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D.J. Tanner vs. Winnie Cooper: Who won the retro TV rivalry on 'Dancing With the Stars'?

March 17, 2014 at 11:38 PM ET

Monday night marked an all-new season of "Dancing With the Stars," but not everything was new — such as the rivalry between a couple of familiar faces from television's past.

Candace Cameron Bure is best known to '80s and '90s TV fans as D.J. Tanner from "Full House." Danica McKeller made her mark during the same time period as Winnie Cooper on "The Wonder Years." Now the two are competitors in reality TV's ballroom bash, and they're fighting for top retro TV honors.

Image: Danica McKellar and Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Craig Sjodin / ABC
Danica McKellar and pro Valentin Chmerkovskiy compete on "Dancing With the Stars."

Danica was the first to hit the floor on the season 18 premiere, dancing an energetic foxtrot with pro Valentin Chmerkovskiy. The routine impressed the judges — especially Bruno Tonioli, who landed a smooch from the star at the end of her number.

"I love a good kisser," he told her just before he and his fellow panelists gave her a matching set of 8s for her effort.

As for Candace, she was raring to one-up her small-screen pal.

"Of course I'm sizing up my competition," she said during rehearsals. "(Danica's) the one I'm kind of looking at."

Image: Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas.
Craig Sjodin / ABC
Candace Cameron Bure and her "Dancing With the Stars" pro partner Mark Ballas.

But when she started her contemporary number alongside pro Mark Ballas, she kept her focus on the moves, which she performed with unexpected precision for a night-one dance.

"Where did that come from?!" Carrie Ann Inaba asked. "You are such an incredible dancer."

So incredible that she beat Danica by one point, at least where the judges were concerned. (Viewers will have their say when their votes are counted next week.)

But it's only fair that Candace should win this round. As the ladies revealed during the show, it was Danica who won their last rivalry — the one for the heart of "Growing Pains" star Jeremy Miller, circa 1988.

"I dated Jeremy Miller in '88," Danica said.

"That's right," Candace recalled. "I remember the phone call I got from Jeremy Miller saying, 'We're breaking up because I have a new girlfriend and her name is Danica!'"

But that was a long time ago.

"If he's smart," Candace said, Jeremy will vote for both of them on "Dancing." 

The show goes retro this season with contestants including Danica McKellar, Billy Dee Williams and Candace Cameron Bure.

See where the rivalry goes from here. "Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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