Bristol Palin comes up last, again, on "Dancing"

Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:31am EST
 
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - She landed in last place again, but Bristol Palin won the hearts of the judges on Monday in the finals of "Dancing With the Stars" despite a week of public controversy and mystery on the popular TV contest.

Palin, the 20 year-old daughter of conservative politician and Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin, wowed the judges with a Jive, but in came up short in her freestyle routine. She earned 52 points out of 60 to trail her rivals, actress Jennifer Grey with a perfect 60 and actor Kyle Massey with 56 points.

Still, Palin showed improvement and no apparent nervousness after a week in which critics deplored her appearance in the finals, one man shot his TV because she is, and an envelope turned up on the "Dancing" set filled with a mysterious white substance that officials later determined was talcum powder.

"There's lots of haters out there who are just waiting for me to fail. That's just going to give me more motivation to prove they're wrong," Palin said in an interview on the show.

Each week, the stars and their professional dance partners are scored by a three-judge panel, and fans also vote for their favorite contestants via phone or the Web. A combination of judges' scores and public voting keeps stars coming back.

In recent weeks on "Dancing," which is among the top-rated programs in the United States reaching nearly 20 million viewers weekly in each of two shows, Palin has consistently performed at the bottom of the pack where the judges are concerned. Yet, each week fan voting has brought her back.

As she has progressed, critics have speculated that her mom's popularity has helped her, but the young woman has consistently said she has worked hard to get where she is.

On Monday's show, co-host Tom Bergeron alluded to the voting controversy only once when he said, "If you don't vote, don't complain, and please don't shoot your TV."   Continued...

 
<p>Bristol Palin and her professional dance partner Mark Ballas are shown as they perform during the ABC reality series 'Dancing with the Stars' finals in Hollywood, November 22, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Larkey/ABC/Handout</p>