Popularity or talent? "Dirty Dancing" star Jennifer Grey — Joel's daughter — and professional dancer Derek Hough performed a romantic Viennese Waltz on "Dancing with the Stars" in September (above). They'll compete with Bristol Palin and partner Mark Ballas and another couple in the finals next week.
"And this is supposed to be a conservative culture warrior?" sniffs Mona Charen, adding her voice to the chorus of fuddy duddies convinced that Bristol Palin's controversial "Dancing with the Stars" adventure is yet more proof, were it needed, that Sarah Palin lacks presidential gravitas:
Cheezy would be several steps up for this one …
The momma [sic] grizzly was apparently unfazed by — or, equally disturbing, unaware of — the indignity.
We'd never watched the show — let alone taken the time to vote for a favorite — till a fearless Bristol Palin threw herself into the arms of professional hoofer Mark Ballas last September and danced her way into the hearts and minds of us Tea Party types who admire her Mama Grizzly gritiness and girls-just-wanna-have-fun ethos. The ethereal Jennifer Grey, above, has an admirable gritiness of her own and a delicate, sylph-like presence on the dance floor that electrifies the competition between her and the more down-to-earth Bristol.
Oh, the humanity. Jon Stewart himself, no friend of Sarah's, said it best a couple of weeks back:
She's a 20-year-old girl, ferchrissake. Maybe both sides now can give their complaints a rest.
"But now the joke is on the show's producers, as they fear Bristol is actually going to win this thing," warns pop columnist Rob Shuter, mindlessly purveying the "lamestream" media's narrative of choice:
"This will be a disaster for the show if Bristol wins," one TV insider tells me. "Any creditability [sic] the show had will be over. It will go from being a dancing competition to a popularity competition where whoever has the most rabid fan base will always win no matter how little talent they have."
The glitzy, soppy sentimental prime-time secular revivalist show that is "Dancing with the Stars" is designed to generate buzz in the culturegap between heartfelt sentiment expressed through votes from the Country Class out here in televisionland vs. the puffed-up numerical (1 to 10) pronouncements of a pontificating panel of professional Ruling Class judges in the studio.
Forget the fact that controversy generated by popularity vs. talent is what DWTS has always been about. It's the ratings, stupid. But for some a chance to pick at the scabs of Palin Derangement Syndrome trumps all. Then comes the show's executive producer, Conrad Green, to put things into proper perspective. "I’m kind of mystified about why everyone is finding this such a bizarre thing to happen," he told Inside TV:
It’s about improvement, it’s about where people go. Bristol’s our most improved dancer. People threaten to leave the country if the next government wins the election. They tend not to. At the end of the day, they should be mobilizing their friends, getting their children to vote, talk about it in the office, you know? Make those calls. It’s a pretty easy process. It’s very easy to influence the results of this show if you’re passionate about it. The fans have always had a say in the past about who wins, and frequently someone wins who they don’t agree with. I haven’t always agreed with the person who’s won. Everyone has their favorites. That’s the nature of it. Get involved!
It's a microcosm of what happened on 11/02/10. You remember. Even as the powers that be tried to ram their candidates of choice down our throats, we Tea Partiers let them know we had minds of our own. As Bristol's partner Mark told Greta on Fox this evening, "If you've got a favorite couple, you've gotta pick up the phone." And we did. Cubachi explains:
America roots for the underdog. Bristol has blossomed from someone who has no dancing experience to a star. Or is the liberal media worried that Bristol is winning the hearts of America, while they tried to systematically destroy her and her mother.
Update: Michelle Malkin Buzzworthy link!
Update II: Cubachi links with a related must-read:
And my friend Tim Lindell of Conservatives 4 Palin in the New York Daily News: Bristol Palin’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ success is thanks to Sarah’s vote, not Tea Party conspiracy.