The Kelly Monaco Controversey…

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Monaco dancing her way to Wisteria Lane?

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…but she may be crying all the way to a prime time series

Dear Suds Buds,

Kelly Monaco has gone from being a vampire’s lover (Livvie, PC) to a mobster’s lover (Sam, GH), to a ballroom dance competition winner, thanks to ABC primetimes’ Dancing With the Stars.  Monaco was the underdog from the start.  A petite 5’1” at best, she seemed heavy on her feet and missed her footing a number of times.  She suffered the infamous “wardrobe malfunction,” when her spaghetti strap dress lost a spaghetti strap mid tango, or marimba, or whatever Latin dance she was engaged in at the time.  She got the most criticism.  She almost broke into tears after the harsh comments.  But according to judges, she progressed the most. 

Did she deserve to win?  Many are saying that John O’Hurley got rooked out of the winner’s circle.  He should have taken home the honors, they feel.  In the current issue of People Magazine (July 25, 2005), they are calling the controversy “Samba-Gate.”  Is the only reason Monaco won due to her loyal fan base from General Hospital who called in and voted for the striking brunette?  I don’t think so.  After all, the three judges gave her a perfect score of 10 on the last night of the show.  

Let’s back track.  At first, Monaco was hesitant even to share the news that she was about to appear on this quirky new reality show for ABC.  She told Larry King on Larry King Live that she would whisper to her GH castmates that she was about to do this dance thing.  It wasn’t something she was particularly excited about – until the show aired and became a sleeper summer mega hit for GH’s parent network.   According to Tom Bergeron, host of Dancing with the Stars, it’s almost a done deal that the show will return for another season, even though no official deal has been done as of this writing.

How does Monaco feel about “Samba-Gate?” She is taking it in stride and not letting it upset her cart.  People will believe what they want to believe, she feels.  She is not going to loose any sleep over it.  In fact, controversey aside, she may be landing a role on a prime time drama series because of the attention she is getting due to the summertime hit.

Marc Cherry, creator of Desperate Housewives, was interviewed by Access Hollywood and commented on how great he thought Monaco was on “Dancing.” He said he hadn’t yet figured how he’d write her into Westeria Lane, but he was definitely thinking about it.  When Monaco appeared on Larry King Live last week, she noted that she had one year left on her contract with GH, and hinted that she was keeping her options open.  When asked directly about Desperate Housewives, she would not confirm any rumors, saying that she is sworn to secrecy.

And Samba-Gate continues.  In an effort to squelch the banter that the voting could have tampered with, ABC is rumored to be producing a run off show of Dancin With the Stars to pit Monaco against O’Hurley one more time.  This time, however, they will have a second show, similar to American Idol, where audience members will get to see the results of the fan voting in real time during a 30-minute episode.  Should the run off show come to pass, would Monaco win again? Time will tell. 

Did You Know?  The No. 1 TV series this summer, Dancing with the Stars also qualified as the most-watched summer series on any network in the last five years - since the inaugural season of Survivor in Summer 2000.

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Til the top of next week,

Linda Marshall-Smith
CEO, Soapdom, Inc.

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