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J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff

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#1 Dade


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Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:49 PM

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J.R. Martinez

"Soap's Real-Life Hero"
J.R. Martinez is an Iraq war veteran, motivational speaker and actor on ABC's All My Children. In April 2003, at 19 years old, he was serving as a Humvee driver for the U.S. Army in Iraq when his left front tire hit a landmine. He suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body.

J.R. was immediately evacuated and sent to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio where he spent 34 months in recovery. Since his injury, he has undergone 33 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. While in recovery, he started speaking to other burn patients within the hospital, sharing his experiences and listening to theirs. News of his story and efforts to help others quickly spread, first on a local level and then to national circuits, leading to appearances on Oprah, 60 Minutes, CNN and more.

Bilingual in English and Spanish, J.R. has traveled the country since 2004, spreading his message of resilience and optimism. Today he is a sought-after motivational speaker and has shared the stage with many notable individuals. In October 2008, J.R. joined the cast of ABC's Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama All My Children as combat veteran Brot Monroe.

Born in Shreveport, LA, he moved to Hope, AR, where he and his mother lived until he was 17. They moved to Dalton, GA, just prior to his senior year, the place J.R. proudly calls his hometown. J.R. continues to balance his motivational speaking engagements and charity work with his acting. He is also busy working on his memoir. We're thinking he should leave that last chapter open for now until he finds out just how far he goes on Dancing With The Stars!

Photo Credit: ABC/Donna Svennevik

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Karina Smirnoff


Karina was born in the Ukraine before she made her way to the U.S. with her family at the age of 12. And speaking of her family, we're giving a great big shout out to Karina's folks for getting her started with ballet lessons when she was five. Think they had any idea what they started?!
At the age of nine, Karina was introduced to ballroom dancing and fell in love with it. After high school, she graduated from Fordham University but put her academic studies on hold to pursue her ballroom dancing career in the United Kingdom.
We first fell in love with Karina during Season 3 when she swung into a second place finish with partner Mario Lopez. Not bad for a DWTS rookie. The next season she finished fifth with Billy Ray Cyrus. The two would team up again after their last dance when Karina guest starred on Hannah Montana.
Karina and her former partner Slavik Kryklyvyy shared tremendous success winning the U.S. Championships and many other world titles and were ranked second in the world in the Latin division.
Back for her eighth season, we just can't to see Karina burn the floor on the DWTS stage!

• Five-time U.S. National Champion
• World Trophy Champion
• Asian Open Champion

Ralph Macchio
Mike Sorrentino
Aaron Carter
Mario Lopez
Billy Ray Cyrus
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Rocco DiSpirito
Steve Wozniak

#2 Marty



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Posted 31 August 2011 - 05:38 AM

He plays a police officer on All My Children.

#3 weselntxs



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Posted 19 September 2011 - 03:28 PM

I like him on All My Children. I think that he is a positive influence for people. He was dealt a bad hand and seems to have made something pretty good out of it.

#4 SugarB



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Posted 19 September 2011 - 06:15 PM

Good dancer.

#5 Slowpoke


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Posted 03 October 2011 - 07:00 PM

2 Kleenex dance for me tonite.

#6 pinkie



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Posted 03 October 2011 - 08:11 PM

Made me cry, amazing story for sure

#7 WickedOne



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Posted 22 November 2011 - 07:34 PM

She's my LEAST fav dancer. He's rather good.

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