James Hinchcliffe has a chance to emulate Helio Castroneves as a “Dancing with the Stars” champion, as the talented 29-year-old Canadian along with dance partner Sharna Burgess performed an emotional freestyle dance on the final night of competition before Tuesday’s finals (ABC; check local listings).
While the pair’s foxtrot dance ended the first round of dancing on the night with a respectable – if not perfect – 37 of 40 score from the judges, it was the pair’s second dance on the night that will go down in “DWTS” lore.
Burgess, renowned as an incredible choreographer, and Hinchcliffe came up with the idea that his time spent in hospital after his accident in practice for 2015 Indianapolis 500 needed the “blank space” to be filled in.
Hinchcliffe, after his car careened into the Turn 3 wall, has no recollection of the accident that nearly claimed his life as it occurred in real time.
The story and dance outlined above for the pair’s freestyle worked to capture the emotions of Hinchcliffe not just surviving the accident, but walking again, driving again, and now, dancing again.
The judges gave it a perfect 40 of 40 score, and as you’ll see above via the official Dancing with the Stars YouTube page, it merited every one of those 40 points.
Hinchliffe will battle fellow athletes Calvin Johnson and Laurie Hernandez for the show’s coveted Mirror Ball Trophy.
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I'm so proud of you @hinchtown!! You have impressed me week after week, you aren't the natural talent this season, but you've worked your butt off to make it to the top. I know you say it's all me, but trust me babe… it's very much all you. YOU are incredible and I would love to see you win it not for a mirrorball but to validate all the hours and the dedication you've given this season. However… regardless what happens.. for me.. YOU are my mirrorball, YOU are the best thing that could have come out of this season. I love our friendship, I found my long lost brother, and from here out you wont get rid of me 😉 We need you #teamstopandgo!!! Please vote!! Voting closes at 11pm PST tonight but you can still vote online!! We love you!! We're almost there!!! #dwts #TeamStopAndGo 🏎💨