Helio Castroneves was on IndyCar's victory stage last week at Edmonton and is in a close battle for the series championship with four races remaining (see related articles). Now, it's been announced, he will be on another type of stage when he along with 12 others will all be returning to compete on the reality television show, "Dancing with the Stars", this coming fall.
Castroneves, who won the dancing contest five years ago, will be part of an All-Star edition on the ABC series, which will start September 24th and will once again be hosted by Tom Bergeron along with Brooke Burke-Charvet (who won nearly four years ago). Judges for the show are the same as when it started: Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.
Joining Castroneves will be actresses Kirstie Alley, Pamela Anderson, singer Joey Fatone, gymnast Shawn Johnson, singer Drew Lachey, actor Gilles Marini, actress Kelly Monaco, speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, political daughter Bristol Palin, reality star Melissa Rycroft and pro football player Emmitt Smith.
Along with Castroneves being a past champion, five other former champions will be plying their wares again on the dance floor. They are: soap star Monaco, who won the first show over seven years ago - boy band singer Lachey, the second shows winner - Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith, who won nearly six years ago - Olympic Gold Medalist Ohno, who followed Smith - and recently retired Olympic Gold Medalist Johnson, who won a little over three years ago.
The only All-star dancer on the show that did not make it to the final three is Anderson who came in sixth back in the spring 2010. By the way, one more contestant will be chosen from a fan vote to complete the All-Star lineup. The three choices will be: Sabrina Bryan, Carson Kressley or Kyle Massey.
Three-time Indy 500 winner Castroneves won back in the fall of '07 with his dancing partner and professional Julianne Hough, who was only 19 years old at the time - although it was Hough's second win after having won the show the prior spring with Ohno. Back then, Castroneves started dancing well from the beginning, though he never dominated and eventually won with the help of the fans against runner-up Mel B of the Spice Girls.
Note that the IndyCar season ends in Fontana, California, September 15th, little more than a week before the DWTS show starts - convenient for Helio, considering the show is based a little more than an hour away in Hollywood.
Sources - ABC, IndyCar
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus for several years has blogged about every type of racing.
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