'The Bachelor' dumpee Melissa Rycroft joining 'Dancing with the Stars'
By Steve Rogers, 03/08/2009
Jilted The Bachelor bachelorette Melissa Rycroft's announcement that it was time for her to "move on from my reality television days" was apparently premature.
Rycroft, a 25-year-old sales representative and former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader from Dallas TX, has decided to join Dancing with the Stars' upcoming eighth season as a last-minute replacement for injured Access Hollywood co-anchor Nancy O'Dell, Peoplereported Sunday.
ABC has declined to reveal how Dancing with the Stars will deal with the withdrawals of the injured celebrities, stating only that "additional changes to the cast" will be announced during the show's live eighth-season premiere on Monday, however reports that The Girls Next Door star Holly Madison will replace Jewel have circulated since before her withdrawal was officially announced.
Rycroft is expected to perform on Dancing with the Stars' Monday night premiere despite having had only days to rehearse, according to a People source.
Rycroft got engaged to thirteenth-season The Bachelor star Jason Mesnick during last November's taping of Mesnick's Final Rose Ceremony but he later dumped her on-air in favor of runner-up Molly Malaney during January's taping of the season's After the Final Rose special.
Rycroft subsequently declined to participate in last month's filming of After the Final Rose, Part 2, a second special that provided an update on the status of Mesnick's new relationship with Malaney. In addition, she also decided to pass on the chance to serve as the star of the fifth season of The Bachelorette, causing the role to go to second runner-up Jillian Harris instead.
"Strange as it may sound, I am doing really well," Rycroft wrote in a parting The Bachelor statement, a portion of which show host Chris Harrison read during the After the Final Rose, Part 2 special.
"I'm back in Dallas, pursuing the teaching thing, and attempting to get my life back to normal (if it was every really normal to begin with). I still have my same life mottos: Live life with no regrets, and keep smiling no matter what happens. I'm in such a good place in my life right now, and I really couldn't be happier," she continued.
"I don't regret anything that happened over the past few months; because I know I wouldn't be where I am today had none of it happened. I have, however, decided to move on from my reality television days, and get some sense of normalcy back to my life."