The Bristol Palin Dancing With the Stars debut was expected to be a train wreck. Yet the Bristol Palin Dancing With the Stars performance turned out fine, although Palin’s Dancing With the Stars scores weren’t the highest. However, they were high compared to others in the field, as the likes of Margaret Cho, David Hasselhoff and The Situation turned out worse. Perhaps competing in a weak lineup will help Alaska’s most famous daughter last longer than expected. At the least, the Bristol Palin Dancing With the Stars outlook looks marginally better after last night.
The casting of Sarah Palin’s daughter was the most controversial for the season by far, as many questioned her credentials. Bristol is famous by association, and for being in the middle of the teen pregnancy debate – and the debate over her family’s competence.
With that, the Bristol Palin Dancing With the Stars performance had exceedingly low expectations. However, last night’s premiere showed that she was hardly the worst one on the dance floor. At the least, she didn’t appear out of her depth, like Kate Gosselin was during the spring.
As it turned out, she had the fifth highest score of the night from judges – although it might have been partly by default. The Bristol Palin Dancing With the Stars score was a 19 out of 30, but it was still enough to beat out The Situation, Margaret Cho, David Hasselhoff, Florence Henderson, Audrina Patridge and Michael Bolton. However, it wasn’t close to leaders Jennifer Grey, Rick Fox, Brandy and Kyle Massey.
Judge Len Goodman said that Palin had a “very acceptable performance for week one” which could be the consensus of the night. Although the Bristol Palin Dancing With the Stars routine didn’t inspire mockery and ridicule, as some expected – or hoped – it was still somewhere in the middle. She may not be able to become an expert, but this season, she might have enough to last a few weeks.
Thanks to Hasselhoff, Cho and others, Palin may not have to worry that much about being eliminated tonight. Even if she did place low, her ratings potential, and her following in half the country, would have probably kept her alive initially. After all, it took a few weeks for Gosselin to get voted out this spring, in spite of massive criticism.
The Bristol Palin Dancing With the Stars stint might actually benefit from low expectations, and the struggles of half the field. Even if she gets far, people are still too divided over her and her family to be impartial about it. Viewers came in loving or hating her from the start, and not much may change, one way or the other.
For the first time since 2008, the country will vote on whether to keep a Palin around. Bristol will face their judgment this time, starting at 8 pm est on ABC.
CBS News- “Dancing with the Stars Premiere: Jennifer Grey, Rick Fox Impress Judges”
Boston Globe- “Bristol dances”