Castroneves, Hough waltz into IMS
Without hesitation, Helio Castroneves pointed out both of his likenesses on the Borg-Warner Trophy to "Dancing With The Stars" partner Julianne Hough.
Helio on last week's show
"Of course I know where they are on the trophy," two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Castroneves said Nov. 2 after escorting Hough on a brief tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. "I'm sure she's thinking another trophy, and I'm doing my best to make it happen."
What better place to find inspiration for victory as the wildly popular ABC-TV show enters Week 7? And to unearth the drive for seven-plus hours of daily rehearsal? The couple performs the Tango and Samba on the show at 8 p.m. (ET), Monday, Nov. 5.
"I hadn't told her about the Borg-Warner Trophy when we were talking about this trip, but when you're in the Museum you're a legend. And now she'll look at me like a legend," joked Castroneves, flashing the charisma that has made him the top contender to win the celebrity competition.
"I'll keep looking at him as just Helio; c'mon, keep going," shot back Hough, a professional dancer who won last year's "Dancing With The Stars" competition with Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno. "Really, I think it's awesome what he's achieved. I've heard about it, and now I'm excited to have seen it.
"I was excited when I found out my partner would be another athlete because you can teach people technique and how to dance, but you can't teach them discipline and hard work that comes with being an athlete."
Castroneves also showed Hough the Yard of Bricks - they kissed it - that constitutes the Speedway's finish line, and Castroneves also provided a lesson in his trademark victory fence climb. In another first at the famous racetrack, the couple performed an impromptu Tango on the Yard of Bricks.
"I'm showing my partner my dance floor," Castroneves said. "It's a great opportunity to show her a little bit of what I do and have done, and about all the history. It's amazing for me every time I come here."
The one-day field trip from their Los Angeles base also will include a "Vote for Helio" fan rally outside Conseco Fieldhouse followed by the couple acting as honorary captains before the Indiana Pacers play host to the Miami Heat in an NBA game. They'll perform a brief Cha Cha Cha routine at the first-quarter break.
"The reason we're here is to thank first of all the fans who have been supporting us and voting," said Castroneves, holding a 'Vote for Helio' yard sign. "Keep voting because it's very important. My Tango looks like a marching band and my Samba looks like Aye Carumba! Votes are what's keeping me in."
Viewer voting via phone, text message and online accounts for 50 percent of a couple's weekly total score. The other half comes the three-panel judges' total. On the results show this week, Sabrina Bryan - who had consistently received high scores from the judges - was eliminated from competition.
"I think it shows nobody is safe in the competition," Hough said. "You can be a phenomenal dancer and if you don't have fans supporting you and voting for you then you could leave. Obviously, Sabrina is a great dancer. We're just thankful for all the fans who have been keeping us in the competition. It's getting harder because we start doing two dances every week, and everybody in the competition is amazing.
"We're hoping that Helio's fans and those who are fans of the IndyCar Series keep voting. That's half the battle."
Fans can vote for Castroneves and Hough by calling 1-800-868-3409 between 8-10 p.m. (ET) Monday, Nov. 5. Online voting at abc.com is open from 8 p.m. Monday until noon Tuesday. AT&T customers can text vote by pressing 3409 on their mobile device.
Castroneves owes his dance partner another tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - on Race Day, Sunday, May 25, 2008.
"He better get me good seats to the race in May, maybe in the pits," Hough said.