J.R. Martinez and his partner Karina Smirnoff earned another standing ovation on Monday, this time for their samba skills.
"The samba was really hard this week and it was just like tough, non-stop, non-stop," Martinez told OnTheRedCarpet.com after the performance. "Every time we'd run it in rehearsal, we'd be like (panting). I thought the jive was bad, the conga was crazy."
The "All My Children" actor and Iraq War veteran danced to Gloria Estefan's "Conga" and received high praises and 28 points out of 30 from the judges. Head judge Len Goodman told Martinez that even though the samba is usually hard for men to pull off, that he had done just that. Carrie Ann Inaba called the performance "muy caliente."
"We got our first 10. It feels good," Martinez said before Smirnoff chimed in, "We're going to take it and keep it because you don't know when we're going to get it again with them."
Martinez revealed more than his Latin roots on Monday, he also divulged his full name -- Jose Rene Martinez. But the actor isn't taking himself too seriously, he is out to have a good time on the reality dancing competition.
"This is why everyone roots for us, and we hear it week in and week out so far, it's because we have fun!" Martinez told OnTheRedCarpet.com after his performance. "They asked me just a minute ago what I would say to someone who thinks that they can't dance and I said 'I didn't know how to dance! Just don't think about it, just have fun!' Like the song that we danced to tonight says, 'Let the rhythm move your feet.'"
Smirnoff made her own headlines on Monday, after postponing her wedding to her fianc?, Detroit Tigers pitcher Brad Penny. The couple began dating in October 2009 and became engaged in October 2010. The two were set to wed on January 21, 2012.
"It's not a bad day, it's just that Brad made the play-offs, they just lost to the Texas Rangers (meh) but they got all the way to the semi-finals and we haven't seen each other for two months, so just want to take the time to plan it together," Smirnoff told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "It's not like it's the end of the world, it's just the beginning and we want to make sure that the beginning is planned better!"
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, parent company of OnTheRedCarpet.com that also produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet"(check for local TV listings).