'Dancing With the Stars': Rob Kardashian's Big Night Makes His Mom Cry

Rob Kardashian Cheryl Burke P 2011

Few would have predicted Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke poised for the Dancing With the Stars finale in week 9, but after last night's high scores and clear command of the judges' affection, they might be shoo-ins.

"I didn't even expect to be in the semifinals, let alone win the Cha Cha relay and get our first 10s of the entire competition," Rob said backstage. "Now I'm in front of J.R. [Martinez]. It's crazy."

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The judges seemed unanimous in their praise for Rob last night, giving him the top prize in the dance-off and lavishing him with his highest scores of the season. And the feat was not lost on his family, sitting in the front row. Mother Kris Jenner brought on the waterworks after his smiling Samba earned a 10 from Carrie Ann Inaba.

"She always goes to tears," Rob explained. "She probably never would have expected me to do what I've done in a million years."

The Kardashian clan figured heavily into the broadcast, which featured the obligatory semifinals package about Rob's life, including talk about the loss of his father and his struggle to define himself outside of his sisters' brand.

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"I don't want to be thrown off or anything like that," he said, adding Cheryl wouldn't let him watch the package before their dance. "It is hard to watch those things."

Something else that was a little hard for him to watch was embarrassing family photo of a childhood Rob decked out in a dress and makeup.

"That was super awkward, millions and millions of people get to see me dressed up like a girl," he said laughing.

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Not that he's that bothered. Anyone with the right Google search terms could have found that shot a long time ago.

"I really don't care. Those pictures have been out for a while on my sisters blogs," he admits. "I don't have control of everything."