HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- This time, Helio Castroneves took off his dancing shoes for good.
The three-time Indianapolis 500 champion returned to "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars" on Nov. 27 to perform two exhibition dances with professional dance partner Chelsie Hightower.
Castroneves, who won the Mirror Ball Trophy on Season 5 of the ABC show with pro partner Julianne Hough, had his run in Season 15 end October 9. But he was proud to join the entire All-Stars cast to dance again and celebrate the victory by Melissa Rycroft and her pro partner Tony Dovolani.
Castroneves, who embarked on a West Coast media tour after the show and then will test in his Team Penske IZOD IndyCar Series car Dec. 3 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., said he and Hightower decided to perform a new dance instead of a reprise for their first performance on the dance floor during the finale.
“I’m happy we were able to have a great night,” he said. “We practiced that dance only 10 hours. The music was great and she had simple choreography. It was awesome to do something different. I didn’t want to repeat another song. I was doing a step in rehearsal and she said, ‘You gotta make it happen. Bigger, bigger!' So we worked on it.”
Added Hightower: “That was a completely new routine and it just kind of summed up our relationship. We were a lot of fun and kind of goofy and always tried hard. It’s always fun to come back and do these exhibition dances and wrap up the season on a high note.”
For their second performance, Castroneves and Hightower took part in the group dance to the Carly Rae Jepsen song “Call Me Maybe.” The pair hadn’t originally been in the locker room/cheerleader-themed number that took place on Week 5.
“It was awful. I kept making mistakes,” Castroneves laughed. “That one, I only had five hours to practice. I wanted to do it perfect. But whenever they play 'Call Me Maybe' I’m going to remember this great time. The whole group was laughing.”
Castroneves enjoyed watching the climax of the competition.
“I’m happy for the winners; they did a great job," he said. “When I came to dance here, I always said I would like to dance like Tony and finally he got his trophy. Melissa was incredible. My little girl and her little girl shared the same trailer so it was nice and I’m happy for her.”
He plans to visit DWTS again to cheer on Hightower and watch future celebrity competitors.
“I’ll be back here again, absolutely,” he said.
Look for Castroneves in December on "The Jeff Probst Show."