The cast of “Dancing with the Stars,” including Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe, takes on an entirely new challenge with Cirque du Soleil night for Week 4 of competition on the highly popular ABC dance competition show airing at 8 p.m. ET.
Each of the 11 remaining couples in Season 23 will perform a song to one of Cirque du Soleil’s many popular theatrical entertainment shows, the first time in the ABC show’s history that it will host a Cirque theme night. For Hinchcliffe and professional dance partner Sharna Burgess, the assignment is to perform a quick step from Cirque’s current Broadway show “Paramour.”
As part of their preparation, Hinchcliffe and Burgess flew last week to New York to watch a rehearsal and performance of the show at the Lyric Theatre on Broadway.
“Sharna and I really lucked out by getting to see the ‘Paramour’ show, which is Cirque’s only Broadway production,” Hinchcliffe told IndyCar.com. “They flew us out to New York City to see the show and meet some of the performers, which was a really exciting trip.
“For the number this week we actually get two Cirque acrobats as part of our show. Between that, the troupe and all of the production, it’s a very big show for us, a very elaborate routine. But I think it’s something that will be a lot of fun and people will really enjoy.”
“Paramour” is based on the golden age of Hollywood. On an ABC News video interview recorded while she and Hinchcliffe were watching the show’s rehearsal, Burgess said, “The old Hollywood vibe really suits the quick step.” She added that Hinchcliffe has done an excellent job getting in character for his dances to date and she expects “he’s really going to channel the Hollywood whiz” tonight.
Judges’ scores from tonight’s dances will be combined with fan voting overnight to determine which couple will be eliminated on Tuesday’s results show (8 p.m. ET, ABC).
Fan voting opens when the show starts at 8 p.m. ET today and remains open through 11 a.m. ET Tuesday. Phone votes for Hinchcliffe and Burgess can be registered toll-free at (800) 868-3405. Fans can also vote for them online at abc.com or on the “Dancing with the Stars” Facebook page.
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Pagenaud helps team win sports car championship
Simon Pagenaud, who will be feted Tuesday night as the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion, was the top finisher among five current INDYCAR drivers who competed Saturday in the Petit Le Mans sports car endurance race at Road Atlanta.
Pagenaud was part of the No. 31 Action Express Racing Chevrolet Corvette DP team that placed fifth overall and in the Prototype class. The finish helped Pagenaud’s teammates, Dane Cameron and Eric Curran, secure the Prototype season championship.
The No. 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Honda Ligier JS P2 driven by Oswaldo Negri Jr., Olivier Pla and John Pew was the Petit Le Mans overall winner. The top five cars completed 412 laps or 1,046.48 miles in the 10-hour IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s season finale.
Spencer Pigot, who just completed his rookie Verizon IndyCar Series season, co-drove the No. 70 Mazda Motorsports Prototype to eighth place overall and sixth in its class. The No. 70 appeared headed for a podium finish until its engine caught fire with 14 minutes left in the race.
Sebastien Bourdais, tied for sixth on the Indy car career wins list with 35, was part of the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 66 Ford GT that placed 10th overall and second in the GT Le Mans class. The sister No. 67 Ford GT, which had four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon among its drivers, finished 26th overall and seventh in class.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion, co-drove the No. 90 VisitFlorida Racing Corvette DP that finished 35th overall.