Maybe Melissa Rycroft should keep setting the bar low. The Bachelor alum, who finished third on Season 8 of Dancing with the Stars, just wanted to make it to Week 4 of All-Stars with Tony Dovolani. But she exceeded all of her — and arguably everyone's — expectations by taking home the Mirrorball trophy and overcoming season-long front-runners Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough in the process. "Honestly, I don't think anyone predicted us to win," Rycroft tells TVGuide.com. "We wanted to win, but we certainly didn't expect to. I'm still in shock." See what else Rycroft has to say about her big win below. Plus: Where will she put the Mirrorball?
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Congratulations! Have you slept at all?
Melissa Rycroft: No! We hopped on that plane right after the show and I think it was just too much adrenaline for all of us. We tried to sleep, but didn't and then went straight to GMA. We'll sleep later. ... I don't think that it's really hit me yet and every once in a while, I look over in the corner at the trophy and go, "That's mine! That's my trophy!" It's so unexpected and yeah, I'm waiting to wake up and realize that I won.
Were you thrown off by Tom [Bergeron]'s wordplay: "Now they have one too/won two"?
Rycroft: I heard a lot of people were confused, but when he started speaking, I looked at him and he was looking right at me, and that's all I saw and I actually didn't hear anything else he said. I made eye contact with him and I just heard my name and then I lost it! At that point, I'll be honest, I really thought it was going to be Shawn and Derek. I was not expecting to hear my name and it was just utter astonishment and shock.
Tony lost it way more than you did.
Rycroft: Oh yeah! He went insane. And Tony knew that. He'd been saying since Day 1 that if he ever got to the point of possibly getting the trophy, you'd have to pick him up off the floor. When it came down to the final two couples, I looked at Tony and was like, "You've never been down here." And he was like, "No." He'd only ever made it to third place. When we had guaranteed made it to second, that was already such an accomplishment. Tony had never been there and it was better than we had done in Season 8. Then after the longest pause ever by Tom, when he said our names, it was just unbelievable.
Shawn was the favorite, but you had so much momentum the past four weeks. How much of a chance did you give yourself?
Rycroft: I thought we had a chance, but I don't think that Tony and I ever considered ourselves front-runners. Shawn and Derek were always the front-runners. They're so amazing this whole season and we love them, and Shawn and I go back to Season 8, obviously. But Tony and I never said, "We're such a threat in this competition." We weren't continuously at the top. We always felt week-to-week that we were just fighting to stay in the pack. It wasn't until the swing marathon that we broke through and this momentum came. It was almost like we didn't feel like we needed to prove anything to anyone because we didn't have the mentality that it was our trophy to lose. We felt it was our trophy to win. Because of that, we were able to go out week after week and just do the best we could do. We danced like every dance was our last one because we were really scared that it was! Who would've predicted that we would make it to the very last dance possible?