SEE IT: Fans Thank Popular DWTS Champ for Sharing ‘Emotional’ Video

DWTS Mirrorball

ABC "Dancing With the Stars" Mirrorball Trophy

Way back in 2011, a “Dancing With the Stars” contestant won the hearts of viewers far and wide.

J.R. Martinez, a U.S. Army veteran who suffered burns to over 30 percent of his body while serving in Iraq, won the Mirrorball Trophy. His story reached thousands of people and he quickly became one of the most beloved people to ever join the show.

“On April 5, 2003, I was on a routine patrol in Iraq when the Humvee I was driving hit a roadside bomb. The vehicle, loaded with explosives, ejected the three other soldiers in the car, leaving me trapped inside alone. I thought my life was over, but I survived. In the years following the accident, I had over 34 different surgeries including multiple skin grafts and cosmetic surgeries,” reads an excerpt from his website.

Martinez shared his story on DWTS and really brought out some strong emotions by way of dance, leaving most viewers in awe. It was an emotional season for Martinez and his pro partner, Karina Smirnoff, and he’s recalling one of his favorite moments from the show.

Here’s what you need to know:

Martinez Shared His ‘Very Emotional Rumba’

On August 31, 2022, Martinez was feeling a bit nostalgic. He shared one of his favorite dances from season 13.

“Another Dancing throwback – this one’s a very emotional Rumba,” he captioned his post, adding the hashtags, “#dancingwiththestars #DWTS #karinasmirnoff #jrmartinez #rumba #memoriesinthemaking #goodtimeswithgoodpeople.”

The rumba is known to be a very sensual dance and Martinez and Smirnoff executed the routine beautifully. The song, “If You’re Reading This” by Tim McGraw, served as a tribute to Martinez’s time in war — and to the families who have gone through losing a loved one in war.

According to People magazine, the performance was “emotionally wrenching.”

“That was one of the most profound, honest dances I’ve ever seen,” Carrie Ann Inaba said, tears in her eyes.

“I didn’t expect performances like this from you. It was a wonderful performance,” Len Goodman said, praising Martinez.

“You danced from your heart. I could feel every emotion,” Bruno Tonioli added.

The dance earned him a 26/30.

Fans Loved Watching the Throwback Video

Fans really enjoyed watching the throwback video of the dance that Martinez decided to share and they let him know in the comments section of the post. For many, they were rewatching the dance but, for other, it was their first time seeing it. Either way, people really loved it and expressed such.

“I remember this dance as if it was yesterday… amazing. I enjoyed your journey on DWTS and followed you ever since. Thank you,” one comment read.

“I loved it the first time and loved it again. Thanks for sharing this beautiful moment,” someone else wrote.

“This dance lives rent free in my head. It still gives me chills,” another person added.

“Beautiful dance by 2 beautiful people. U left your heart and soul on the dance floor. The choreography was beautiful,” a fourth fan echoed.

“You deserved that mirror ball!! I voted for you 35263627372738383 times!! Lol Amazing JR,” said a fifth.

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