

Before dessert, Ricki Lake and Derek Hough fell out of the running in third place despite “winning” the totally arbitrary “favorite dance” round, the main purpose of which was to eat time and confuse everyone with pesky numbers. After Derek murdered Ricki for the second time during their Psycho tango, Brooke made sure everyone knew that Ricki technically had the most judges’ points over the two-night finale event. It was 84-83-82: Ricki, Rob, J.R. But that might as well have been in a different language — maybe Bruno’s? — because the narrow margin basically meant that We the People were “gonna have a huge say in who gets the trophy.”

Duh! This happens every season. The mirrorball abacus loves to equalize the contestants during that never-crucial final hour. Smart viewers knew J.R. was going to win no matter what the scores were, because he was “such a catalyst for joy” (said Carrie Ann), his dances had “people eating from his hands” (said Bruno), and because an EW.com poll said he would. I enjoyed the foreshadowing of J.R.’s one sparkling moment with the new mockup of The DWTS Times that boasted the front-page headline, “EXTRA! EXTRA! J.R. JIVES FOR TROPHY!” Props to the prop! J.R. made sure to deliver that news to the judges — as well as Rob — by the end of his paper boy jive.

NEXT: Was Lady Antebellum manufactured specifically to appear on Dancing With the Stars?