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USA Network picks new Westminster host

And the new voice of Westminster is … Mario Lopez?

The USA Network — apparently attempting to squirt some youthful juice into the old show — announced yesterday that Lopez will be the new co-host of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Lopez, thank goodness, isn’t replacing David Frei (that would qualify as sacrilege), but he is taking over from NBC anchor Lester Holt who has been a co-host for the past three years .

Chorus_Line_Mario_LopezLopez, who is actually 35 now — still young by Kennel Club standards — is host of the entertainment magazine show “Extra.”  He will join the venerable Frei, who is in his 21st consecutive year of hosting the show. The 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show takes place Feb. 15 and 16.

Lopez, a teen star on “Saved by the Bell,” gained further fame on the third season of ABC’s hit “Dancing with the Stars,” which led to his Broadway debut in the musical “A Chorus Line” — all, clearly, qualifying him to host the foremost dog show in the world and the second longest continuously held sporting event in the United States.

USA officials did not say why the change is being made but Holt apparently will be involved with NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics in February, the Tampa Tribune reports.

“I am really excited to be a host of the 2010 Westminster Dog Show,” says Lopez. “I’ve been doing my research and checking out some of the world’s top dog shows, so I’m well prepared on show day. I can’t wait to be a part of the Super Bowl for canines.”


Comment from lori
Time January 8, 2010 at 8:24 am

i think he was also a host of an animal planet show called “pet star”. which i think was like “america’s got talent” for pets. i guess that makes mario as qualified as anyone else.

Lori, I still can’t help thinking Screech might have been a better choice.

Comment from Ashley
Time January 9, 2010 at 12:34 am

He makes me laugh on Pet Star every morning on animal planet. He’s going to be so perfect and awkward for Westminister.