It was only a week ago that Melissa Rycroft, the 25-year-old Dallas native who won the heart and hand of Bachelor Jason Mesnick, saw her dignity and dreams of matrimony battered on national television.
Jason, having experienced a major change of heart between the season finale of the Bachelor and the After The Rose special (which were filmed a few weeks apart, but aired back to back), confessed that he couldn't stop thinking of Molly Malaney, the second choice girl he jilted in favor of Melissa.
The "chemistry is completely different" outside the mansion he told host Chris Harrison. "We're not right for each other," he told Melissa. She gave the ring back. He jumped into the arms of Molly. Molly said, "I think we can see where things go." We all barfed and hoped we would never have to lay eyes on Jason or Molly again.
But many wondered, what will happen to poor Melissa? Will the image of her crying face disappear into that part of our brains where Flo-Bee haircutting infomercials go to die? Will she return triumphantly to the world of professional cheerleading, forcing Dallas Cowboys fans to their feet every Monday night? Will we ever see her again?
Fortunately, we didn't need to wait long for an answer. A few days after being jilted by Jason, Melissa was selected to replace injured "star" Nancy O'Dell on Dancing With The Stars. And last night, after only two days of practice with professional dancer Tony Dovolani (versus the four weeks the other "stars" received), she made a stellar debut, earning one of the highest scores of the night: a 23 out of 30.
The audience cheered. Melissa cried. Carrie Ann Inaba gushed. Even head judge Len Goodman, best known for his stern criticism, couldn't help but be impressed. "The Bachelor’s loss is Dancing With The Stars' gain," he told Melissa.
We can only hope that Jason was at home watching, wondering if maybe his sense of chemistry was changing yet again.
Photo courtesy of ABC's The Bachelor.