Dancing With the Stars: Shock and awe in the ballroom
The Internet's been buzzing with talk about how members of the U.S. Tea Party movement have been getting out the vote for Bristol Palin on Dancing With the Stars.
The blog Jezebel had a post about it today, complete with quotes from conservative message boards about how Bristol's supporters were exploiting ABC's email voting system to cast multiple ballots for Sarah Palin's daughter.
Jezebel quoted one site, FreeRepublic.com, that urged its members to "make liberal heads explode" by voting for Bristol, "even though she is not the best dancer."
And if Bristol thinks she made it just on the quality of her dancing, that's about as believable as seeing Russia from her mother's house. Even if her presence in the final three isn't part of some right-wing voting conspiracy, Bristol's appeal to viewers isn't strictly about skill on the dancefloor.
Maybe it's her youth, what Len Goodman called her vulnerability or the fact she's not typical Hollywood, which is the argument she herself made on Monday's show. And there's no denying she's come a long way since Week 1, given that she had no previous dance experience.
But in my opinion, the three best dancers aren't in the finale and I'm bummed about that.
I am, however, stoked that my two personal favourites, Jennifer Grey and Kyle Massey, will be there Monday night.
And as an aside, can co-host Brooke Burke stop already with the obsession with Jennifer's physical condition?
Following up on Jennifer's comment about how happy she was to be in the finale, Brooke asked Derek Hough: "Now that you know for sure that there's a freestyle for you next week, how difficult is it gonna be to choreograph a number taking into consideration Jennifer's hip, her neck, her knee?"
Note to Brooke: she's 50, not 80.
"You know what, I'm not really worried about it," Derek said.
Jennifer and Derek were the first couple declared safe, followed by Kyle and Lacey Schwimmer, leaving Brandy and Maks Chmerkovskiy, and Bristol and Mark Ballas to wait till the very end to learn their fate.
Brandy had the distinction of having the judges choose her tango with Maks for an encore performance.
"We'd love to see a dance that absolutely lit up the ballroom last night," Len said.
Once the decision was announced, Bruno Tonioli expressed his astonishment to Brandy: "I am shocked because last night you delivered a fantastic performance. We've just seen it, amazing, but I have to stress that it is very, very important for everybody to vote. It's so close, every vote counts."
Co-host Tom Bergeron appealed to Maks for his take on what's been different this season: "This season struck me as the most surprising in that couples who would get their highest score on Monday night were often the ones who left Tuesday night."
But Maks was surprisingly diplomatic, saying one of the things he loves about his family's adopted country is "the fact that people vote and their voices count, and I love the fact the show represents that, it represents people's choice.
"And you know I don't regret a second about the last five years of my being on this show and definitely not a second of me being on this season. It's been an amazing journey."
Brandy was too stunned to say anything but had tears streaming down her face as the closing credits rolled.
Earlier, in a bit of backstage tape, Brandy said,"I hope to go to the finals, in the most humblest way that's where I feel we belong. We've worked so hard, we wanna go so bad."
The fact she didn't get there, pushed out by an inferior dancer, has to be a bitter pill to swallow for somebody so driven. It didn't sit well with some of the studio audience either: booing could be heard in the ballroom.
But like it or not, Bristol's in the finale.
The season's last performance show airs Monday at 8 on CTV with the two-hour finale Tuesday at 9 p.m.
Closing remarks for So You Think You Can Dance fans: Did you see Brandon Bryant, my favourite dancer from Season 5, performing during Annie Lennox's first song? I thought I spied Kathryn McCormick among the dancers during Annie's second song, but given that she's part of the SYTYCD tour that was performing in L.A. on Tuesday night I'm guessing not.
(The photo of Brandy and Maks doing the Argentine tango on Monday night is by Adam Larkey for ABC.)