Wednesday, November 28, 2012 , Updated 11:37 a.m., November 28, 2012
Melissa Rycroft shockingly snags Dancing with the Stars title
A former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, Melissa still lives in Dallas.
What a stunner!
Dallas’ Melissa Rycroft pulled off a major upset Tuesday night, winning Dancing with the Stars: All Stars over favorite Shawn Johnson, the Olympic gymnast.
Rycroft, who was a jilted Bachelorette and lost to Johnson in her original season of Dancing, didn’t face disappointment this time.
The results shocked Rycroft and her partner Tony Dovolani. Both won the mirror ball trophy for the first time.
Standing in the waiting area, Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno mouthed, “Wow!” at the results. Smith then came up and embraced Rycroft, while pro dancers Maksim and Val Chmerkovskiy vaulted Dovolani into the air.
“What a feel-good win,” said host Tom Bergeron.
Rycroft, 29, still lives in the Dallas area with husband Tye Strickland. She graduated from Newman Smith High School in Carrollton and earned a spot as a Cowboys cheerleader after appearing on the CMT reality series Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.
She famously was dumped on The Bachelor by Jason Mesnick, after accepting his proposal on the final episode. After filming finished, he changed his mind, deciding to opt for runner up Molly Malaney.
But as little more than a reality TV star, it was a surprise Rycroft beat huge names such as Smith, Ohno, and Johnson. Viewer votes count for half; judges’ scores count for half. Usually, the most popular dancer wins.
Rycroft, who suffered a head injury in rehearsals that required hospitalization in October, put herself in the best position with perfect scores from the judges in Monday night’s finals.
Actress Kelly Monaco finished third and Johnson second. Both were past winners. Smith and Ohno were eliminated in the semifinals.
Besides Rycroft, Monaco, and Johnson, the season’s cast featured returning stars Pamela Anderson, Sabrina Bryan, Kirstie Alley, Gilles Marini, Joey Fatone, Drew Lachey, Helio Castroneves, and Bristol Palin.