JAMES HINCHCLIFFE AND SHARNA BURGESS HAD MADE IT INTO THE FINALS. AFTER THREE MONTHS OF LAUGHING, SWEAT, TEARS AND INJURIES, THEY FINALLY MADE IT TO THE POINT that determines who wins that Mirror Ball Trophy. although James knew he wouldn’t win the Mirror Ball Trophy because of Laurie Hernandez and Calvin Johnson Jr being such great dancers, something inside of him told him that he had a chance at winning the Mirror Ball Trophy with Sharna and that’s all he wanted. He and Sharna have grown close over the past three months and he was proud of that. they had an amazing friendship but, one night, they got a little too close and did some things that no one knows about and he wants to keep it that way. He was dating a wonderful girl named Rebecca Dalton and he loved her a lot. but he also had feelings for Sharna. of course, he loved Rebecca but he couldn’t ignore the feelings he had for Sharna. he didn’t want to hurt Rebecca. that was the last thing on his list but he also didn’t want to hurt everyone by asking Sharna out. he knew that Sharna and Val obviously had something going on. it was obvious. they always hugged each other and laughed with each other backstage during each show and something inside of him made him super jealous. he couldn’t say anything about it though because, well. it would look weird. especially if he said it in front of his wonderful and amazing girlfriend. and if Sharna still had feelings for Val, he didn’t want to get in the middle of that by bursting out his feelings for her. that just wasn’t how he did things like that. he wasn’t that kind of guy.
“so, are you ready to crush this?” Sharna asked James as she walked over to him. he was currently sitting in a chair, watching Laurie and Calvin dance. he looked over at Sharna and shrugged.
“I guess so” he replied. “I’m more nervous though”
she giggled softly then nodded. “that makes sense. everyone is always nervous around this time during the season. mostly because they really want votes to win that Mirror Ball Trophy. but, I believe in us. we’re defiantly winning it tonight. I have a good feeling about that”
James nodded softly and threw a fake smile at Sharna. Sharna frowned slightly then shrugged and walked over to where Val and Laurie were standing backstage. James sighed and got up out of his chair and walked over to where Jana and Lindsay were standing. both girls looked at him weirdly before Lindsay finally spoke up.
“what’s wrong?” she asked. “I thought you would’ve been happy about being this close to winning with Sharna”
“yeah” Jana replied, looking at him. “you seemed so excited yesterday. what’s up?”
James sighed then looked at both of them after looking down at his feet. “I am happy that I’m this close to winning with her but, there’s just something blocking my happiness right now and I don’t know what it is.” that was a total lie. he knew exactly what was blocking him from his happiness about the finals.. his feelings for Sharna.
“well, did something happen between last night and now between you and Sharna?” Lindsay asked.
James shrugged softly. he didn’t want to mention the kiss that they shared weeks ago because he knew that if he mentioned anything about it, someone from the press would find out and leak it out to Social Media, letting both Sharna and Rebecca know how he felt about both of them. that he obviously had strong feelings for Sharna and he hated Rebecca with every single bone in his body. but that wasn’t true. it was false, actually. he liked both girls but couldn’t choose between the two of them. Rebecca had been there since the beginning of the show but Sharna helped James through his tough times... talking about his accident that he had and a lot of other stuff Rebecca didn’t understand.
“not that I know of” he replied with a shrug. “Sharna and I were fine last night during our last rehearsal. I don’t think anything changed” that was a huge lie. in fact, just last night, they had almost shared another kiss and things got super awkward so they both left rehearsals early.
“well, I did see you guys leave early” Lindsay replied. “what happened?”
“spill the details, James” Jana replied with a giggle. it wasn’t that he didn’t want to tell them what happened. it was that he knew Rebecca would find out and be angry with him. and Val might think that something’s going on between James and Sharna. just as he was about to speak, Calvin and a bunch of other people came over and smiled at James.
“good luck, bro” Calvin replied with a smile. “you’ll do great” Calvin’s comment really seemed to cheer James up but he was still upset about something. he just didn’t know what.
“thanks, man” he replied, smiling at Calvin. “you and Lindsay killed it” Calvin nodded and smiled softly then walked off. Val and Sharna then walked over, causing James to sigh. Jana and Lindsay both looked at each other then at James. suddenly, something inside of the girls clicked. Jana giggled softly then whispered something to Lindsay which caused Lindsay to giggle. Sharna looked over at the girls weirdly then looked over at James and smiled.
“you ready?” she asked him. James nodded his head then walked over to the side of the stage, waiting for Sharna before he did anything else. as soon as their package from last night started playing, they both walked on stage and stood in their places for the beginning of the dance. and soon, James realized that this might be his last dance ever with Sharna.
It was finally time for Tom and Erin to announce the winner of season twenty three and to be honest, James was nervous. Rebecca had talked to him during one of the breaks, telling him to take deep breaths and that she would be proud of him no matter what. which, to him, was great to hear. but he’d rather hear Sharna say it because for some reason, her words stayed in his head. which explained why he got a perfect score for his twenty four hour fusion dance. it was because of what Sharna had said to him before they went on stage.
“and now it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for” Erin announced, looking into the cameras. “the winner of season twenty three”
“but first” Tom spoke. “we’re announcing who came in third place” James suddenly got nervous again and sighed softly. Sharna smiled softly and kissed his cheek.
“we’ve got this, James” she whispered. “I can feel it.”
“and in third place, we have” Erin spoke then opened the envelope. she looked back up at the cameras and smiled. “Calvin & Lindsay” the crowd went wild. some people booed and some people cheered. clearly, half of them were happy about that placement and half of them were upset about it.
“and now” Tom spoke, looking at the cameras. “it’s time to announce the winner”
“James & Sharna, Val & Laurie, good luck to both of you” Erin spoke as Tom opened the envelope.
“and the winner of dancing with the stars season twenty three is..” he looked down at the envelope then back up at the cameras.
“Laurie and Val!” he finally spoke after moments of silence. James was heartbroken. he thought that he was defiantly going to win. even Sharna thought they were going to win. Erin frowned at James then walked over to him.
“what did it mean being on this season, James?” she asked, looking at him.
“oh gosh.” he replied. “I honestly have no words. this girl is absolute amazing at what she does and she’s been an amazing partner to me for the past three months. I don’t know what I would do without her.”
“and I don’t know what I would do without him” Sharna replied. “he’s been amazing student and partner. I know that our friendship will last forever and ever. I’ll always have a place for him in my heart and in my life.”