Written by Kelli Finglass
I have to take a moment to brag and gloat about our own Melissa Rycroft winning this season's *Dancing With the Stars. *
I remember nicknaming Melissa "Punky Brewster" in our 2006 auditions because she reminded me of the '80s child actress made famous by her warm, funny and fresh-faced charm. Melissa encountered the same challenges all rookie candidates experience in Summer Training Camp: kick lines, jump splits, Miss Kitty and my office. I remember Melissa as hardworking, diligent, enthusiastic and always smiling. (Except for the time she was warned for having a lack of energy one week in my office on national TV and we discovered she had mono!)
Although Melissa was timid on her first swimsuit calendar shoot, she revealed a soft, smoky sex appeal that landed her as Miss January in the 2008 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar.
After turning in her boots and poms, Mellissa took off on a new journey … in search of the infamous "rose" made famous by the reality show The Bachelor.
After being jilted on Season 13 of The Bachelor, Melissa captured the hearts of America and became a force to be reckoned with. She dusted herself off and took third Place on Season 8 of Dancing With the Stars.
Melissa was named to People magazine's list of World's Most Beautiful People in 2009 and was also featured on Maxim's list of "Hot 100 of 2009."
I expect big things for Melissa, and I hope she will hold close to her heart the DCC creed to: "Promise herself to live in the faith that the whole world is on her side, as long as she is true to the best that is in her."
Melissa has become America's Sweetheart, and I am proud that she wore the star-spangled uniform and started her career as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
Bring that Mirror Ball Trophy back home to Dallas, Melissa, and let us see its sparkle!