Melissa Rycroft: ‘It Would Feel Really Good’ To Beat Shawn Johnson & Gilles Marini On Dancing All-Stars

Former “Bachelor” beauty Melissa Rycroft made it to the “Dancing with the Stars” top three in Season 8, but ultimately lost the mirror ball to Shawn Johnson (with actor Gilles Marini coming in second).

Now that the trio will be reunited on “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars,” Melissa admits she’d love to steal the “Dancing” thunder from her castmates this time around.

“It’s tough to come so close, you know? And when I heard the ‘All-Stars’ cast, and I saw Shawn and Gilles, I’m not gonna lie — it would feel really good to just beat those two,” Melissa told Access Hollywood at her “Dancing” rehearsal with pro partner Tony Dovolani in Los Angeles on Thursday. “I’m not going into this competition going, ‘I’m gonna take them out,’ but there would be some self-satisfaction to know that the two people that knocked us out - if we were to come ahead of them.”

A lot has changed for Melissa since her first round on the ABC reality hit (she married Tye Strickland in 2009, then welcomed her first child, daughter Ava Grace in February 2011) and Tony said he’s enjoyed watching his partner’s growth – both on and off the dance floor.

“It’s interesting, as the first time I met Melissa she was single [and had] just [come] off ‘The Bachelor,’” he said of his 29-year-old “DWTS” partner. “So for me to see her married, with a child, and see how she’s grown into this beautiful adult, it’s just awesome!”

Watch Melissa and Tony fight for ballroom glory when “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” premieres Monday at 8/7c on ABC.

-- Erin O’Sullivan

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