Even though J.R. Martinez is well aware he’s not as well-known as his fellow “Dancing With the Stars” competitors, the Iraq War hero/motivational speaker/”All My Children” actor points out that “I’ve got a lot of people rooting for me. Burn survivors, military personnel. I feel like I’ve got great chances.”
(Martinez proved that point last night, when he and partner Karina Smirnoff tied for first place with Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani after their first dances — and Martinez became an instant favorite.)
Burned over 40 per cent of his body when his Humvee hit a land mine in 2003, Martinez has been playing a role that mirrors his own story on the daytime drama that has its final airing on ABC Friday (9/23). He says it’s been “an emotional rollercoaster. The day after they announced the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ cast for this season was the final day of shooting on ‘All My Children.’ That last day was tough. It was a hard day. But they’re all true professionals, and everyone there was pulling for me. Even though we knew it was the end, everyne was tyring to maintain themselves in a good light. It was nice for all of us to be together, hold each oather and hug each other and cry. But I’m so grateful for this opportunity. One thing in life ends, another begins.”
He doesn’t know yet whether he’ll continue with his role when “All My Children” moves to the internet — or even whether it will actually make that much-talked-about move. No one knows. “It’s still being negotiated,” he points out.
Meanwhile, there’s “DWTS” — the Chaz Bono season. Martinez is quick to note, “I think Chaz is holding up pretty well, handling it pretty well. I’ve gotten to know him a little bit, and he’s a good guy, from what I see. The thing about this season is, it’s so diverse, there’s something for everyone.”