Three years ago, Melissa Rycroft joined the eighth season cast of "Dancing With the Stars" as a last-minute replacement for the injured Nancy O'Dell.
A few critics cringed at her selection, noting she was only added to capitalize on her nationally televised breakup with "Bachelor" Jason Mesnick.
But the former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader proved she was more than a ratings ploy, garnering a pair of perfect scores en route to a third-place finish that season. So when Rycroft was invited to compete on "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars," there was no doubt she'd be quite the competitor.
Rycroft won the "All-Stars" Mirrorball Trophy Tuesday night, holding off challenges from gymnast and season eight winner Shawn Johnson and actress and season one champ Kelly Monaco. It was an astonishing run for Rycroft, who clinched the victory thanks to six perfect scores in her final eight dances of competition, including two this week.
The victory was also bittersweet for Rycroft's pro partner, Tony Dovolani, who took home his first Mirrorball in his 14th attempt. The Kosovo-born dancer has been a fan favorite since his season two debut but, before this season, his best finish had been a pair of thirds.
Check out the video above to hear what Rycroft, Dovolani and the other finalists had to say about the competition, and let us know below what you think about the results!
A Blackpool Youth Latin champion got 3 DWTS wins , and a US American Style Latin champion got no DWTS win , that was why they let Tony win this time to make him happy ! Merry Christmas and Joy to the World !
I have watched both Shawn and Melissa competed in season 8 and this season , and I said what I saw . Just hearing Len praising Melissa in most of her dances throughout this season , it was obvious that Melissa was alreday as the winner of this season . Also , they did not want Derek to have the 4th win , because people would say that DWTS favored Derek . Quite a problem for DWTS !
you sound like the next Paula Abdul..great dancing observation
Looking at Shawn's footwork when she danced her instant Chachacha , it was so good ! Melissa could never did like that !!!
DWTS got low rating , maybe because Shawn was denied a second win and Derek a 4th win ./ Melissa was OK , but not a very gơd dancer like Shawn !
The true winners were Shawn & Derek !
Shawn and Gilles were my personal favorites, but Melissa is a fabulous dancer. At times she came across as one of the pros' instead of the star.
are the hot s*xy women....that black hair drives the men crazy...so many guys want to bang them....
I was so pleased that the truly best three dancers made the finals. I believe Derek is the best choreographer and he did the best possible with Shawn who is up for anything. That said, Tony is superb as well and Melissa is so gracious, graceful and dynamic. The best dancer did win!
and they have signed another contract.
i feel very s*xy today–not sure why.
Low ratings due to this audience switching to shows like Honey Boo Boo or the Kardashians.
The only reason Melissa won is so she can now have her national fame for what it's worth to her,which is lot.I'm telling you if she wasn't so embarresed by what the bachelor did to her on live t.v,we woud not have heard about her after the show.In reality,it's a sympathy win that's been waiting for her.Now she can sink back into oblivion...
You can't be serious. You actually believe Melissa Rycroft did this show for "national fame" and it was all a "sympathy win." Her dancing, along with Tony's spectacular choreography, is what stole the show. The elegance, precision, and lifts were phenomenal! If anyone else had won, I would have known it was rigged. Yes, Shawn Johnson was very good, but even my husband commented on the excessive gymnastics incorporated into their routines. But she used what she was a "pro" at and I would have done the same thing. And as for the "national fame" part you mentioned, Melissa would have been a fool to turn down this opportunity. A chance to make a lot of money for her and her family in this struggling economy, and also be a strong role model for her little girl. Would you have turned it down? There are never many "big" stars on this show anyway. Many relatives of high profile people, like Kim Kardashian's brother (Rob); Sarah Palin's daughter, (Bristol), Cher's son (Chaz); and Nick Lache's brother; and then many actors that we haven't seen in years and could use the exposure. I have to admit, every season there's at least half the people on this show I never heard of. I really don't give a flip what "star" they put on there, because being a "star" is all relative. If you're chosen to be on Dancing with the "Stars" and are up for the challenge, then you go for it. Tony and Melissa clearly deserved this win and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them dance all season.
Derek was trying to bring some life into a dying show – the ratings are down because people are sick of the same old thing. They broke the rules because they weren't going to win anyway – the winners are already picked – doesn't anyone remember what Hope Solo had to say. Melissa was primed through the whole thing.
Derek Hough is a great dancer and brilliant choreographer, and I am a huge fan. I honestly believe that the fans picked the winner, and they picked the best one. I don't believe that the show is a set-up, although I do question their picks of celebrities at times. Picking who the winner is fan-based, and that is why many of the former champions are not the best dancers, but had good loyal following (e.g. Emit Smith, Donal Driver) or why inept dancers stayed far too long (e.g. Bristol Palin, Rob Kardashian, Kristie Alley). It's just nature of the say. And by the way, I wouldn't consider Hope Solo a credible source. She is the worse sore loser to ever grace the show (though she is anything but graceful or gracious), and to mention a snitch.
Boy are you RIGHT... Shawn and Derek blew them all away! Melissa was good but she was no Shawn!
I agree Melissa was primed to win clearly she didn't have meore fans. I stopped watching it then.
I am so happy that Tony and Melissa WON. Shawn IS amazing BUT...I wanted to see DANCE NOT GYMNASTICS! That is the way she and Derek CHOSE to go...no one made them break rules or exploit Shawns olympic experience. The voters obviously felt that way and chose the BEST dancer.
Totally agree with you!!!
I was so, so happy Tony Dovolani & Melissa Rycroft won! I think that Melissa WAS the best dancer all season long, although I didn't agree with the sudden elimination of Gilles Marini & Helio Castroneves while Bristol Palin got to stay; or the time when Katherine Jenkins was robbed of the mirroball trophy! My hope in DWTS was restored when Tony & Melissa won last night. Though Derek & Shawn were great (much better than Val & Kelly), incorporating gymnastics into ballroom dancing got old very...quickly; it was extremely distracting. Melissa nailed her dances all season long. She's graceful, down-to-earth, well-spoken, and technically perfect. It was neat to see her confidence soar towards the end of the season. She & Tony earned that mirrorball!!!
For me, Melissa was just OKAY... Shawn and Derek blew them all away! Shawn was and is outstanding!
if you play back the dances from Monday and Tuesday nights, you can tell many times when Melissa flubbed up. she just stopped dancing at one point because she was so confused. the show couldn't even be bothered to cover up her back tattoo tuesday night. kelly was only there because people thought she was sleeping with Val. it should have come down to shawn and sabrina. if emmett had performed the entire season the way he did in his little finale show revue, then he would have been up there with them.
Shawn was very good but she did not follow the rules in her dance according to the judges. I think if she had done that they would have won. Melissa did good and I am happy for her.
Happy for Tony but it should have been Shawn and Derek. They are the best.
Melissa & Tony deserved to win. Melissa & Tony had great routines that were flawless. To everyone else that don't agree, you are stuck on your favorites and need someone to blame and criticize. Don't bring down the winners just because your "winners" didn't actually win.
I agree totally with EJ, Melissa was the best Dancer, Shawn had too much gymnastics, sometimes I forgot it was
a dance contest. Tony & Melissa, so happy for them both, what a great deserving couple!
I never got the intention she wanted to be a star..you people have 1/2 assed information and are drama.
Shawn Johnson and Derek should have won! They were the best next to Apollo and Karina. This show is sooo fixed obviously. It's been fixed like when Emitt won over Mario Lopez...gimme break. Melissa sucked and so did Kelly. They gave it to Melissa because the cry baby was whining that she never won before. She should have never been on this season in the first place. It is called "All Stars" hello and she was not an all star.
we're going to hit the trillionth time
Really happy Mellisa won, I think she was the best.
Melissa was definitely the best DANCER. Shawn put too many gymnastic moves in her dancing. It wasn't always appropriate for some of those dances. Shawn is a good dancer, but does not have the elegance Melissa has.
I knew Melissa would be the winner from the beginning. That was the purpose of the show – to let her win. Shawn was the true winner – the best all season.
While she did work hard and step up her game, I agree with the others that the producers' fix is in. If she moved her arm, the judges were carrying on like she invented the wheel or the Internet. Far more deserving contestants were eliminated earlier. Of the three finalists left, (although I thought Gilles and Apolo should have been among them), certainly Kelly and Val or Shawn and Derek were better choices to win.
It was a great season, and I'm glad for Tony. But again, Melissa had a dancing background, professionally trained. It would seem this has happened before. CBS whether Melissa was your chosen one from the beginning, you need to give your views more consideration.
In my eyes Derek is the king of dancers, who has won "Dancing with the Stars" 3 times and Shawn once. Melissa is a beautiful dancer, and she earned it fair and square. The woman has great communication skills which is a must on that show. Shawn inspite of her great achievements in life, has the voice of a little girl and communicates like my niece who is 15. Tony on the other hand has been loyal to the show 14 years and has never won. Personally, I think it's time to let someone else have the glory.
46, 223, 007.....one more time!
So who cares if Melissa has a dancing background??? Some of the winners of past seasons had dancing backgrounds, probably much more of a dancing background than Melissa has. I thought for sure that Derek and Shawn would win because they are the judge's darlings, but was happy to see that they didn't. They were the best dancers (and they didn't break any of the rules!!!).
I'm so happy for Tony and Melissa, mostly Tony. He's been my favorite dancer since he started. And I didn't think they would win. I thought it would've been Derek. I don't know what Don is talking about I think the producers are usually in favor of Derek or Mark cause both guys have big fan bases. And they always seem to get the younger and flexable partners. Congrats Tony and Melissa you guys were great all season long.
i'll be talking makeup with suzanne somers...keep moving.
at the holiday luncheon this year–thanks don
Well played. And while you are at it, why don't you get ABC to lead the campaign to get her named as the new Secretary of State.
ABC has absolutely knocked itself out trying to build Melissa Rycroft a career. First the Bachelor, then DWTS...then wasn't she a "special correspondent" on Good Morning America?? Then they bring her back for another DWTS. What's next, DWTS "TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS?" I wish the execs at ABC would quit hitting the reset button on her 15 minutes of fame.
Don, you are absolutely right about ABC pushing Melissa, and shame on the judges for buying into it. I lost all respect for Carrie-Ann and Len when they penalized Shawn and Derek's jive, hiding behind the "rules." Yet, they continually praised Klutzy Kirstie and waxed poetic about her ability to entertain. That's what Derek and Shawn did all season long, and they did it better than any of the other celebrities. What ABC did in pushing Melissa so hard equates to CBS hiring no- talent blondes on some of their good shows - Criminal Minds (the one who replaced JJ), CSI/Las Vegas, and Hawaii Five-0. Thank goodness CBS came to its senses and released these boring actresses. Hopefully, ABC will learn, too, and give a solid heave-ho to the Melissa bandwagon. The networks will continue to do poorly until they show willingness to listen to the public and to respect our intelligence.
Pretty obvious this show is setup from the beginning. Has nothing to do with dancing. It's all about an agenda by the producers. What a joke!
Agreed.. This was Melissa Rycroft's show to win or win.
there is substance on the show, but i do agree they are rushing the steps too much.
not substance, they are jumping around too much, they look too rushed now. not crazy about their dancing this year
Congratulations to my old classmate Melissa! No matter how you got there, you did it. I'm happy for you.
What a joke. This whole thing was manipulated from the start. Eliminating much better dancers along the way. I guess ABC owes Melissa something for the Bachlor mess. They must think we can't see what they are doing, kind of like the Romney campaign tried to pull. The public is much smarter than these people think. After watching DWTS for all these seasons , this is my last no more watching for me from here on out!
SO GLAD TONY FINALLY WON WITH A FABULOUS PARTNER IN MELISSA. GREAT JOB!!!
Tony should pull a John Elway and retire a winner because it will never get any better. Melissa can enjoy her 15 minutes of fame and melt back into the background. Why all the fuss about Kelly and Val coupling? Who cares? He's a callow young man and she's playing the Hollywood game (perfected by Madonna) of grabbing the headlines when you can. Back to daytime obscurity for Kelly and I guess we'll see Val next time.
Shawn and Derek have to know that they were the REAL winners! Otherwise, great season.
No I think Shawn should have won. She was so great in every way.
Fabulous season and great winners! Contrats Melissa and Tony!!
Might just put on some Bachelorette reruns and pop the porpoise.
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