LOS ANGELES (AP) — She was dissed on “The Bachelor” and came in third place during her first stint on “Dancing With the Stars,” but Melissa Rycroft is now a winner.
The reality TV star and her professional dance partner, Tony Dovolani, were named the champions Tuesday on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars: All Stars.”
The pair beat out fellow finalists (and former champs) actress Kelly Monaco and Olympian Shawn Johnson to claim the sparkly mirror-ball trophy.
Fellow contestants on the show’s first “all-star” season hoisted the new winners into the air as confetti rained down inside the “Dancing With the Stars” ballroom.
Tuesday’s two-hour season finale featured performances by the three finalists and each of the returning cast members: actors Pamela Anderson, Sabrina Bryan, Kirstie Alley and Gilles Marini; singers Joey Fatone and Drew Lachey; race car driver Helio Castroneves; reality TV star Bristol Palin; Olympic skater Apolo Anton Ohno; and football star Emmitt Smith.
Six of those contestants – Johnson, Monaco, Lachey, Ohno, Smith and Castroneves – were previous “Dancing” winners.
Rycroft and Dovolani came into the final contest with a pair of perfect scores. Those points were combined with viewer votes and a last set of judges’ scores for an “instant dance” for which they had less than an hour to prepare.
Rycroft was a contestant on “The Bachelor” in 2009 and first appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” that same year. The 29-year-old also starred in a reality series earlier this year, “Melissa & Tye,” about her marriage to Tye Strickland and their move to Hollywood so she could pursue an entertainment career.