The Left can breathe a sigh of relief: Bristol Palin did not win Dancing with the Stars. In tonight’s season finale, Bristol placed third, with Disney star Kyle Massey winning second and Dirty Dancing actress Jennifer Grey winning the competition.
Bristol’s success on the show — consistently receiving enough votes to remain on another week, despite often having been given lowers scores for her dancing by the judges than the competitors who left before her — drew outrage from some, who complained that votes from tea partiers were excessively influencing the competition.
The controversy reached a fever pitch this week, with a Washington Post/ABC News poll showing that 54 percent of Americans thought that Palin was receiving votes from people wanting to show their support for Sarah Palin rather than because they thought Bristol’s dancing deserved it. “This could be a metaphor for things to come,” fretted Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn. “Sarah Palin is a force to be reckoned with and if her supporters can influence a TV show of 23 million viewers they can have more serious influence on elections.”
Bristol herself remained defiant, saying that winning DWTS “would mean a lot to me. … It would feel like a big middle finger to all the people out there that hate my mom and hate me!” But when she received the news that she had lost, she behaved graciously, saying, “There have been so many good memories. This has been such a life-changing experience and I had the time of my life.”
“Well, what a great ride!” tweeted Sarah Palin after the results were announced. “Competition is good for everyone. Be inspired by those who step up to challenges & improve w/each step; Congrats Jen!”