J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff have won Dancing With the Stars, but the hit show's finale had the lowest numbers in its history.
Martinez, Ricki Lake and Rob Kardashian all made it to the finale, with Lake and her partner Derek Hough as longtime favorites for the win.
Instead, after three well-choreographed numbers by the finalists, Kardashian and Martinez were neck-and-neck, with the prize going to the soap opera star and Iraq war veteran.
I Won in My Book
The Dancing win was Smirnoff's first mirror-ball trophy in 10 tries on DWTS, and Martinez dedicated part of his thank you speech to his dancing partner. First and foremost, however, I want to thank everybody who voted for us, for 10 weeks, he said.
Kardashian and Cheryl Burke took second place, but the pair didn't seem too upset with the loss. They were the first to run over and congratulate Martinez and Smirnoff. One of the highlights of the season has been the relationship between Kardashian and his partner Burke, and the reality star's growing friendship with Martinez.
I'm definitely not sad, Kardashian told E! Online. I won in my book.
Lowest Finale Rating in DWTS History
Even for those rabidly watching the Season 13 finale however, this year's cast and performances just didn't have the same spark as seasons past.
For some reason, fall seasons aren't as much fun as spring ones, wrote Wall Street Journal blogger Lisa Reynolds. Other bloggers have commented on lackluster performances, and have disapproved of Kardashian progressing so far in the competition.
Viewer reactions have been borne out in the show's numbers. According to a report by Wet Paint, the finale Tuesday night was down 27 percent from last fall's part one finale, and maybe even more so from the spring season. The show's numbers may have been hurt by Hope Solo and Maskim Chmerkovskiy's elimination, which cost a substantial fan base following the soccer star and her dance partner.
After 13 seasons of Dancing With the Stars, are viewers starting to lose interest? Perhaps. The rating is the lowest in Dancing With the Stars history. It's also likely however, that after years of listening to the same boring jokes by judges and complaining by celebrities, some viewers have decided to ditch the autumn run for fall football season, returning to DWTS in the spring.
Surprise finales are sure to help with that, as many had figured Lake would take the win, and that Kardashian would be out four episodes ago.
I've loved basically every minute of this, Lake said afterward. I had the best partner, the best teacher, the best motivator, and I've done something I really didn't think I could do.