Dancing on a twisted ankle suffered during a practice session over the weekend for ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” Martinez was in visible pain Monday night. The injury had a pronounced effect on his performances as he finished third out of four competitors in the judges’ voting. Despite the down night, Martinez advanced to the finals as Hope Solo was eliminated Tuesday. Last week, Martinez scored the first two perfect 30s of the season. He has been at or near the top of the standings each week. However, he took a few steps back this week.
For his first dance Monday night, Martinez donned a cape and mask during a paso doble to a song from the movie “El Zorro.” He said he reinjured his ankle during the dance.
Judge Len Goodman characterized his performance as “more zero than Zorro.”
“Certain dances suit you, certain dances don’t,” Goodman said. “For me, this dance didn’t suit you at all.”
Judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli were less critical, but Martinez only notched 23 points out of 30.
But he rallied during his second dance, an Argentine tango to Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust the Windows Out Your Car,” to score 27 points. Tonioli called the performance “incredible.”
“You were in Latin-lover mode! Strong, fearless!” Tonioli said.
In the final dance — the “cha-cha relay” — Martinez earned six points.
On the evening, Martinez finished with 56 points.
A 2002 graduate of Dalton High School, Martinez was severely injured while serving in Iraq. He is now known nationally as a motivational speaker. He played the character of “Brot Monroe” for three years on the ABC soap opera “All My Children.”