Sometimes, when paying attention to reality shows, it’s easy to wonder about goodness in the universe. If benevolence and order exist, after all, then why would horrible things keep happening on our television (take anything that has ever happened on The Real Housewives franchise, for example)?

But every once in awhile, we get the good on TV too. That’s what happened last night when J.R. Martinez won the Mirror Ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars season 13.

J.R. Martinez’s DWTS win wasn’t just a win in a reality-show competition. It was a win in reality. I’m talking about the reality in which we all live, not the TV “reality” that showcases horrible people getting/spending lots of money for stupid things. No, J.R. Martinez’s victory is a real win.


You just have to take a long look at the man to understand what a good thing this is.

J.R. Martinez is a legitimate hero.
J.R. got started on the path that led to Dancing with the Stars when he enlisted in the military and went off to fight in a war. Whatever your opinion on the reasons for that war, he made a choice and a sacrifice that have to be admired.

There have been plenty of celebrities on Dancing with the Stars. There have even been heroes — in sports and in social arenas — for some. But J.R. Martinez may just be the first legitimate, all-around hero in the show’s history.

J.R. Martinez overcame actual problems to get to success.
Sure, other stars have had problems. But how many of them nearly died and then spent months in rehab just to get back on their feet? And how many have had to face life covered in scars, knowing that nothing will ever be normal again?

It’s been inspirational to watch J.R. throughout Dancing with the Stars season 13. This is a man who understands the trouble and pain and hopelessness that average people (on varying levels) deal with. And this is a man who has turned that pain into gold.

How long has it been since a reality star made you want to be a better person?

J.R. Martinez is a nice guy.
Unless that was the best act ever, Dancing with the Stars just gave us a winner we can’t help but like. Kind, funny, gracious and generally pleasant, there’s little negative to say about J.R. Martinez.

Think about how many TV personalities you would actually want to have over for Thanksgiving dinner — and then consider how awesome it would be to have a guy like J.R. at your table.

J.R. Martinez won his Mirror Ball with his dancing. But he earned it by showing us what a true star really is.

Want more Dancing with the Stars info? Check out our DWTS Insider page on Facebook.

Can’t get enough of Dancing with the Stars season 13 winner J.R. Martinez? Then there’s more! Check out the video below to see J.R. and Karina doing a short victory dance on this morning’s Good Morning America:

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My only question from this video: Who are the hula people clapping at the side of the dance floor?

(Image and video courtesy of ABC)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.