Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bristol Palin's Success On DWTS: The Politics of Dancing?

Over the past few weeks, a conspiracy theory has been swelling during season 11 of the ABC reality competition series Dancing with the Stars.  Despite being considered by many (including the DWTS judges) as one of the worst dancers this season, Bristol Palin (daughter of Tea Party darling Sarah Palin) has managed to make it to the finals. The conspiracy whispers grew to a roar in some circles during week 9 of the competition when Bristol & her partner Mark advanced, while singer/actress Brandy her partner Maksim were sent packing. Since I quit watching DWTS a couple of seasons ago, I went to You Tube to see  if Bristol's dance skills did pale in comparison to Brandy's.

To me, it's no question... Brandy blew Bristol off the stage!

According to the comments section of a post on the website Conservatives4Palin, it's clear that some of Bristol's supporters are voting as many as 50 times to ensure that she wins!  However, what isn't clear is whether or not all of the multiple votes are being counted. In an interview with, Conrad Green (exec. producer of DWTS) states that the voting system has security checks in place which will negate any excessive votes (even though they will appear to the voter that they are being counted).  Hmm... I'm viewing that with a bit of skepticism.  If voters have found a way to get around the system and submit more than the allowed number of votes, does anyone expect the exec. producer to admit this in an interview?  I wonder if Michael Palin will sign on for season 12 of DWTS thinking he might be able to get some of the Palinbots to vote for him by virtue of his last name. 

Although I'm not outraged by Bristol/Sarah fans who are stuffing the proverbial ballot box (or at least trying to), I'm just wondering what they hope to gain by doing so. If their efforts are successful, is this supposed to demonstrate the power of The Tea Party?  My answer is an emphatic no!  If the Tea Party was as powerful as some people believe it is, the excessive voting wouldn't be necessary. What the excessive voting shows me is that there are Sarah Palin supporters who will go to great lengths to ensure that a member of the Palin family emerges victorious, even if it's only on a reality competition series.  If it's really that important to them for the daughter of one of their political heroines to dance away with a mirror ball trophy (not to mention the cash prize), I say "whatever".

To what do you attribute Bristol Palin's success on DWTS?


Jessica The Rock Chick said...

I haven't seen Dancing With The Stars this season at all, but Ive heard the Bristol stuff. Based on these two videos, yes Brandy is a better dancer. If I was into this and voting, though, I think Id have to vote Bristol on this one. These are hard to judge because they don't go in with the same level of skill. Brandy is a professional so I'd expect her to be able to do the performance she gave. Bristol isn't, and believe me, I'm no Sarah Palin fan, but I think she did a good job for a non-pro with probably no dance experience prior to this. That would weigh more toward my vote.

Anonymous said...

The entire thing is silly. First, the premise of the show is for people who have no dancing experience to learn and try to win. Instead it's always someone with a dancing background like Brandy or Jennifer Gray who ends up winning which is unfair. Bristol and Kyle have no experience, and really I would like to see Kyle win. If voters are pissed that Bristol is still on, maybe they should vote for whoever they want to win instead of complain about it. It's just a TV show. -Bobbie

LL Cool Joe said...

I have to say that both performances were pretty weak, I would have thought Brandy would have been a better dancer as she is a professional performer.

Sue said...

Malcolm I haven't watched since season one, but I think anonymous is wrong on the premise of the show. Let the best dancer win whether they have experience or not. This a dance show not a popularity show and clearly Bristol is not the best dancer. It's exactly like what happens on American Idol with the popular kid getting all the votes even if they can't sing. Someone needs to come up with a different way of judging these shows. I bet the people wouldn't even mind if the country didn't vote anymore, just leave it up to the expert judges to vote on the winner.

The teabaggers are definitely out to get a win for Bristol because they want to show the country the Palins are loved by a majority, when thats not true at all.

Malcolm said...

Jessica, the Chick Who Rocks Like No Other: Welcome back! For me, my vote would go to the better dancer every time.

Although Brandy has some dancing experience as a result of her singing career, she's not a professional dancer. Having said that, it may have given her an edge over someone like Bristol going into the competition. However, I think the fact that every contestant is working with a professional dancer helps to level the playing field.

Bobbie (aka Anon): Thanks for stopping by. I disagree with you about the premise of DWTS. I think it all comes down to "may the best dancer win, regardless of experience". Also, there have been winners of DWTS who to the best of my knowledge haven't had any prior dancing experience. For example: actress Kelly Monaco, race car driver Hélio Castroneves, and former football player Emmitt Smith. Also, I read a quote somewhere by Jennifer Grey where she talked about how her role in "Dirty Dancing" wasn't necessarily going to give her an edge. I tend to agree with her. After all, that movie was made over 20 years ago.

Again, thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again.

LL Cool Joe: As I mentioned to Jessica earlier, I don't think being a professional performer is the same as being a professional dancer. I would imagine that Brandy appearing on DWTS was different than the type of dancing she did/does for her singing career. Not only did she probably perform dance moves that she never did before, but couples dancing (where every step has to be in sync with your partner) takes training.

Sue: What's going on with this season's DWTS reminds me of what happened when Sanjaya Malakar was on American Idol a few seasons ago. Although I didn't watch it, I recall hearing quite a bit that people were amazed every time he advanced because the judges gave him less than stellar scores.

I just went over to the comments section of today's DWTS post at The Palinbots are definitely doing all they can to push Bristol to a 1st place finish.

Sue said...

there has not been a DWTS contest since Kelly Monaco, she was so fun to watch!

pjazzypar said...

Hey Rock Chick,

Brandy is not a professional dancer at all, she's a professional singer, big difference. She might have more natural talent, but I saw Brandy perform prior to this and she has come a long way as well. I picked Jennifer Gray to win it all before the competition started and although my prediction came true, I wish Jennifer and Brandy could have gone head up. That would have made for good television in my humble opinion. It is a dance competition after all, not a political platform.

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