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Emergency responders raced to CBS Television City studios late Friday after a white powder substance was found by a member of the Dancing with the Stars staff.

The apparent target, according to TMZ, was likely Bristol Palin.

Law enforcement sources say the powder substance was discovered by a DWTS staff member, and a section of the studio was then evacuated and cordoned off.

Mark Ballas and Bristol Palin

Fortunately, the FBI reported it appears to be mere talcum powder after "initial field screening was negative for hazardous substances." An investigation continues.

The powder was contained in a piece of fan mail addressed to Bristol Palin. We know plenty of fans are upset with her long run on the show, but this is just wrong.

Come on, people. There's nothing funny about terrorist threats, even if Brandy's elimination really sucked. Get a grip ... also, the white powder thing is so 2001.

Now that this is over and it looks like everyone's free from danger, we can go back to debating whether Bristol deserves to be in the finals ...

 

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Bristol Palin was as shocked as anyone that she made the Dancing with the Stars finals, but that doesn't mean she feels she's undeserving of her spot.

"I'm thrilled! It hasn't fully sunk in for me," she told Us Weekly after Tuesday's results show. "I know we're in the finals, but it doesn't seem real yet."

DWTS Countdown

She knows that her final-three status is controversial, especially after this week's elimination of Brandy, but Bristol said she's not hurt by the skeptics.

Could Bristol Palin actually WIN Dancing With the Stars?

"I know I've worked hard to get where I am," she said. "I definitely feel like I'm the most improved dancer on this show, so I'm comfortable with that."

Her pro partner Mark Ballas added that DWTS has a long history of "shocking" results, citing Sabrina Bryan, Joanna Krupa, Jennie Garth and Mel B.

Still, her moves are so mediocre, it's even harder to take her seriously on the dance floor than in the Bristol Palin-Situation PSA. What do you think?

Does Bristol Palin deserve to be in the finals?

 

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WTF. There's no other intro we can muster right now.

It's not anything new that Dancing With the Stars is more about popular support than technical merit, especially with mediocre, middle of the pack performers. But at some point, you'd assume the better dancers would be rewarded.

You'd assume wrong, apparently. Bristol Palin will be joining Jennifer Grey and Kyle Massey in next week's finals, with a deserving Brandy on the sidelines.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Brandy Pic

Somehow, Brandy and Maks will be watching, not dancing in the finals.

No sooner had we talked about how Palin's run personally irked Maksim Chmerkovskiy than he and Brandy got the boot Tuesday, despite great dancing Monday.

A record-high number of votes made it happen, too.

"One thing that I love, for my family, the choice they made to come to this country," said Ukrainian-born Maks, taking the high road, "the fact that people vote and voices count. I love that this show represents that, the people's choice."

"I don't regret a second of the last five years of my being on the show and definitely not a second of me being on this season. It's been an amazing journey."

Uhhnh, did Maks just pseudo-quit Dancing With the Stars?

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Maksim Chmerkovskiy may be surly, blunt, critical and not politically correct, but it's just because he's a serious competitor who wants to win. Period.

Despite being demonstrably outclassed by the field week in and week out, Bristol Palin is still waltzing and spinning. Which has Maks' head spinning.

The fact that Bristol the Pistol is even in the top four on Dancing With the Stars has reportedly rankled Chmerkovskiy, who's partnered with Brandy.

Bristol Palin's surprisingly long stint on Dancing With the Stars has captivated millions. Do not court Maksim Chmerkovskiy among those millions.

“Maksim is very emotional and takes this show very seriously, if you haven’t already seen. He really wants to win,” a source says of the Ukrainian pro.

“He works extremely hard and finds it depressing when people he thinks aren’t worthy of their current position get further then they possibly should.”

He and Brandy are both so competitive and hungry, tensions often rise between them - and they're allies. Imagine how he feels about Bristol Palin.

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Jennifer Grey certainly made a statement last night.

With just one night remaining before the finals, and voters paying scant attention to scores for several weeks now, there is no margin for error. Everyone is at risk.

Kym and Hines Ward

Well, everyone but her. The way she and Derek Hough danced Monday, the other three pairs are tangoing for second. A perfect 30 once? Amazing. Twice? Unheard of.

HAND HER THE MIRRORBALL: Hopefully next week, the voters will.

The 90-minute program was probably the most entertaining of the season so far, as all the couples stepped up their game, including Bristol Palin, who wasn't terrible.

Not that she deserves to make the finals over Jennifer, Brandy or Kyle Massey. Each outperformed Bristol, predictably, last night as they have for the final month.

Let's break it down by couple. Regaining sole ownership of the top of the charts were Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, whose efforts were pure perfection.

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Despite mediocre performances all season, Bristol Palin has made it to the final four on Dancing With the Stars, and might not even be done this week.

"I can't believe it's been three months already," she said. Heading into tonight's waltz and paso doble double-dip, she says "I'm pretty confident now."

That confidence should come in handy this week, when the Pistol and partner Mark Ballas perform routines she describes as fierce and "pretty sexy."

The challenge, she admits, is that "I'm not a sexy girl."

Bristol Palin Shakes It

OOH, YEAH! Mark Ballas likes what he's seen from Bristol Palin so far.

"I work my butt off," she adds, dismissing any conspiracy theories surrounding her unexpectedly long run on the show, saying it's all about effort.

Besides, for every voter that would vote for her because she's her mother's daughter, "Think about all the people who hate my mom!" she said.

That's a fair point.

As for the obligatory romance rumors that engulf any Dancing With the Stars tandem, Bristol Palin says she and Mark Ballas are purely friends.

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Will Bristol Palin make the finals on Dancing With the Stars? Don't count her out, the way she's been improving people have inexplicably been voting.

Week after week, Palin has landed at the bottom of the scoreboard, but week in and week out, a far superior dancer packs his or her bags instead.

With only four couples left, there's a fair chance Bristol the Pistol ends up in the finals. What is it about Sarah Palin's daughter that keeps her on?

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas Photo

"Bristol Palin is somebody I think most of Middle America and regular people can relate to," judge Carrie Ann Inaba said. "She's a regular girl with normal problems and normal issues. I think a lot of people look at her and see themselves."

A lot of people look at the daughter of a major political figure, who's only famous for getting pregnant as a teenager, and see themselves? Eh, we'll buy it.

"I think the Bristol Palin conspiracy phenomenon," Inaba said. "I feel like she's very relatable to the average person. She's non-pretentious, very relaxed."

Will mediocre dance moves and overwhelming fan support carry her into the finale November 23? Who are YOU rooting for on Dancing With the Stars?

 

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Bristol Palin is now in the final five on Dancing With the Stars.

Who will she outlast next? Rick Fox's elimination last night, and Audrina Patridge shockingly getting the heave-ho the week before prove that no one is safe.

Jaleel White and Kym Johnson

The question is how it's even possible. Sure, she's better than David Hasselhoff or The Situation. But Rick and Audrina had the moves and the flair, and Bristol doesn't even want to be there. Her words and body language have said as much.

STILL STANDING: Week after week, Bristol Palin beats superior Dancing With the Stars competition. How long can it go on? Could she actually win this thing?!

It's still a stretch to think that she could best Brandy and Jennifer Grey to actually win DWTS, but another week or two? Doesn't seem impossible right now.

Her talent is average at best, her effort mediocre, and fan support ostensibly lacking. What gives? There has to be some sort of diabolical plot at work here.

A couple of Bristol Palin conspiracy theories:

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Happy birthday, Bristol Palin. In honor of your big 2-0, and given the fact that you're lacking in the rhythm department anyway, we want you in a GORILLA SUIT tonight!

It may not have gone down quite that way, but she certainly took the floor in simian attire on Dancing With the Stars, likely earning a one-way ticket back to Wasilla.

Even post-costume, Bristol's performance wasn't much better, as reflected by the judges' satanic 6-6-6 rating. If you missed it, watch the awkwardness below:

Pretty bad. On the flip side, Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy earned three 9s and a total of 27 points with the best performance of the night, which you can see here:

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This fifth week of competition on Dancing With the Stars was TV Theme week, with all eight couples performing to the music of a popular program, past or present.

Kind of a cheesy idea, but producers clearly had a lot of fun with it, as did the stars and their partners. In the end, good, clean fun was had by all on TV's #1 show.

Derek Hough and Ricki Lake Photo

Who led the way and who's at risk tonight? The results were somewhat predictable in terms of scoring, but that doesn't mean there weren't a few surprises ...

Brandy and Maks quickstepped to the top Monday.

Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovsky got the Friends theme, a fun choice since: 1. Maks is rumored to be more than friends with his partner every season. 2. They fight a lot! After last night's near-perfect quickstep, they have less reason to. 27.

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough acted like they were Married With Children when they bickered in rehearsal. They battled through what was a bit of an up-and-down effort (albeit by their lofty standards) for a second-place total of 25.

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