Who needs “The Bachelor”? Melissa Rycroft, who first came to fame as the unfortunate jilted beauty on the ABC reality romance show, is proving “Dancing with the Stars” is a much better fit! Though she started slow with partner Tony Dovolanion this season’s All-Stars, Melissa blew the field away with two strong, perfect 30 dances on Monday night’s show.
“Every once in awhile, I catch myself thinking finale,” Melissa admitted to reporters backstage after her incredible night with a sailor-themed quickstep and a trio dance with both Tony and another pro, Henry Byalikov. “It was a great night.”
But she said, “Then I have to go, wait a minute! There is a double elimination this week. You have to take it week by week and take advantage of the moment in front of you and don’t psych yourself out too much. Because I think mentally, you can knock yourself out of this game.”
Strangely, Melissa’s dances got stronger after she injured her neck in practice a few weeks ago. She told the media on Monday that her neck is “okay. I’m not worried about it [but] we’re still seeing the physical therapist. We encountered a couple of moves in the Paso Doble that Tony had to change but the goal is, from the audience, you can’t tell what moves were changed and what was faked.”
Although Tony, who has never won the mirror ball trophy, admitted to Xfinitytv he wanted it “really badly,” he added, “For me, this season has been my mirror ball. Every single week I walk out there with her is my moment where I enjoy every second of it because Melissa has meant so much to me. I’ve never had anyone as my partner that is as committed as she is. I want to savor every moment.”
Melissa is enjoying this season more than Season 8, her first “DWTS” go-round. “I have such a good time!” The mom of a toddler daughter said her body is just one of the by-products of a successful season: “I didn’t want to lose weight but my body has leaned out,” she confided. “I have my fun abs back again.”