Does Melissa Rycroft Have Unfair Advantage on DWTS?

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Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani delivered a smokin' hot salsa on Monday evening's Dancing With the Stars. But after the show, The Bachelor beauty found herself, once again, on the hot seat over her dancing background.

"I'm not the only person that has ever come in here with dance experience," Melissa told Access Hollywood when asked if she has a leg up on her foes.

Dancing pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy sparked the debate prior to Week 2 of the hit ABC show, telling TV Guide it was unfair that Rycroft was allowed to compete with her background in ballet and as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

When given the opportunity to backtrack on that, Maksim stood strong in his stance: "Let me be that voice of everybody who thinks [it] but won't say it."

"I mean, I can't be expected to compete next to someone that's had a lot of dance training," Maksim's partner, Denise Richards, added.

Melissa Rycroft Dancing

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani heat up Dancing with the Stars.

After Monday night's show, where Melissa Rycroft turned in her second impressive performance in as many weeks, it seemed more members of the cast were ready to throw fuel on this smoldering Dancing with the Stars fire.

"I'm not going to say anything about it being unfair, but compared to everybody else, there is a huge difference in ability," Julianne Hough said.

Not everyone's a critic, though.

Melissa's dance partner this season, Tony Dovolani, took exception to the comments made by his good friend and competitor, Maksim.

"Well, I would love to say to Maks, 'How about Mel?'" Tony said, referring to Maksim's partner in Season 5, former Spice Girl Mel B. "That's all I'm going to say."

For her part, Melissa Rycroft insists her success on the dance floor is a product of her hard work with Dovolani, rather than her prior experience.

"There have definitely been people that have more [experience] than me. But it's not benefiting me at all, believe me. It's not like we practice for a day and have six off," Rycroft, who was cheered by new beau Ty Strickland, said.

Melissa and Tony's fancy footwork has certainly paid dividends with the judges - earning the couple scores of 23 and 26 out of 30 in each week, respectively.

However, Sex and The City heartthrob Gilles Marini and partner Cheryl Burke have netted the high score each week so far, with impressive scores of 24 and 27, respectively - despite no professional dancing experience for him.

In the end, reigning Dancing with the Stars champ Derek Hough said it's up to the voters to decide if Melissa's background goes against the theme of the show.

"It really just depends on what American wants to see. Do they want to see a non-dancer become a dancer, or do they want to see a dancer dance?" Derek said.

Ultimately, Maksim seemed to agree that it's all up to the audience.

"Does she have dance training? Of course. But it doesn't matter if people love what she does," he concluded. "You know, Mazel Tov to her, as we say."

Here's Melissa Rycroft's most recent performance on the show ...


I am very dissapointed in Julianne and Max, I guess their true colors are coming out! I believe Melissa can dance as well as they do and they are professionals! She was asked at the last minute to join the show and she accepted. Go girl, go! She is a natural. A beautiful person, personality and warming smile!
No body has said anything about Julianne's partner.


Melissa is doing awesome -- yes,she's had previous experience in ballet, but a lot of other contestants have had some sort of training in ballet, hip hop, Olympians, boy banders, etc. People are just jealous of her. Get over it everyone! She's hot and she's good!


I agree the comments need to stop. Kristi was an Olympian who also competed in pairs skating before she took on her single skating full force. I used to skate and I will tell you I had to do many hours of ballet and ice dancing which includes doing dances on ice w/ a partner. I think Kristi did a great job and deserved to be there and I believe Melissa deserves to be there as well. I only watched a few episodes here and there of DWTS. Now that Melissa is on the show I watch every Monday and Tues!


Lay off her guys. Melissa is entertains us greatly with
her dancing and that's what important. Could you Maksim and
Julianne improve more the ratings without her in
this season? She's hot. Every contestant has some sort of
training in their life like the band boys, Lance and Fatone.
Kristi and other Olympians have trainings that one way or
another help in their dancing, but you have to consider too
dancing TALENT. If you have no dancing bone in your body,
you can learn the moves but you won't excite the audience except in a comical way in which the producers have envisioned and had built the show.


Julianne and Max need to stop whining and concentrate on themselves!!!


What a joke! Melissa came onto the show at the last minute and she has the personality and willingness to learn from a great pro, Tony! How do you explain Brooke's talent last season? I used to be a fan of Max and Julianne, but now you get to see the claws come out. Go Melissa! Make Twxas proud!


I cannot stand this show. The only reason I watch it is for Melissa... I LOVE HER (Jason can go to he**). She is boosting the ratings...which is what the producers want anyway. As for dancing ability...this show covers all ages, all levels of is not ever going to be "fair".


I agree with Anon. I have been watching since season 1 and every season there is someone who has had some sort of dance experience. Whether it's hip hop or ballet or figure's not ballroom. I have been a ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary dancer for years and I have never ballroom danced. I would have to work just as hard as everyone else to learn the technique and the choreography. The only advantage would be performing infront of people...and doesn't every actor and actress have that advantage...pretending to be someone that they're not? I love the professional dancers, but come on give Melissa a break.


Lol, how many seasons have these pros been dancing? Seriously, every season, there is someone on the show that has had dancing experience. Every single boy bander have, Drew, Joey. The cheetah girl has. Mario Lopez, and that spice girl has. The wrestler girl did ballet as well. Last season it was Kristi Yamaguchi that was getting the flak. Just because they can dance doesn't mean they know ballroom. GET OVER IT! Stop whining because your partners suck!


This article is interesting but Julianne Hough needs to keep quiet about having an unfair advantage. She has the biggest advantage since she knew her partener before the show and was even teaching him to dance. So people in glass houses Julianne shouldn't throw stones. The problem for Julianne is that her unfair advantage isn't working since no one is buying this cute couple couple scam and people don't like her partner and he can't dance.

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Dancing with the Stars Quotes

We should have started dancing with one arm waaay before.

Cristian de la Fuente [following his injury, trip to the hospital and subsequent stellar performance]

I am not the best dancer, and I have not been the best dancer from the beginning. I am happy we made it this far.

Cristian de la Fuente