Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo defeat John O'Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen in ABC's 'Dancing With The Stars' finale
By Andrea Sellers, 07/07/2005
In an unlikely upset, General Hospital actress Kelly Monaco and professional dancer Alec Mazo went from worst to first over the course of six weeks, a journey that ended with the dance couple being crowned the winners of Dancing With The Stars during last night's live finale of the six-episode smash hit ABC summer reality series.
Kelly and Alec defeated actor John O'Hurley and his partner Charlotte Jorgensen, whom the judges had previously (and repeatedly) cited as the competition's favorites.
Dancing With The Stars' finale began with the couples performing their choice of any previous dance of the season. John and Charlotte drew high praise from the judges for their elegant quickstep. Kelly and Alec were also praised for their samba -- performed sans any wardrobe malfunctions this time -- however after the first round scoring ended, the couple found themselves trailing John and Charlotte in the judges' points ranking, 25 to 27.
In their final performance, both teams loosened up for the freestyle dance -- in which the rules went out the window. After their freestyle performance, judge Carrie Ann Inaba declared John and Charlotte's performance to be "fantastic" while fellow judge Bruno Tonioli delighted that John finally found his hips. After the judges awarded John and Charlotte three 9's for their second straight performance, it appeared that Kelly and Alec were facing an uphill battle. However, once they got out on the dance floor they proved to be up to the challenge, pulling out all the stops during their own freestyle session and earning perfect 10's from all three judges -- a moment that marked the first time any of the three judges had awarded a perfect 10 score -- to win the evening's overall judges scoring 55-54.
However, since the judges' scoring only counted for half of the dancers' final rankings, the home audience vote still needed to be included in the final tally before a winner could be crowned. The audience vote also carried extra weight, as any tiebreakers would be broken based on the audience score. But when the audience's voting was counted, it turned out that the at-home viewers agreed with the judges, eliminating any need for the tiebreaker and allowing Kelly and Alec to complete their long journey with the Dancing With The Stars title.