Helio Splits From Fiancée After 'DWS' Win
Follow This Lead: Castroneves and Dance Partner Kiss While Fiancee Gets the Gate
Nov. 28, 2007 —
Not only is Helio Castroneves the new winner of "Dancing With the Stars" -- he's also a newly single man.
Castroneves told entertainment news show "Extra" on Wednesday that he has split from his fiancée, Aliette Vazquez. There's speculation that the breakup may have been caused by a budding romance between Castroneves and his "Dancing With the Stars" partner, Julianne Hough. The two shared a kiss on Tuesday night's show.
"It was the beginning of something," Castroneves told "Extra," "[but] it [the relationship] was beyond that point. It was time to let go."
Earlier in the season, the racing star pushed back his engagement. If there is something brewing between Castroneves and Hough, it wouldn't be the first time "Dancing With the Stars" has sparked an on-set romance -- or an off-screen obstacle.
At the beginning of November, contestant Sabrina Bryan confirmed she and dance partner Mark Ballas were dating. Last May, Hough postponed her wedding to ex-fiancée, fellow dancer Zach Wilson, because she was too busy preparing for the upcoming season of the show.
Pivotal Win for Indy Champ
After 10 weeks of competition and surpassing 11 couples, Castroneves and Hough danced their way to the treasured mirror-ball trophy Tuesday night and upset the season's highest-scoring pair.
The two-time Indy 500 champion out-cha-chaed, -tangoed and -jived Spice Girl Melanie Brown to secure the crown, drive off with victory and end what has been called the most dramatic season in the ABC show's history.
"This has been an amazing experience," Castroneves said on "Good Morning America" today. "It was a big challenge for me."
Castroneves, who is used to using his head and neck while sitting behind the wheel, said he was worried about how effective his hips would be.
"In the race car, you do not move your hips and your feet," he said.
But the combination of fast feet and his high-octane performances endeared him to the judges and the fans. In fact, Monday night the judges said Castroneves had the perfect combination of dance skill and entertainment, taking the best parts of Brown and Osmond, who competed against him in the first round of the finals.
The win also was the second year in a row that Hough took home the trophy. Last season she helped Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno dance his way to the top.
"It's been a completely different experience," she said on "Good Morning America" today. "I have said from the beginning it's not about me winning. It's about my partners winning. [Helio has] come so far and I'm so proud of him. We've said from day one all we're going to do is have fun and just do the best he can do and it got him the trophy."
The couple bested Brown and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who scored high throughout the competition and received several perfect scores.
On "Good Morning America" today Brown thanked the fans for their support.
"I'm so amazed that America embraced us so much and voted for us," she said. "I am honored to be on this show for this long, truly."
Brown was disappointed to lose and joked about it by congratulating herself on losing.
"We were robbed," she quipped.
But the singer, who begins her international tour in four days and practiced for it during the season, said the experience was "an amazing journey."
"I've loved every single second of it," Brown said.
She said she planned to incorporate some of the moves she learned into her tour dance routines.
That's despite the physical toll of the process.
"From head to toe, it all aches. There's no one particular spot," Brown said.
And Chmerkovskiy, who made it to the finals last year with partner Laila Ali, said he wouldn't trade his experience.
"I wouldn't trade the two friendships for any trophy," he said. "Helio can keep this one."
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