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 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 ...