Mario Lopez will host Miss America

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Mario Lopez, the Dancing With the Stars almost-champ, has found favor with the ladies.

Lopez will handle hosting chores for the 2007 Miss America Pageant. The actor follows in the footsteps of former Miss America hosts Bert Parks, Tarzan Ron Ely, Phyllis George, and Tony Danza. Last year's host was Desperate Housewives actor James Denton.

Lopez came to fame on the 1980s teen shows aka Pablo and Saved by the Bell and currently hosts CW's Weekend Extra. In 2006, he was a finalist on ABC's Dancing With the Stars, getting outpaced in the last episode by football great Emmitt Smith.

The Miss America Pageant will air on the Country Music Channel January 29 at 8 p.m. This year's judges include Hardball host Chris Matthews, Boston Legal's Delta Burke, Nigel Barker of America's Next Top Model, and dancer/singer/choreographer Debbie Allen.

The pageant began in 1921 as a beauty contest. Over the years, it was broadcast on the major TV networks, but as ratings fell, it moved to CMT.

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