Mark Ballas, you are truly the MVP of this season’s Dancing with the Stars.
The fact that anyone is considering the possibility that waffle-footed Bristol Palin could potentially triumph over Jennifer Grey, Brandy or even Kyle Massey next week and end up swinging that mirror ball trophy over her head is a real testament to what Mark has been able to do with an absolute hoofing no-talent. Over the course of the season, he has learned to excel at hiding Bristol’s weaknesses and accentuating what little ability she has (She can throw her hair back! She can lift up her skirt! She can walk backwards!) to the point where if you squint your eyes and only half stare at the television while thinking happy thoughts, she doesn’t look half bad.
She didn’t look half bad last night. She didn’t look half bad last week either.
But the prior seven weeks of competition… (smacks his cheek). I dropped a frozen turkey on my kitchen floor once and it demonstrated more grace and rhythm rocking to a standstill.
Bristol ended up at the bottom of the leader board yet again last night, scoring a total of 53 out of 60. Her two dances were as tame and unmemorable as always. Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough scored two perfect 30s. Kyle and Lacey ended up with 58, and Brandy and Maks totaled 57.
Brandy and Maks actually received the same score on their first dance – a 27 – as Bristol and Mark did. Did that seem fair? I don’t love Brandy and Maks – they seem kind of desperate. But they’re always far more ambitious with their choreography than Mark would ever dare to be with Bristol. And that reminds me of another problem I’ve had this season: the ongoing leniency the judges show Bristol. Any score she’s earned someone else on the show earned having to do twice as much.
So now it looks as if Bristol may actually make it to the finals, and if by some weird set of circumstances she actually wins this thing (Jennifer oversleeps, Brandy gets her foot caught in a bear trap), Dancing with the Stars is going to have some serious credibility issues. The illusion that the show has always hinged on is that the stars endure grueling rehearsals, injury, embarrassment, partner conflict and the scrutiny of the judges because all of that is necessary to emerge triumphant, making the win worthwhile. If Bristol can take the title, that’s a lame and unfulfilling payoff to a season’s worth of viewing. See Bachelor Pad.
Last season, I checked out of Dancing one week shy of the finals because it seemed a foregone conclusion that Derek and Nicole Scherzinger were a lock to win. If Bristol doesn’t go home tonight, there’s a definite “Good God, could it be?” factor that might lift next week’s finals to record-breaking viewership numbers. But if Bristol does turn out to be the last one standing, I’ll have a lot more free time on Monday nights come next season.
Who do you think is headed home tonight? I’m putting my money on Kyle and Lacey