'Dancing with the Stars' couple: J.R. Martinez the favorite to win
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/21/2011
Dancing with the Stars eliminated couple Ron Artest and professional partner Peta Murgatroyd are in agreement that J.R. Martinez is the contestant to beat on the ABC ballroom dancing competition's thirteenth season.
"I would definitely have to say J.R. Martinez. He is absolutely a standout and I think nobody was expecting him to be that good. He's such a natural at it. So yeah, definitely him," Murgatroyd said during a Wednesday morning appearance with Artest on Good Morning America.
"I've got to say J.R. and [Carson Kressley]. I thought I was the most entertaining, but Carson is amazing. I want to do a TV show with that guy," Artest added.
The NBA basketball player also explained the origin of his new "Metta World Peace" nickname Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron called him when he and Murgatroyd were eliminated during last night's first thirteenth-season results show.
"Well, Metta World Peace -- Basically everybody knows that there are a lot of things going on in the world anywhere from Afghanistan to North Korea, and I got kids. I'm sure other people have kids and in the future, we want them to all get along and things like that," Artest said.
"I'm not Buddhist, but Metta is a form of Buddhism and it means 'love and kindness.' Basically, I did the dance to raise awareness to raise some money for the cancer research foundation. My daughter, when she was four, had cancer -- a tumor in her kidney. So my profits are going to kids and different research foundations."
In addition, Murgatroyd -- who performed with Dancing with the Stars' supplemental dance troupe last season but joined the list of professional partners for the first time this current season -- admitted the transition, although not difficult, was a big step up for her.
"The pressure was definitely on since I wasn't in the troupe anymore. You definitely have more responsibilities and it's definitely stepping up to the plate more and being amongst the really good pros, the dancers. You've really got to step it up," she explained.