Hinchcliffe vaults, tangos into DWTS finals as Burgess returns to action

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On a night when past “Dancing with the Stars” champion Helio Castroneves was in attendance, his Verizon IndyCar Series contemporary James Hinchcliffe made his entrance into next week’s finals.

Hinchcliffe and dance partner Sharna Burgess, who made a welcome return to competition this week after being sidelined for two weeks with a knee injury, will be among four teams still active ahead of next week’s two-night season finale.

Other contestants still with a shot at the Mirror Ball Trophy include past Detroit Lions star wideout Calvin Johnson, Gold-medal winning Olympian Laurie Hernandez and actress and country music singer Jana Kramer. Terra Jole was eliminated from the competition on Monday.

Hinchcliffe’s “Team Stop and Go” returned to full strength this weekend with Burgess back after a two-week hiatus. So naturally, for her return, she choreographed a crazy first dance where she’d be blindfolded and trust Hinchcliffe to guide her through.

Rehearsal didn’t entirely go according to plan, as you’ll see from the below video Hinchcliffe posted on Facebook:

But when it came time for the two to perform their Argentine Tango, Hinchcliffe and Burgess were back on form as they have been most of this season. The pair got a 29/30 from the judges for their score, with Bruno Tonioli saying they’d “turned the Argentine tango into the Argentine Grand Prix.”

Then, the opportunity arose for Burgess’ fill-in dancer – Jenna Johnson – to reunite with Hinchcliffe as part of a jive trio number.

This one even showcased the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda in all its glory (albeit in base 2014 Dallara DW12 show car form, rather than with full Honda aero kit adorning, but that’s a particular) on the dance floor.

And all three members of “Team Stop and Go” – Hinchcliffe inadvertently led off the intro to the dance calling them a “threesome” – rocked the jive for a perfect 30/30 score.

Here’s some still takes from the first ever race car on DWTS performance, which as Castroneves’ then-dance partner and current judge Julianne Hough joked Monday night, “seriously increased the budget” compared to when she was on the show.

The finals are next week.