03:41 PM EDT 12/22/2014
Originally posted 11/22/2011 11:20AM
Aside from a mutual longing for the coveted mirror ball trophy, Dancing with the Stars finalists Rob Kardashian, J.R. Martinez and Ricki Lake can agree on one other thing: the competition has changed them for the better.
"It's inspiring, I think, for women out there to see I'm a regular person. I am the every woman who's struggled with my weight," Lake, partnered with pro Derek Hough, told PEOPLE after Monday night's show, which was filled with rock star performances from the final three. "I've dealt with hardships my whole life, but look what I've been able to do. Hard work can pay off."
It's a sentiment mirrored by Cheryl Burke's partner, Kardashian. "I have a very, very tough time getting up there in front of so many people," he says. "I got so much more confident as the season kept going and going and going."
Originally posted 11/21/2011 09:30PM
He's the Kardashian the competition is having trouble keeping up with.
Rob Kardashian saved his best moves for last on Dancing with the Stars, getting a perfect 30-point score at Monday night's finals and emerging as the unlikely frontrunner going into an anything-goes decision show Tuesday.
With sister Kim Kardashian cheering him on in the ballroom, Rob first delivered a classy waltz for 27 points, then electrified the audience with a daring freestyle that had him lifting and twirling partner Cheryl Burke above his head.
Originally posted 11/21/2011 05:00PM
Week after week, waltz after waltz, they've vied for the mirror ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars.
But now that the competition is down to the final three couples – Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke, J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff and Ricki Lake and Derek Hough – ballroom results are just a quickstep away.
Last week's show, which saw the departure of Hope Solo and her partner Maksim Chmerkovksiy, was a night of a highs and lows.
Originally posted 11/16/2011 02:00PM
After just one week of performing on Dancing with the Stars with partner Derek Hough, it was difficult to doubt Ricki Lake's fancy footwork abilities – but as one of the season's consistent frontrunners, the shrinking contestant admits she wasn't a likely favorite.
"I'm sort of in shock," Lake, 43, told PEOPLE after making it through semi-finals elimination on Tuesday night. "I was never the [original] frontrunner. I know everybody will say, 'Oh, I picked her.' No they didnt. My odds were 10 to 1. I know because I checked it out on [bet-placing website] Bodog.com."
Now that she's on her way to next week's finals against Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke, and J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff, the engaged former talk show host says, "It's sort of a miracle that I'm still here. I'm really working hard. I'm really proud of myself."
Originally posted 11/15/2011 10:15PM
After performing three dances each the night before, one of Dancing's four semi-finalists was booted from the competition on Tuesday, a week shy of the show's season finale.
Ricki Lake and Rob Kardashian were awarded by the judges for their nearly flawless routines on Monday. Meanwhile, an injured J.R. Martinez experienced his worst week yet but still scored higher than Hope Solo.
Now that the votes are in, keep reading to find out who will compete in next week's finale – and who kissed the ballroom goodbye:
Originally posted 11/14/2011 10:05PM
It was another night of perfection in the ballroom.
A week after J.R. Martinez scored back-to-back 30s on Dancing with the Stars, a contestant did it again as the final four celebrities battled in the semi-finals.
Keep reading to find out more ...
Originally posted 11/14/2011 06:45PM
It's down to four on Dancing with the Stars – J.R. Martinez, Ricki Lake, Rob Kardashian, and Hope Solo. And Brooke Burke Charvet believes they all have a legitimate shot at the mirror-ball trophy.
"I've always thought that J.R. was a frontrunner. I think Ricki has a shot at it as well. I think it's going to be one of those finales where we don't know what's going to happen," the co-host of the ABC show told PEOPLE Saturday at the Harajuku Mini for Target launch at Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood.
But don't count out Kardashian and Solo, either.
Originally posted 11/08/2011 10:05PM
Nancy Grace has been dancing on borrowed time, dodging elimination despite poor marks from the judges.
But now, she was up against literal perfection – J.R. Martinez and partner Karina Smirnoff scored a pair of 30s on Monday night's Dancing with the Stars.
And the rest of the competitors delivered strong performances. Is this the end for the dancer whom Carrie Ann Inaba called "the friskiest girl I've ever met?" Read on to find out.
Originally posted 11/07/2011 10:15PM
On a night of strong performances, one duo stood tall above the rest on Dancing with the Stars Monday, receiving the best scores the judges could hand out and standing ovations in the ballroom.
The stellar display overshadowed what would have been impressive dances by the competition – except for one pair who are at risk of elimination. Read on to find out who's impressing and who's at risk.
Originally posted 10/29/2011 10:20AM
Ricki Lake says she's always felt sexy around her fiancé Christian Evans.
"Oh, my god, my love is pretty spicy," the TV personality, 43, recently told PEOPLE.
With a long chuckle, Lake says that she now incorporates her hard work for Dancing with the Stars into her private life.
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
Chicago Woman Charged After Her Boyfriend Brutally Beat Her Child to Death
Tess Holliday, Size-22 Model, Is First to Score a Major Modeling Contract
Couple Married for 68 Years Die Just a Few Hours Apart
Patrick Dempsey Said He Was 'Spread So Thin' Before Divorce
Anonymous Donor Offers $20,000 to Find the Person Who Stuffed a Starving Pit Bull in a Suitcase
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!