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October 22, 2014

Can Bristol Palin Win 'Dancing With the Stars?'

by Sharon Knolle, posted Nov 11th 2010 4:05PM
Bristol Palin, 'Dancing With the Stars' champion?

Considering that the American public just backed Republicans in a big way, a Palin victory just might happen.

If 'Dancing With the Stars' were truly a dancing competition -- and not a popularity contest -- the daughter of Sarah Palin would easily have been sent home before Florence Henderson, Audrina Patridge, Rick Fox and Kurt Warner.

Instead, the underdog, who often seems clearly uncomfortable on the dance floor, has outlasted them all. While she's continued to demonstrate improvement, she's also facing some very tough competition. She has continually ranked at the bottom of the scoreboard and yet fans keep saving her from elimination.

Each week this season, our comments sections have turned into a heated political discussion because of Bristol's presence. (Seriously, have you checked out the comments section after an episode? It gets vicious in there!)

Even if Sarah didn't show up to cheer Bristol on, her polarizing, headline-grabbing family would still be the subject of most 'Dancing' discussions. Pro or con, you can't get away from the fact that if her mother weren't famous, Bristol would never be on the show.

Curiously, Bristol is benefiting both from the surge in right-wing sentiment and because she's an ordinary person who's obviously out of her element among professional performers and athletes. In a way, she's both the favorite and the underdog.

Detractors hate that she's on the show in the first place, some even insisting that her survival week after week means the show must be fixed (despite the fact that judges have consistently scored Bristol and partner Mark Ballas lower than the other contestants).

She isn't the first contestant to get by on her popularity rather than her paso doble; like Kelly Osbourne, she evokes a certain protective feeling from her fanbase, who keep rooting for her despite any stumbles. She's more distant (or shy) than Osbourne, certainly, which makes it harder to warm up to her. At least she's not as difficult to like as, say, Kate Gosselin. Or as terrible a dancer. (We're still scarred by 'Paparazzi!')

Previous seasons have proven that viewers don't necessarily vote for the most skilled dancer -- or else Gilles Marini and Mya would have Mirror Ball Trophies, instead of Olympic sweetheart Shawn Johnson and crowd-pleasing Donny Osmond.

Johnson and Osmond both had a leg up (or two) on Bristol, but there's no denying that she's got nearly as devoted a following, one that might just see fit to hand her the trophy.

If Season 12 is anything like Season 9 (and it's definitely lining up that way) we're likely to see some very similar results. Here's our prediction: underdog Bristol will place third (a la Osbourne), dancefloor diva Brandy second (as Mya did) and much-loved Jennifer Grey can win the whole thing, if an injury doesn't take her out first. But as they say every episode, anything can happen.

Are you a Bristol fan or are you furious that she's lasted as long as she has? Sound off (politely -- hey, we can dream) in our comment section.

Do you want Bristol Palin to win 'Dancing With the Stars?'
Yes, I'm a big fan!702 (32.7%)
No, please, no!1448 (67.3%)

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