Bristol Palin... Is She Deserving of the DWTS 2010 Title?

by: Les Carpenter 
Rational Nation USA

I certainly never thought I would find myself commenting on the insignificance of a dance competition here at RN USA. However, given that  Bristol Palin's climb to the finals on Dancing With the Stars has created such an unreasoned response from the political pundits I just can not help myself.

How a dance competition is even remotely connected to "Power To The People"  is beyond me. DWTS is a program that showcases an individual's "celebrity"  status (in Bristol's case by association), gives them the opportunity to gain greater exposure and claim a dance title if they have dancing talent, and I presume have a good deal of fun in the process.

Competitive dancing, and realize DWTS is competition; is not, nor should it be, a competition of popularity nor should it have a damn thing to do with anything other than talent and ability.

I realize the success of the finalist left standing when the music stops is based on the combined scores of the professional dancers and the voting public. This does inject a certain degree of subjectivity, personal preference, and allows for the viewing public to register in on their favorite dancer, thus increasing the possibility of a less accomplished dancer winning the competition.

Bristol Palin, an individual without any dance training or experience hit the DWTS dance floor a novice. She demonstrated some ability but over the course of several weeks it became obvious that she lacked the talent of some of the other competitors. The term competitors is an appropriate description because dancing, at least competitive dancing anyway, is as much a sport as is figure skating, and ice dancing. It requires  physical stamina, agility, talent, and a great deal of self discipline.

Competition is about winning. It is about winning based on ones superior ability, creativity, merit, and display of excellence. Bristol Palin deserves a great deal of credit for her efforts and one must rightly acknowledge that she has grown during the competition. She is however not among the best dancers based on ability and merit. She should not be standing in the finalist circle.

How, you may ask am I qualified to make these statements. Just ten years of dance instruction combined with some competitive dancing. Having been there (I had coaching sessions with both Tony Meredith and Melanie Le-Patten, former international Latin champions) it make it easier to focus on the talent and accomplishments of each of the dancers.

America is about competing and winning based on measurable ability, merit and talent. Unlike some who survive in the world of politics. Lets not politicize dancing and may the truly best contestant win the competion tonight.

Cross posted at Rational Nation USA.

Discussion @ Memeorandum here and here.
Other interesting articles here, and here, and here.


  1. This show is ALWAYS a popularity contest. If you want the best dancer to win, try a different dancing show like SYTYCD.

  2. And what's with all the Palin hate lately?

  3. It is indeed unfortunate that when someone comments reasonably on any issue with respect to the Palin's there are those who view it as "hate".

    This has absolutely nothing to do with "hate" Palin. First "hate" is a powerful word often misused. Second Palin has done nothing to be "hated" for. And third I personally like Both Sarah and Bristol. There is a refreshing air about them both.

    One should not let their disdain for anything perceived "liberal" color reasoned thought.

    Just my HO.

  4. I don't watch DWTS, and could care less about who wins. It seems to me that it is much like a popularity contest and from what I have g´heard, many leftists are either envious or just hate mongers that they claim are the problem with TP members...
    She is an attractive young lady... that may be a problem for her opposition.
    That punk that got her pregnant, what a dork! He let that babe get away... ha ha!

  5. @ John,

    "many leftists are either envious or just hate mongers that they claim are the problem with TP members..."

    This true...

    It is also true that many are not.

    Once one gets past the hate rhetoric (coming from both sides) it then is possible to acheive reasoned and civil discourse.

    But maybe that just isn't in the cards. As this affair on DWTS seems to be pointing out.

    Just my HO.

  6. yes, much like the last presidential election...

  7. I competed in ballroom dance for several years, so naturally I agree with you on competitive dance, in general. But you're missing the point - this show is a form of entertainment first and foremost and, oh, it has dancing in it.

    The voting system is little different than American Idol. We all saw the best singer, Latoya London, eliminated because she split the black vote with Fantasia Barrino. We all realize that Jasmine Trias wasn't that good, but she had the whole state of Hawaii and every Asian boy or girl voting for her.

    Sanjaya - nuff sed.

    The producers KNOW the voting rule leads to inefficient outcomes. If everyone voted according to actual dance talent and everyone in the voting population ranked you second, you would be eliminated. A ranked choice voting system would be more efficient. A top-three ranked choice system would eliminate the Palin haters who vote against her because she is a Palin.

    The system is inefficient by DESIGN. They want surprises. They want upsets. If they didn't want it, they could easily change the rules.

    One could say our elections are just a popularity contest of celebrities. We get a bunch of rich morons running for political office. We have the most inexperienced president in history leading us down the wrong path during one of our country's most trying times.

    Bristol Palin was nowhere near the best, but she is better than 8 out of 10 college competitors I've seen. That should be unsurprising; she has a dedicated professional instructor, practices as a full-time job, and dances canned routines to selected music. Practically ANYONE could look good under those circumstances. It takes great courage, though, for a person who has never danced before to get on television and perform each week in front of millions of people.

    And maybe many audience members are voting not only on skill but on improvement and tenacity. I loved Jennifer Gray, but she had been a dancer and entertainer before, giving her a clear advantage out of the gate. Bristol Palin was just a regular teenager who just happened to be the daughter of a celebrity politician.

    Chris Jackson thought he was a professional basketball player. But when he refused to stand for the National Anthem he learned the truth - he was an entertainer, and his expression of contempt toward a symbol loved by his fans ended his career. He no longer entertained them!

    Hate the game, not the player.

  8. Watch out, your going to be called a Palin hater. Because after all, this all about Sarah dontcha know?

    I have watched this show from the beginning. I am oddly addicted to it. I do believe that she will win. She isn't the only one that wasn't the most talented not to win, but she is by far the least talented to win, if she does indeed win.

    I admire her for giving it a shot, but the talent level is just not there compared to the other two. Kyle is the most improved and Jennifer has been the best. Bristol got there because of her mom and only because of her mom. I just wish they would be honest about it, Palin websites are pushing this and have been from the beginning.

  9. I'm with Nick Rowe on this. The minute DWTS allowed fan interaction, it ceased being a true competitive event. Please note that I am not saying that the contestants are not competing with everything they have - I am a decent athlete and I know I do not have the skill nor the desire to do what these people are doing.

    The fan interaction allows the fans to participate, take owenership and feel they have a stake in the outcome. Without that, DWTS and American Idol would not be around.

    Don't overthink this, RN USA. Have some fun with it and be ready with the popcorn for the unhinged howls of protestation if Bristol actually pulls this off.

  10. Just a conservative girl... You said,

    "I admire her for giving it a shot, but the talent level is just not there compared to the other two. Kyle is the most improved and Jennifer has been the best. Bristol got there because of her mom and only because of her mom. I just wish they would be honest about it, Palin websites are pushing this and have been from the beginning."

    On this I agree.

  11. Nick and Dean - I don't disagree with the points you make.

    My point, made in my first paragraph with respect to all the hoopla being made by others is why I wrote the post.

    We all know who should win this thing, and we all know why Bristol has made it as far as she has, as Just a conservative girl pointed out in her comment.

    It does irk me a bit when someone of lesser ability and merit is elevated to a level they don't deserve. I guess I an to much the Randian.

    Not overthinking it. Now for the popcorn and beer.

  12. BTW, I envy you learning from Tony and Melanie. I watched their last public performance together. I still watch it every once in a while to absorb their chemistry and charm. Melanie is so hot!

  13. Nick - They were both great! And really good people as well.

    And you are sooo right, Melanie is definetly hot!


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