By Annie Barrett
March 09, 2009 at 09:18 PM EDT

Shine that spotlight back on her lips; they’ll wither without it! Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Melissa Rycroft will compete on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars instead of Nancy O’Dell. The Access Hollywood host backed out due to injury along with singer-songwriter Jewel, who’ll be replaced by The Girls Next Door‘s Holly Madison. Melissa and Holly will both compete in tonight’s two-hour premiere despite netting insufficient rehearsal time with their professional partners, Tony Dovolani and Dmitry Chaplin, respectively.

The emergence of Melissa’s “star” quality extends all the way back to last week, when she “won” The Bachelor only to get dumped minutes later on After The Final Rose by single father/highly functioning chimpanzee Jason Mesnick. (When asked to comment on Melissa’s new fame game, Jason told Extra, “I am so excited for Melissa. I know she has danced her whole life.” That is categorically not what any DWTS viewer wants to hear, not that anybody wanted to hear from Jason anyway.)

Whether or not you consider Melissa Rycroft a star, this is a brilliant move byABC. Last week’s Bachelor finale scored the network its highest ratingsin the coveted adults 18-49 demographic in over two and a half years.The average age of a Dancing With the Stars viewer skews over 50.

At this point, I’m somewhat regretting my decision to abandon The Bachelor around the time Tooth Nazi performed her original rap, but I have complete faith that ABC will bestow us with cleverly edited clips of Melissa’s time on one reality show in a way that demands that we take pity on/vote for her in another. Will Melissa get you to tune in for Dancing With the Stars? And will she wear sequins or fringe tonight? The heart, it flutters.

Read more:
‘DWTS’: Who goes home when?
‘The Bachelor’ photo gallery: Where are they now?

Chris Harrison blogs ‘The Bachelor’ finale and ‘After the Final Rose’
‘The Bachelor’ recap: This is (not) your wife