by Free Britney at . Comments

Dancing With the Stars remains enormously popular, but has it lost its luster thanks to 2010's two most notable contenders, Bristol Palin and Kate Gosselin?

The series enjoyed renewed prominence thanks to those two, but at what cost? Is it really even about celebrities learning to dance anymore? Or dancing?

As recently as mid-2009 (amazing, we know), Kate Gosselin was just a random reality star with a bad haircut, douchebag husband and eight kids.

Bad as it Gets

Has DWTS been tarnished by this tandem?

Dancing With the Stars unleashed the power of the tabloids by casting her, then upped the ante with Bristol Palin, daughter of former politician Sarah.

People came out in droves to support or tear them down. There was no middle ground between them supporting their kids or being absentee moms.

They got as far as they did by being on the front of tabloids, becoming TV personalities that divided people and generating massive controversy.

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by Free Britney at . Comments

Between Bristol's run to the finals and reports that her father, Todd, may be next, many people can't get enough of the Palins on Dancing With the Stars.

One judge on the show certainly can, though.

DWTS Countdown

"I think one Palin was enough," Carrie Ann Inaba told E! News, responding to Todd Palin speculation. "I think we need to go on a Palin vacation for a bit."

Palins mean ratings, but that's not enough to sway one judge.

"Although it was such great media attention, I think it was too controversial," Inaba explained. "I think people got confused about what they were rooting for"

"Are you voting for dancing on the show or are you voting for a Party? I think it made it uncomfortable for a lot of people who just want to see dancing."

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by Free Britney at . Comments

Did Sarah Palin make daughter Bristol go Dancing With the Stars to win over America as part of a strategy to prime the pump for a 2012 White House run?

That's what Margaret Cho says she heard. Whatever it's worth.

Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya

On her blog, the comedian says someone "who would know" told her "the only reason Bristol Palin was on the show was because Sarah forced her to do it."

PALIN-TOLOGY: Was Sarah behind Bristol's DWTS appearance?

If that's true, we'd say results were mixed. Not everyone loved Bristol's run. Still, better idea than calling out Michelle Obama over childhood nutrition.

What's more, "Sarah supposedly blames Bristol harshly and openly (in the circles that I heard it from) for not winning the election in 2008," Cho writes.

"So she told Bristol she 'owed' it to her to do DWTS so that 'America would fall in love with her again' and make it possible for Sarah to run in 2012."

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by Free Britney at . Comments

LOL. No, we don't really believe the above headline.

Jennifer Grey is as worthy a Dancing With the Stars champion as they come. But Bristol Palin, for all that was said about her, got kind of a bad rap.

Her third-place finish was, in the opinion of many pundits and Palin haters, waaay too high. But was it actually just about right ... or not high enough?

Third-Place Finishers

America's collective reaction to Bristol's DWTS run.

We've talked at length about why she should have gone home sooner, but now, let's give the girl her due. Here's a list of reasons Bristol deserved to win it ...

  1. She improved A LOT this fall, and Jennifer Grey? Kind of a ringer.
  2. Brandy and Audrina fans could've stepped up too, and did not.
  3. She wasn't a complete stiff. Seriously. She's no Kate Gosselin.
  4. Her scores never led the pack, but were always competitive.
  5. She's not Sarah Palin, and isn't worthy of that kind of vitriol.
  6. Thanks in part to Bristol, Willow Palin went off on Facebook.
  • Caged Bristol
  • Oh, The Passion
  • Ballas and Palin
  • Mark Ballas, Bristol Palin Pic

    by Free Britney at . Comments

    Bristol Palin finished third on the Dancing with the Stars finale.

    Considering the scrutiny and controversy she fought through - not to mention her lack of experience dancing - it's pretty darn impressive for the 20-year-old.

    Her secret to overcoming all that adversity? Prayer.

    Palin, who fell just short behind Kyle Massey and winner Jennifer Grey on last night's finale, drew ire from some fans for advancing despite relatively low scores.

    "It is faith that got me through this, just praying all the time and just relying on God and knowing that He is on our side and we'll get through this," she said.

    "Just persevere, have confidence, and be willing to go try new things," she said, asked what she'll take away from this. "I've grown so much as a person."

    She's come along way since dating Levi Johnston. Follow the jump to see Bristol and Mark, along with their fellow finalists, on The View ...

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    by Free Britney at . Comments

    Does Jennifer Grey deserve it because of the physical ailments she's overcome and the high scores she's consistently produced, week in and week out?

    Does unheralded, charismatic Kyle Massey get the nod thanks to the rare blend of technical merit and fun he and Lacey Schwimmer bring to the table?

    Does Bristol Palin deserve it because ... well, presumably people have some reason for stuffing the virtual ballot box for Sarah's daughter each Monday.

    Who should win Dancing With the Stars this evening?

    • Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer
    • DWTS Promo Pic

    The real (and possibly rigged, depending on who you believe) votes are cast, but THG's poll is open! Weigh in and watch the results along with us later ...

     

    by Free Britney at . Comments

    With the judges' scores comprising half the total, Bristol Palin needs a surge of voter support to overcome Jennifer Grey's lead and win Dancing with the Stars.

    Can she do it? Ask Audrina Patridge or Brandy if they doubt her fans' ability to pull her through. Bristol's march to the final week has been something to behold.

    Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya

    It's surprised some fans so much that there's been talk of vote-rigging, but her mother, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, dismisses all conspiracy theories.

    “The producers of Dancing With the Stars are explaining over and over again, there’s no way to cheat the system,” Sarah said. “But the haters are going to hate."

    "Bristol has said it best. Bristol has said, ‘Mom, it doesn’t matter what we do, we’re going to get criticized anyway, so we might as well just dance.” So, so true.

    The mother of Bristol and Willow Palin said, “You’re right, honey, you might as well dance, fly, and soar and speak about issues that are important to this country."

    "We might as well do it, and we’ll take that criticism, because we know that, at the end of the day, truly, being committed to a cause is worth it.”

    What cause she's talking about is subject to interpretation, but how inspirational. Anyway, does Bristol Palin deserve to be in the DWTS finals?

     

    by Free Britney at . Comments

    Jake Pavelka, who lasted five weeks last season on Dancing With the Stars, can relate to Bristol Palin. He knows a thing or two about having two left feet.

    While Jake's popularity couldn't match Bristol the Pistol, who made to the finals, he says it's great that she lasted this long - and she has a shot tonight.

    Jericho in Action

    “It’s a level playing field. The score is zero, zero, zero,” the former Bachelor and Bachelorette star said. “It’s what makes Dancing With the Stars special."

    From one bad dancer to another ...

    "It really proves that when America votes, it’s what drives the show. It’s just like American Idol, it’s not decided by the judges. It’s decided by America.”

    Well, the judges do play a role, as we discussed in our Dancing With the Stars recap earlier. But his point is essentially correct, and Bristol's proof of it.

    When asked who his dream star for DWTS would be? "I think Jennifer Love Hewitt should do Dancing With the Stars. She’s a hottie,” Pavelka said.

    No arguments here. As for tonight ... who are you pulling for?

     

    by Free Britney at . Comments

    Jennifer Grey has been a front-runner and fan favorite all season on Dancing With the Stars and was perfect - seriously, ALL 10s - in her final dances Monday.

    Will that be enough to defeat Bristol Palin? You never know!

    Bristol, Jennifer and Kyle Massey competed in two rounds of the Dancing with the Stars finals - a redemption dance of the judges' choosing, and freestyle. Jennifer and partner Derek Hough outclassed everyone. Now it's in voters' hands.

    Derek Hough and Jennifer Grey Photo

    HAND IT TO HER: Jennifer Grey deserves the Mirror Ball trophy.

    It's very possible, given what the producers said yesterday about how the judges' scores factor into the overall totals, they were trying to pad Jennifer's lead hard core.

    Not that she didn't deserve her perfect 10s, but after Audrina, Rick and most recently Brandy were voted off, you know the pros are pulling for Grey to take this thing.

    On the flip side, Bristol's scores were on the high side too, but in proportion to how they scored both Jennifer Kyle. Here's a breakdown of last night, round by round:

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    by Free Britney at . Comments

    The fact that Bristol Palin made it into the finals has a lot of people scratching their heads (or mailing white powder to the set). But it's no conspiracy.

    "She deserves it," Dancing With the Stars executive producer Conrad Green says. "A significant portion of our viewing audience believes that, too."

    Week after week, as Bristol advances and superior talents like Audrina Patridge, Rick Fox, and Brandy have fallen, conspiracy theories have surfaced.

    • Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas: HEAT!
    • Bristol and Mark Photo

    DANCING FINALIST: Like it or not, Bristol Palin (with partner Mark Ballas) will be competing for the MirrorBall trophy in this week's finals. Will she actually win it?

    Speculation has arisen about whether the Tea Party, which strongly supports her mom Sarah, is involved in an organized effort to promote Bristol.

    On one conservative Web site, Freerepublic (dot) com, some of the site's 300,000 users have used discussion threads to encourage votes for Palin.

    Bristol Palin, that is.

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