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'Dancing With the Stars:' It's all about Bristol, Bristol, Bristol

November 17, 2010 |  5:35 pm


Say what you want about Bristol Palin, she's in the "Dancing With the Stars" finals and, well, you're not.

There was a virtual uproar over Alaska's most famous teen mom beating yet another opponent on Tuesday night. Yes, the 20-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin has been in the bottom two seven consecutive times and she's still standing.

Is there a "tea party" movement afoot to save this tiny dancer that involves fraudulent voting? Or are people just taken with her underdog spirit? Read this Los Angeles Times story and you decide.

One thing is for certain. The surprising exit of singer Brandy and the Sarah Palin factor have a lot of people talking, including executive producer Conrad Green and judge Carrie Ann Inaba.

"This season has definitely been more shocking than any other season," Green said in an interview Wednesday. "The one feature of this season is how unpredictable it’s been. I thought David Hasselhoff would last weeks. He’s a great character, and he's got great performance skills. So for me it was quite a thing. And then [Audrina Patridge] and [Rick Fox] going. I get that people get annoyed when good dancers leave. But there’s a way to remedy that — vote for them. It’s not rocket science."

Green said he would have loved to have seen a dance-off between Brandy and movie star Jennifer Grey, but he's not disappointed that Palin is still in the running.

"I feel bad for Brandy because I would have loved to have seen her go head-to-head with Jennifer, like she has been all season," he said. "We all have been a bit robbed of that. But, at he same time, if Bristol had gone, I’d been devastated because she’s grown more than any other dancer on the show. It’s an inspiring story, and she’s a representation of the audience on this show. If you take the party politics out of it, she’s inspiring. I feel for her. She’s 20 years old, she’s got no experience, and everything people are springing on her is pretty unfair, really."

Inaba echoed Green's sentiment, saying both Palin and Brandy had grown a lot in the competition.

"Yes, we all expected Brandy to be in the finals," Inaba said. "I think that goes without saying. But it happens. It happens every season. People forget the uproar that we had when Mario Lopez lost to Emmit Smith. Emmit wasn’t as good of a dancer but he had something that touched America’s hearts."

Inaba believes Palin's draw is her underdog status as the one contestant who has no entertainment industry experience.

"There is something about her that touches you when you watch her," Inaba said. "There’s a vulnerability, there’s an honesty in the way she moves. She has good technique. Her dance movements may be smaller than Brandy’s or Jennifer’s. And she doesn’t have the flair of Brandy or the performance level of Kyle Massey or the fine-tuned grace of Jennifer. But she hasn’t gotten their scores either.

"What’s sad is that, while people are upset about Brandy, and I completely understand that, I don’t think they should be taking down somebody else who is doing well," she added. "You can be upset and please express yourself but young kids read message boards. We don’t want to teach our kids that when you don't like something, you should spew."

The election, oops, the competition ends on Nov. 23.

— Maria Elena Fernandez

Video: Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas perform a praise-worthy pasodoble in Monday's episode. Credit: ABC.

Photo: From left, Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas wait for the verdict on Tuesday night's show. Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC.


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