For Rycroft, success a reality at last

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For Rycroft, success a reality at last

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LOS ANGELES - She was criticized on “The Bachelor’’ and came in third place during her first stint on “Dancing With the Stars,’’ but Melissa Rycroft is now a winner.

The reality TV star and her professional dance partner, Tony Dovolani, were named the champions Tuesday on ABC TV’s “Dancing With the Stars: All Stars.’’

The pair beat out fellow finalists (and former champs) actress Kelly Monaco and Olympian Shawn Johnson to claim the sparkly mirror-ball trophy.

Fellow contestants on the shows first “all-star’’ season hoisted the new winners into the air as confetti rained down inside the ``Dancing With the Stars’’ ballroom.

Tuesday’s two-hour season finale featured performances by the three finalists and each of the returning cast members: actors Pamela Anderson, Sabrina Bryan, Kirstie Alley and Gilles Marini; singers Joey Fatone and Drew Lachey; race car driver Helio Castroneves; reality TV star Bristol Palin; Olympic skater Apolo Anton Ohno and football star Emmitt Smith.

Six of those contestants ? Johnson, Monaco, Lachey, Ohno, Smith and Castroneves ? were previous winners.

Rycroft and Dovolani came into the final contest with a pair of perfect scores. Those points were combined with viewer votes and a last set of judges’ scores for an “instant dance’’ for which they had less than an hour to prepare.

AP
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