Monaco, O'Hurley: "Dancing" Rematch!
Kelly Monaco and John O'Hurley will return to the Dancing with the Stars ballroom for a so-called "dance-off" on Sept. 20, ABC announced Thursday. The results, based solely on viewer voting, will be announced in a Sept. 22 telecast.
Monaco, the daytime soap star, took the first round against O'Hurley, the former Seinfeld player, back on July 6 when she and professional dance partner Alec Mazo were named champs of the six-week made-for-TV contest.
Coming in the wake of early shaky efforts, Monaco's win was greeted with suspicion by O'Hurley die-hards who thought the show's elder statesman had samba-d circles around the competition with the help of partner Charlotte Jorgensen. One conspiracy theory had ABC plotting to put Monaco on top in the name of corporate synergy--the actress' day job is on the network's General Hospital.
At the Television Critics Association press tour last month, ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson told reporters the network was considering a Monaco-O'Hurley rematch. To the exec, a show returning the two rivals to the dance floor was a "great idea," not an admission that funny business had marred the initial results.
"The voting was not fixed whatsoever," McPherson said.
The newly sure-footed Monaco, meanwhile, refused to be tripped up by talk that she didn't earn her victory, and welcomed a rematch.
"Bring it on," the actress said at the ABC press conference last month. "You want a dance-off, come on up here. I'll give you a dance-off."
And so the dance-off: The Monaco and O'Hurley teams will compete in Latin, ballroom and freestyle. The 90-minute special will be filled out with "dance demonstrations" by: Ashly Delgrosso, Joey McIntyre's former partner; Jonathan Roberts,
Rachel Hunter's ringer; Edyta Sliwinska, survivor of Evander Holyfield's moves; and, Louis van Amstel, Trista Sutter's harsh taskmaster.
The results show, airing two nights later, will be kept to a relatively spare 30 minutes.
No decision has been made as to whether a separate results show will be part of Dancing with the Stars' second season. And, no, no decision has been made as to when Dancing with the Stars' second season will launch.
In its inaugural run, summer's biggest TV hit aired once a week, for six consecutive weeks, starting June 1. One dance team was eliminated at the end of each episode, except the first episode, on account of no team got eliminated until a lousy performance was at least one week old. (The logistics and math made a bit, but not a lot, more sense as the series played out.)
While Dancing's trio of judges will be on hand for next month's dance-off, they'll only serve as sideline observers, a la the Simon-Paula-Randy troika on American Idol. The Monaco-O'Hurley winner be determined by audience-generated online and phone voting.
Results will be final. Presumably until the next dance-off.