J.R. Martinez will need to bring his A-game to the finale of "Dancing With The Stars" on Tuesday to overcome his low-scoring Cha Cha from Monday night. He earned 24 out of 30 for his Cha Cha effort in the ballroom on November 21.
The judges claimed Martinez lost a bit of his musicality during the dance and the former "All My Children" actor and war veteran agreed.
"The judges were right. I mean, I was off cue and I messed up and I did kind of panic in a way and I was like, 'ah, let me try to get back on cue,'" Martinez told OnTheRedCarpet.com after the November 21 show. "By that point, I mean, they've already noticed the mistakes.'"
Martinez and his partner Karina Smirnoff were able to recover with a crowd-pleasing Freestyle number that earned the pair a perfect score of 30 out of 30 points. The two are tied with Ricki Lake and Derek Hough with a total of 54 points out of 60 for the night going into the finale.
"It is anybody's game," Smirnoff said. "We don't know what the votes are going to be like but just to help America believe that we can nail the Cha Cha, I am going to post the dress rehearsal and the orchestra rehearsal on YouTube of our Cha Cha to prove that we have nailed it before many times."
"Cha cha is one of the easiest dances," Smirnoff added. "That's the funny part. He is so much better at more complicated dances because then, I think, you just, you dive into it."
To that Martinez said, "I love the challenge."
A few of Martinez's former cast members from "All My Children" were also in the audience and chatted up OnTheRedCarpet.com about their co-star.
"He's a living testament to, to people that, if they strive for something, they can accomplish it if they set their minds to it," Vincent Irizarry, who played Dr. David Hayward on the soap, said. "We see that in him all the time, even the fact that he came on our show the way he did, he's an amazing inspiration."
Martinez's other "All My Children" co-star Cameron Mathison has experience with "Dancing With The Stars." He competed in the fifth season of the show in 2007 with Edyta Sliwinska and was eliminated in week 8, just before the semifinals.
"His fearlessness shows no bounds at all. It's amazing he's been an inspiration to me from the day I met him on 'All My Children' and then watching him out here, he's like so excited to get out there and try these things," Mathison said. "Meanwhile when I was doing it, I was kind of like, terrified to get out there and try these things."
He added, "It just goes to show you what kind of guy he is, for me that's one of the big reasons that he's such an inspiration is his fearlessness."
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).