Was Dancing With The Stars Strictly Boardroom?

Jan. 30 2008, Published 8:04 a.m. ET

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Did ABC rig Dancing with the Stars to favor flat-footed GeneralHospital starlet Kelly Monaco? In what’s surely the lamest scandal of recent months, fans of the reality TV dance-off havebeen crying foul since the show’s main attraction, JohnO’Hurley (AKA Seinfeld’s J. Peterman), was handedsecond place in the July 6th finale.

The hubbub began whenO’Hurley—whose smooth moves and unexpected sprezzatura helped drawmore than 22 million viewers to the season’s closer—reportedlyblamed his loss on a mysterious “agenda.” What supposed agenda washe referring to? Apparently, a plot by ABC to juice GeneralHospital’s slipping ratings, a source close to the show says.

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“ABC had nothing to gain by letting John O’Hurley win, eventhough he was clearly the favorite and the best dancer,” says the source.“Kelly winning, on the other hand, directly impacts ABC’sratings.” As if that weren’t enough corporate synergy for one show, during hercrowning, Monaco announced she was goin' to Disneyworld!—the flagship theme park of ABC’scorporate parent.

Despite fans’ claims that Monaco made multipleslip-ups in her final routine, ABC spokeswoman Lauren Tobinmaintains there was nothing untoward about the judging. “There were tencameras, but the judges only have a pair of eyes each and were sitting off to theside. They called it like they saw it in the moment,” she says.

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As for O’Hurley’s remarks, Tobin says, “John is entitled to hisopinions, but the judging process happens very carefully. We have a broadcaststandards and practices department that makes sure everything is on the up andup.” O’Hurley’s rep would only say of her client,“He’s already said everything he’s going to say. Hedoesn’t want to come off as a sore loser.”

He just danced his ass off on a nationally-broadcast reality TV show. What is he if not a sore loser?



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