Debbie Does "The View" -- Again

7/25/2006 12:44 PM PDT

Debbie Does "The View" -- Again

So maybe there's hope for Star Jones yet: Debbie Matenopoulos made her triumphant return to "The View" on Tuesday morning, and any traces of animosity between Debbie and Barbara Walters, who fired her in 1999 amidst a very public personality conflict, had completely faded away.

No longer the "young one" at the "View" table -- that role being filled now by 29-year-old Elisabeth Hasselbeck -- the 31-year-old Matenopoulos seemed very far away, both in presentation and in physique, from the green, wide-eyed, and somewhat larger-nosed 22-year-old that made her TV debut on the show in 1997. Now the host of her own show on the E! network, Matenopoulos admitted that her reputation for klutziness was still deserved, as she popped a button and slit her pants before the show began, though made no mention of her ex-friend Star's situation.

Debbie cringed at her "Valley girl"-like intonation after watching a clip of her first show, but Hot Topics took a slightly darker turn when Barbara asked her how she'd managed to stay so thin. Matenopoulos answered, "I don't eat, Barbara," and went on to detail the litany of fasts and diets that she'd endured to keep herself at a Hollywood-appropriate weight. "If people see bread on your table in a restaurant," she said of Tinseltown dietary mores, "they'll say, 'Can you take that bread away, please?'"

Guest hosts like Brandy, Tanika Ray, and Susan Lucci have been occupying Star's old seat since her divorce, and will continue to do so (especially since ratings for the show have been up).