The three pro judges have praised Melissa Rycroft and her partner Tony Dovolani for the past several weeks. One of the last to arrive on the orange carpet at the 22nd Annual Race to Erase MS Gala this weekend, Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson barely posed for photographers.Rycroft is a host of CMT's reality-TV show Redneck Island.in 40 cities, the petite brunette called us from Boise, Idaho, before that evening's show ("We're actually at a mall right now letting the kids play in the play area," she tells us of tour life with husband Tye Strickland) to talk injuries, pranks, and her pick to win Melissa Rycroft: I'm OK.During season 15, Dovolani and Melissa Rycroft won the Mirror Ball Trophy.Behind the scenes, when Dovolani's son Adrian was about nine-months-old, Lina was the first one to notice that he wasn't developing the same way as his twin sister. Tony remembers their reaction: "We thought, 'Okay we are going to be a great family.' We have always done work with special needs and the fact that this happened in our family, we were like, 'Alright, we are prepared for it.'" In a poignant and uplifting interview, Dovolani shared his thoughts and feelings on fatherhood and raising a child with special needs.
The 26-year-old former pro dancer turned judge was joined by dancers Kym Johnson, Chelsie Hightower, Mark Ballas, Karina Smirnoff, Artem Chigvintsev, Sasha Farber, Brittany Cherry, Allison Holker, Witney Carson, and more.
They have an eight-year-old daughter and five-year-old twins Adrian and Ariana.
In fact, Dovolani was in rehearsals for the seventh season of since the second season and is returning this fall. Some of his celebrity partners from previous seasons include: Stacy Keibler, Leeza Gibbons, Jayne Seymour, Susan Lucci, Kathy Ireland, Audrina Patridge, Chynna Phillips, Wynonna Judd, Leah Remini, and Ne Ne Leakes.
After graduating from the University of North Texas, Rycroft auditioned for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. As a cheerleader, she made regular appearances on Country Music Television's reality show Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.
Rycroft appeared on the 13th season of The Bachelor as one of the 25 bachelorettes competing for bachelor Jason Mesnick.