For those of you who are familiar with my work it is probably safe to assume that it comes as a surprise that I would write on anything that resembles entertainment gossip. Though I realize there is an audience for this writing genre, it is not something I read much of, much less write about. That being said, my comments on Bristol Palin’s continued success on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” is more about what I do write on – politics – than it is fan fare for viewing audiences.
It may also come as shock for some of you to find that I watch DWS. Hey! I love the arts and new talent as well as anyone else. And yes, it doesn’t hurt that very attractive women dressed seductively and gliding across a ballroom floor to hold me captive during their performances. To my own defense though, I became a fan because my wife is an avid follower. In her youth she was involved with dancing before she chose the nursing profession as her career. Watching DWS together allows us to share some quiet moments.
I will confess that when I heard that the daughter of Sarah Palin would be performing on DWS, I was intrigued both by her ability to hold up to the rigors of training these amateur celebrities go through and how her mother’s political supporters would address such performances and the criticism she would undoubtedly receive from time to time from the 3-judge panel. I have been pleasantly surprised by Bristol’s performances thus far. She is an attractive young woman and her body weight has not posed the problems I thought it might.
I know I will be vilified by those who see me attacking her weight for political reasons but for similar reasons that I will critique Bristol’s continued success on DWS, this criticism comes from people who tend to look beyond reality and hold more to ideology when judging people. Anyone who didn’t feel as I did that a woman of her proportions would have some troubles performing in this competition is not being honest. My comments on this are also not a judgment on people’s ability to excel in life because they are overweight. Bristol’s real life talent, whatever they may be at this time, does not necessarily fall on whether or not she has retained her “baby fat” longer than some women. From what exposure I have seen of the former Alaska governor’s daughter over the last two years there is nothing that I would belittle her about.
So what has this to do with Bristol’s ability to avoid elimination for the last two weeks? First let me say that she has earned the right to remain based on her abilities, until two weeks ago that is. It was when former basketball star Rick Fox was eliminated that I began to be suspicious about what was keeping her safe for yet another week. However I have come to the conclusion after her 2nd week in a row from being eliminated that it is more than her abilities that keeps her coming back when other more accomplished celebrities had been performing better overall, at least in my opinion. True, Kurt Warner was not significantly better than Ms. Palin but Bristol’s continuing saga at DWS is based more on her loyal fan base than it is talent.
This of course is what keeps some stars coming back when their talent alone, or lack thereof, should have eliminated them. This is the way the scoring is set up with DWS. A person’s public popularity often carries over into DWS and speaks more about their fan base than it does about a celebrity’s abilities for this competition. How else can one explain why Jerry Springer stayed as long as he did?
To wit, where does Bristol Palin’s fan base come from? Her notoriety doesn’t lie on any significant or
substantive achievement in her own right. If you’re honest, you have to admit that her support comes from the crowd that has catapulted her Mom to worldwide attention since she became the darling of the Republicans during the 2008 Presidential campaign.
Bristol Palin, I suspect, continues to find success on DWS because of a fan base that will do anything that promotes the woman they have connected with, Bristol Palin’s mother, Sarah. It is not a stretch to say that by voting for Bristol is to somehow compensate for Sarah Palin’s loss as the VP candidate for the McCain presidential run. Sarah Palin’s devotees have been extremely critical of those who would evaluate her political skills and have shown a determination to keep the former VP candidate in the limelight in the hopes of promoting a future political success, preferably another run at the White House.
What makes this sad and somewhat pathetic is it is becoming a public display for a daughter to represent her mom on a national stage that she really doesn’t fit in. I congratulate Bristol’s success on DWS and have found her determination to succeed uplifting and admirable. But she has reached that point now that even loyal fans must acknowledge that her performance no longer measures up to the talents of the other celebrities.
An objective observer from another planet would be confused why this woman continues to succeed at something that others of similar inabilities would have been eliminated from by now. If Sarah Palin mavens really want to portray their star as something worthy for consideration by future voters, do the right thing and gracefully allow Bristol Palin to bow out of a competition she no longer succeeds at. She has reached a level that until two weeks ago I thought she had rightfully earned. Anything beyond this point is imposing a political agenda on an innocent young lady whose life deserves more than serving as a political surrogate for her mother.