In 2009, Melissa Rycroft and her pro partner Tony Dovolani finished third on “Dancing with the Stars” Season 8 after their hip hop freestyle routine bombed with the judges and audience.
But on Monday night, the duo that reunited for “DWTS: All-Stars” finally put that disaster behind them as they performed a flawless contemporary style freestyle. They got a perfect score of 30 for that dance and also for their first performance, an energetic samba. Melissa and Tony have received the most points of any couple on All-Stars and might be poised to take the mirror ball trophy on Tuesday’s season finale, despite a strong freestyle by gymnast Shawn Johnson.
After the show, Melissa immediately mentioned what a difference a few years made! “We certainly didn’t have this finale last time, on Season 8,” the delighted star told reporters. “It feels good that we did our part and come tomorrow, whatever happens, happens but we can’t sit there and wish we had gotten the extra half a point. We did it.”
Melissa said she and Tony considered doing a modern dance a big risk. “In Season 8, we didn’t take a risk. We did something that was comfortable and easy, and this time, competing against Shawn and Derek and Kelly [Monaco] and Val [Chmerkovskiy], we needed to do something different.”
Longtime “DWTS” pro Tony, who is on his 14th season of the show without a mirror ball win, couldn’t have been more satisfied with how their freestyle worked out, saying, “My goal was to celebrate Melissa’s journey and I feel like I captured that.”
Win or lose, Melissa said she has had a blast. “So many people think, just because you don’t win the trophy, it’s such a disappointment but this season has been amazing,” the former jilted “Bachelor” beauty confided. “I look at what we produced tonight [thinking] if that doesn’t give us the trophy, I still feel like we’ve won so much more than the trophy can even signify and I’m proud of us. A trophy would be icing on the cake but if we don’t get it, it’s not taking anything away from this experience.”
Meanwhile, Melissa’s body looks incredible after her dance boot camp, so much so that after their samba, judge Carrie Ann Inaba praised her abs. “I didn’t drop [any weight],” she insisted to reporters backstage. “That samba outfit was the exact same outfit that I wore week 3. They didn’t take any of it in; I think it’s deceiving because my muscles have leaned [out] and you can actually see definition, but I haven’t lost weight on the scale.”
They have a little more performing to do Tuesday night before the final results are announced, then, Melissa revealed, “It’s holiday time and I’m very much looking forward to putting some holiday weight on!”
The “DWTS: All-Stars” winner will be revealed on Tuesday night’s two-hour season finale.