Brandy is Eliminated from Dancing with the Stars and some Blame the Tea Party

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 19th, 2010

It’s not Just Your Dancing that Advances you on Dancing with the Stars

Yes, I watch Dancing with the Stars (DWTS).  This is my second season.  I watched the previous season because of Evan Lysacek.  He had just won the gold in men’s figure skating in Vancouver at the 2010 Winter Olympics.  There was some controversy because he didn’t include a quad jump like the favored Russian, Evgeni Plushenk, did.  Throughout the whole thing, though, Lysacek was a class act.  Even to the favored Russian.  Who wasn’t.  So I wanted to watch him on DWTS.

He finished 2nd.  That was no great surprise.  Most knew who the final two would be.  Lysacek.  And Nicole Sherizinger.  Who won.  But there were some earlier eliminations that were a bit surprising.  And disappointing.  Shannen Doherty was eliminated first.  Before Buzz Aldrin.  Doherty out-danced Aldrin.  Scored higher.  But more viewers voted for Buzz Aldrin.  So he danced another week.  Poorly.  And it was painful to watch such a great American stink up the dance floor.  It almost felt that they included him on the show for the laughs.

But that’s the way DWTS works.  You don’t have to be the best to advance.  Ability only counts for half of your score.  The half from the judges.  The other half comes from the laypeople in the viewing audience.  Who may vote for any number of reasons.  And some of those reasons may have nothing to with a person’s dancing ability. 

Conspiracy?  Or just a Bunch of Conservatives Voting?

This season’s semifinals were this past Monday.  And Bristol Palin advanced to the finals.  Brandy did not.  The people cried foul.  And floated conspiracy theories. 

I thought for sure Brandy and Jennifer Grey would make it to the finals.  They’ve had the highest scores.  They’re beautiful.   And are just gorgeous to watch on the dance floor.  Palin is pretty good, too.  Though she is consistently near the bottom of the leader board, there often aren’t a lot of points between the top and the bottom.  She has good technique.  But she doesn’t make the emotional connection Brandy and Grey do.

But Bristol Palin is a teen advocate for abstinence (a conservative cause).  Her mother is Sarah Palin.  A Tea Party favorite.  And the Republicans just took back the House of Representatives.  The center-right America just emphasized the ‘right’ in ‘center-right’ this past midterm election.  So is it any surprise that a ‘conservative’ contestant would do well with the viewing (and voting) public?

More Republicans than Democrats Watch Dancing with the Stars

Not when you consider who is watching DWTS.  According to Experian Simmons, leading media-research company, Republicans watch DWTS more so than Democrats (see The Reign of Right-Wing Primetime by James Hibberd, Hollywood Reporter via Reuters, posted 11/10/2010 on Yahoo! TV Blog). 

They have lists showing the top 15 shows watched by Republicans and Democrats.  DWTS comes in at number 9 on the Republican list.  It’s not even one of the top 15 shows Democrats watch. 

Ergo, it’s no surprise that Bristol Palin has made the finals.  She is no doubt the contestant the viewers most likely connect to.  And like Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Brandy’s professional partner) said (see ‘DWTS’ results: Brandy is out, Bristol Palin on to finals by The Associated Press posted 11/17/2010 on azcentral):

“People vote and their voices count,” he said. “I love the fact that the show represents that. It represents the people’s choice.” 

That’s the way the show was set up.  The viewers have a say in who wins.  Despite what the judges say.

Brandy is Classy and Gracious in Defeat

Brandy really wanted to win.  She cried when the viewers eliminated her.  And when everyone has been attacking Bristol Palin and crying foul, I haven’t heard Brandy make a disparaging remark.  She’s showing class (see Brandy Was ‘Very Sad’ About ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Elimination by Jocelyn Vena posted 11/18/2010 on MTV).

“Well, I think Bristol did a great job. She has improved [and] one of the great things about ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is the fans can get behind you and vote,” she said when she stopped by “The View” on Thursday (November 18). “I was sad. I was very sad because we worked so hard and when you come into competition you want to go as far as you can.”

To be that gracious in defeat says a lot about this lady.  And I’m sure she’s being genuine.  That’s one of the things I like about DWTS.  It’s a competition.  But unlike competition on other reality television, there’s no trash talking.  No nasty barbs.  These contestants like each other.

May the Best and/or Most Popular Dancer Win

It’s like Kyle Massey said after making it to the finals.  You’re excited to move on.  But it sucks that someone has to go home.  We’re glad to see Grey, Palin and Massey move on to the finals.  But we miss those who didn’t make it.

Brandy was a thing of beauty to watch on the dance floor.  But seeing her go doesn’t hurt as much as it could.  Because with the way the voting works, anything can happen.  And the best dancer doesn’t necessarily win.  We know this going in.  So when something like this happens, we can at least take solace in knowing that the judging wasn’t rigged.

The finals are this Monday.  They’ll award the mirror ball trophy Tuesday.  And may the best and/or most popular dancer win.  All we ask for is that you tear up the dance floor one last time.

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