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Kaitlyn Bristowe Dedicates DWTS Dance to Late Best Friend Who Died in a Tragic Car Accident

ABC Kaitlyn Bristowe

Kaitlyn Bristowe honored her late best friend Lindsay in the most beautiful and touching way.

During Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars, the Bachelorette alumna and her pro partner Artem Chigvintsev danced a freestyle number to “Cowboy Take Me Away” by The Chicks — a song that has significant meaning to Bristowe.

Seventeen years ago, Lindsay tragically died in a car accident while in high school, a moment Bristowe called “the most tragic thing” that she’s experienced.

“That song reminds me so much of my best friend growing up. Her name was Lindsay. She loved The Chicks and this was one of her favorite songs to put on. Fifteen years we were inseparable, but when I was 18 years old, she ended up tragically dying in a car accident. It was the most tragic thing I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Bristowe, 35, told Chigvintsev, 38, during rehearsals.

“We lived next door to each other, and spent every day together and one time she said she wanted ‘Cowboy Take Me Away’ to play at her funeral. And we did — we played it,” Bristowe recalled.

Getting emotional, Bristowe said, “I’m already starting to cry,” as she remembered Lindsay. “I have like not listened to this song in so many years because it makes me so emotional,” said Bristowe. “It’s been 17 years since we lost Lindsay, and I think about her every day and miss her all the time.”

Kaitlyn bristowe/instagram Kaitlyn Bristowe and Lindsay

Kaitlyn bristowe/instagram Lindsay and Kaitlyn Bristowe

Kaitlyn bristowe/instagram Lindsay and Kaitlyn Bristowe

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Bristowe added: “If she could see me here tonight, one step closer to the Mirrorball, I know she’d be so proud.”

And no doubt Lindsay would be.

After performing the contemporary number, Bristowe received rave reviews from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli, who all awarded her 10s — bringing her total score for the night to a perfect 60/60. (For her first redemption round, Paso Doble, Bristowe and Chigvintsev were awarded a 30/30.)

Kaitlyn bristowe/instagram Kaitlyn Bristowe and Lindsay

“Kaitlyn, your friend Lindsay is smiling down on you and so proud of you,” said Inaba, 52. “It’s like I’ve been waiting for you to do a contemporary, truthfully. This is the dance that I knew that you would be incredible at and you danced from your heart and your lines were beautiful.”

“When people ask me about Dancing with the Stars, I always say my favorite part about the show is telling the stories — and having the honor and privilege to tell somebody else’s story through dance and through movement and have those moments that are so special, that you’ll never forget. You’ll always have this for your friend and for yourself. Thank you for that,” said Hough, 35, before Tonioli, 64, praised the dance as “powerful” and “beautiful.”

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ABC Artem Chigvintsev and Kaitlyn Bristowe

ABC Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev

Ahead of Monday’s semifinals, the former Bachelorette posted an Instagram tribute to Lindsay and shared multiple throwback photos of the pair together throughout their childhood years.

“Tonight I dance for Lindsay. We are dancing to her favorite song, and one we played at her funeral, ‘cowboy take me away,’ ” Bristowe wrote.

The pair met when Bristowe was just 4 years old and “were attached at the hip,” Bristowe explained. “We grew up together, she was my Next door Neighbor who became family.”

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But in high school, Lindsay’s life was cut short. “We had our first day of school together, all the way up to her last day of high school when her life was tragically taken in a motor vehicle accident. I have learned that grief doesn’t go away. My best friend Bri, who was also best friends with Linds, said it best. Grief can hit when you least expect it, it can feel like it happened yesterday even when it was years ago,” said Bristowe.

“It’s been an emotional week. Lindsay LOVED to dance, and dancing was something that helped Bri and I grieve when she passed,” Bristowe continued. “It’s a beautiful way to honor somebody and I will do that tonight. I’m still so close to her family and I know they will be watching tonight. I am honored to use this stage to remember her and celebrate her legacy.”

Bristowe described Lindsay as “such a unique soul, and she had such an impact on who I am today. She was the most unapologetic free spirit and we miss her every day. I know it’s semi finals and of course I’m asking you to vote to be a part of the finale, but I’m also asking you to hug your friends and cherish the time you have together. #DWTS #willyouacceptthisdance.”

Next week, Bristowe will compete against Nelly, Nev Schulman and Justina Machado for the season 29 Mirrorball trophy.

The Dancing with the Stars finale airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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