The celebrities danced to the theme of their most memorable year. The stars paid tribute to parents, children, music and the military.
"I'm thrilled but it was never about the score for us. It was really about doing our best," Lake said, though she agreed with partner Derek Hough that the score didn't hurt.
Lake said she was "stuck" before 2011. She went through a tough divorce, was a single mother of two, and if that wasn't enough to deal with, her house burned down. Then the woman who said she had become closed off to the world allowed someone in, and is now happy and in love.
In second place with 26 points was Chynna Phillips, who acknowledged a past drinking problem in her dance with partner Tony Dovolani.
"Quite exposed, but in a good way," Phillips said. "It's good to let people know that they're not alone and that all of us have our struggles."
J.R. Martinez and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, were tied with them for second place. As a member of the U.S. military, Martinez was injured while serving in Iraq. He honored the troops with his dance.
"Rarely do people get to see the other side, get to see the struggle, and tonight, I think I was able to share that," Martinez said.
Rob Kardashian was 15 years old when his father died of cancer. He and partner Cheryl Burke danced for his father, who he said he's thought about daily since he passed in 2003.
They earned 24 points, landing them in a four-way tie with Kristin Cavallari with partner Mark Ballas, Hope Solo with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy and David Arquette with partner Kym Johnson.
As Burke put it, "We're all stuck right there together so it's a matter of whose fan base is the biggest."
Just one point behind them in this very competitive week was Carson Kressley. He chose 2003 as his most memorable year because that's when his show, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," was a breakout hit.
In ninth place, scoring triple sevens, was Nancy Grace. Grace picked 2007, the year her twins were born.
"I thought that the dance was beautiful but, obviously, the Waltz is too tame for this bunch, so we're going to have to give them a little of that next time," Grace said.
In last place with 18 points was Chaz Bono, who danced to "Laugh at Me," a song his late father Sonny Bono wrote.
"I'm a pretty positive person at this point in my life," Chaz Bono said. "I've had a difficult life. I've had to get over a lot of big hurdles - and I have."
His new hurdle is that last place finish. Another couple goes home Tuesday night.