Dancing With The Stars Season 11 enters its eighth week of competition tonight (November 8) and thus, the Bristol Palin enigma continues. ‘Bristol the Pistol’ has taken aim and shot down better qualified and much more fiercely talented candidates in her quiet wake to win the coveted mirror ball trophy.
But the burning question remains: how does Palin continue to linger on the competition and stir the ire of many DWTS fans who view the show as a talent (not popularity) contest?
While continually scoring at or near the bottom of the Judge’s leader board since the onset of Season 11, Palin has somehow beat out competitors who have outscored and outperformed her, i.e., Florence Henderson, Rick Fox, and even Mike The Situation Sorrentino who exited the show at Week 4.
But the shocking news came at weeks Six and Seven when Audrina Patridge and Rick Fox, respectively, were eliminated. Patridge’s elimination was a true surprise as she consistently scored in the upper tiers according to the DWTS’ judges. The exit of Fox carried less of a sting, but still was considered by many to have the sucker punch affect.
Thus the remaining competitors, Kurt Warner, Kyle Massey, Bristol Palin, and ‘favorites’ Jennifer Grey and Brandy, are left to battle it out. It appears that with the current lineup that Kurt, Kyle or Bristol could be (or should be) the next to go and Grey and Brandy will probably tough it out until the Finals.
Yet, Dancing With The Stars is not always so predictable. Remember Season 3 when Emmitt Smith and partner Cheryl Burke beat out Mario Lopez and his partner Karina Smirnoff? Lopez definitely had the edge with more dancing talent, but Smith’s likeability and popularity led fans to vote him as King of the Dancing Floor.
Regarding second place, Lopez later told People, “Apparently world-class dancing wasn’t enough. That wasn’t the criteria it was based on.”
You can’t forget either perhaps the most shocking elimination in DWTS’ history when Sabrina Bryan of Season 5 was eliminated in mid-competition along with partner Mark Ballas. As Bryan later explained to ABC, “Maybe in past seasons that kind of thought pattern was OK. [But] if you want a couple to be there to the end, you have to vote for them.”
But what is really at the crux of the Bristol Palin matter is not the fact that Palin continues to receive enough votes to stay on DWTS. That part is evident.
The real question is why and where those votes come from. That is, are those votes generated by Sarah Palin supporters, or are they cast because people really like Bristol?
Hopefully, it’s because people truly like ‘Alaska’s Favorite Daughter’, find her refreshing and just want to see her win because of who she is. Winning because of familial connections would be the least flattering reason to win and might even hurt the credibility of Dancing With The Stars.
Source: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/DancingStars/story?id=3799733, http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1560071,00.html