Rob Kardashian, J.R. Martinez and Ricki Lake battle in the finale for the mirror-ball trophy

By Mike Fleeman
November 22, 2011 10:10 PM
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

After a competitive finale on Dancing with the Stars, ultimately only two couples were left to battle it out for the mirror-ball trophy on Tuesday night.

First, though, the three finalists – Ricki Lake, J.R. Martinez and Rob Kardashian – performed their favorite dances from season 13 one more time for the judges. Once the new scores were combined with the previous night’s point totals, Lake emerged as the leader, followed closely by Kardashian and Martinez.

In the end, though, the audience’s votes were also a factor in determining which two couples would compete for the trophy. Continue reading to find out who was eliminated in the first hour of Tuesday’s show:

Despite a strong final tango that Bruno Tonioli called “unforgettable” and Len Goodman labeled “one of the most memorable dances of this or any season,” Lake couldn’t make it to the end.

She finished in third place – and was eliminated from the competition.

When her name was announced, she hugged her partner Derek Hough, and Kardashian and Martinez appeared surprised.

“I’ve loved basically every minute of this,” she said. “I really feel like I had the best partner, the best teacher, the best motivator. And I’ve done something that I really didn’t think I could do. For someone who’s a middle-age mom, I hope I made my children proud, my fiancé and my family.”

Continued Lake: “I really appreciate everyone who voted for me and supported me along the way. This is a fantasy come true.”