By Michael Slezak
July 07, 2005 at 11:59 PM EDT

There’s only one thing reality TV fans like more than a hotly contested finale — and that’s spouting conspiracy theories the morning after. Check out the message boards for EW.com’s Dancing With the Stars TV Watch, if you need evidence. There, you’ll find more than a few fans wondering if ABC synergy played a role in the upset victory of Kelly Monaco (left, with partner Alec Mazo) over John O’Hurley.

Here’s their beef: The three judges for ABC’s huge hit (Wednesday’s finale scored 21.8 million viewers in the overnights, the highest ratings of any series this summer) gave 10s to Monaco, star of ABC’s daytime soap General Hospital, for a freestyle routine that had several noticeable glitches (at one point, Monaco appeared to stop dancing and observe pro partner Mazo to remember her steps); the perfect tally allowed Monaco to overtake season-long frontrunner O’Hurley in the judges’ portion of the scoring. Adding fuel to the plot, Monaco’s post-victory speech included the line, ”I’m going to Disneyland,” which prompted host Tom Bergeron to joke about the show’s love of ”company synergy.” (Disney is the corporate parent of ABC.)

Of course, none of DWTS‘ disgruntled fans like to mention other things Monaco had going for her: an inspiring comeback affter her woeful first week on the show; her large soap opera fan base; and legions of lust-filled fans who spent more time focused on Monaco’s ta-tas than her cha-chas.

ABC did not immediately return PopWatch’s call seeking comment.

What do you think? Was the fix in on DWTS? And will the show’s surprise outcome affect whether or not you watch the show’s all-but-inevitable second season.

addCredit(“Dancing With the Stars: Adam Larkey”)

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