It's down to three as we reach the final week of Season 13 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Only Ricki Lake, J.R. Martinez and Rob Kardashian remain.

And the pressure is on! Not only is this the finals, the audience is still on ankle watch. Last week, Martinez injured the ankle during rehearsals, then again while on the dance floor in the first of three programs he performed. Martinez had an X-ray done. A medical professional says the ankle is swelling some, so there will be pain, but there is no break.

Each team performed twice tonight. The first is a dance #TeamMartinoff hasn’t done this season, the cha-cha-cha. The second is a freestyle dance.

During rehearsals, each of the teams was visited by a judge, who gave help and advice. I was surprised that Len Goodman visited Martinez. “If [Martinez] works on his hips and his arms, his cha-cha-cha is going to another level,” Goodman said.

Goodman also explained that the winner of “Dancing with the Stars” is often the performer who wants it most. He pointed out that Martinez's partner, Karina Smirnoff, has never won, and the other two pro dancers have. Martinez said she deserves to win and he's trying to get her there.

#TeamMartinoff performed last. The performance to “Let’s Get Loud” started with Martinez in the audience. Martinez wore yellow and brown and his partner wore a bright yellow dress. The pair didn't dance together much. Martinez smiled a lot, but the program didn’t have its usual pop.

From the judges

Carrie Ann Inaba: "I think when people watch you dance, they just fall in love with your spirit. ... However, that being said, tonight your musicality was a bit off.” She also didn’t like his arms. Her score: 8.

Goodman: "I think it was brave that you did a lot of that dance on your own, solo. ... J.R., this wasn’t that good. You were off time ... There were a lot of mistakes. I think your enthusiasm got the better of you." His score: 7.

Bruno Tonioli: "It was like a sultry night in Havana. And when you play with Karina, your intensity is right on the money." His score: 9

With a score of 24, Martinez was in last place among the three teams after the first set of performances.

The second program was a freestyle. “Karina and I decided to do a salsa-inspired routine because of the fact that I am Latin,” Martinez explained in the video before the performance. And as I recall, Martinez's best dances were his Latin dances. He seems to enjoy the high-energy programs best.

But much like the '90s skating movie "The Cutting Edge," there’s a crazy lift planned for the program – and it could seriously hurt Smirnoff. This adds to the suspense of the routine.

They danced to “Whine Up” by Kat DeLuna. They did several awesome and scary lifts. J.R. pulled off the skirt of Smirnoff's already itty-bitty costume (It was part of the plan!) and he wore a pink hoodie and white pants. They danced apart quite a bit, including an in-sync segment on a lit table. The program incorporated elements of my second-favorite performance from them this season, their Week 6 samba. (My favorite performance was their Week 3 rumba.) And the performance ROCKED. Martinez celebrates to the judge’s table.

From the judges

Inaba: “That’s the way to come back. Those ... were the sickest lifts I’ve ever seen.” Her score: 10.

Goodman: “Two things were revealed: Karina’s body and your talent. Fantastic.” His score: 10.

Tonioli: “You are wild and exuberant with animal physicality! ... It was like a jungle, tribal hypnotic -- yes! experience! Brilliant! What a comeback! His score: 10.

Martinez shook hands with all the judges, then did a touchdown-type dance across the dance floor after the judge’s comments.

Their final score for this night is 54 out of 60. They are tied for second with Ricki and Derek, and Rob Kardashian is in first with 57.

On a personal note: I didn’t expect to be recapping this entire season of “Dancing with the Stars.” But I am glad I did. Getting to follow along with Martinez’s progress on the dance floor has been a pleasure. Martinez’s excellent attitude, his joy, his drive, his determination have been awesome to watch. He is an inspiration, and not just because he is a veteran and wounded warrior, but because he kept working hard this season, no matter what. J.R.: Thank you for reminding us that hard work and determination and a good attitude are incredibly important in life.

As Martinez said on Twitter (@knowjr) after the show: Some steps won't always be in sync, but you must be willing to keep stepping in order to get on the same beat! #failure is #NOT an #option.

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