If you’ve been keeping up with Dancing With the Stars: All Stars competition then you know that a major favorite, Melissa Rycroft, just took home this year’s grand prize. Still, there’s more to this dancing beauty than just meets the eye. Here are the top 10 facts you need to know:
1. She was a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader
Shortly after graduating college Melissa tried out and successfully joined the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. There she got her first brush with TV during the reality TV show “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team” shot by Country Music Television.
2. She has a degree in marketing
Melissa went to the University of North Texas where she graduated with a degree in marketing.
3. Her first call to fame was in the 13th season of “The Bachelor”
Competing for the love of Jason Mesnick, Melissa’s first real fame came after she successfully received the final rose and a marriage proposal in the 13th season of The Bachelor. Unfortunately for her Mesnick ended up breaking off the proposal six weeks later, confessing he still had feelings for the other finalist.
4. She first joined Dancing With the Stars as a fill-in
Just a week after the finale of The Bachelor Melissa was asked to fill-in on Dancing With the Stars after an initial contestant, Nancy O’Dell, was injured during dance practice and unable to compete. Though she had only two days to practice she ended up tied for second place in the first episode and third overall in the competition.
5. She’s a special correspondent for Good Morning America
Following in the wake of her fame on Dancing With the Stars and The Bachelor Melissa joined Good Morning America as a special correspondent, helping to further her name and career in reality TV.
6. She co-hosted “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” with Ryan Seacrest
In the 2010 special Melissa joined Ryan Seacrest to co-host Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, lending her face and name to the famous event at Times Square.
7. She was one of Maxim and People Magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful People”
Lauded for her beauty and charm, Melissa landed herself on Maxim Magazine’s “Hot 100″ list and People Magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful People” lists.
8. She reunited with her ex after her Bachelor breakup
Following her very public breakup with The Bachelor’s Jason Mesnick Melissa reunited with her lost love, Tye Strickland, and married in a romantic ceremony in Mexico.
9. She has her own reality TV show, “Melissa and Tye: A New Reality”
Following her marriage to Tye and publication of her book “My Reality” Melissa debuted in her own reality TV show after being approached by Ryan Seacrest and the show’s producers to make her personal life more well-known.
10. She has a daughter
Born in 2011, her daughter Ava has been a key focal point in her marriage as well as a major factor in many of the developments within her reality TV show.