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‘Dancing With the Stars’ finale recap: do you love me?

There were no major surprises tonight. Kyle Massey was vibrant and fun. Bristol Palin put in her best effort. And Jennifer Grey is the one to beat.

jennifer-grey-and-derek-hough-photo_343x515Why Jennifer Grey will win: She has gone two weeks in a row with perfect scores from the judges. She has pulled off slow dances well, fast dances well, sultry dances well. She’s passionate when need be, sexy when need be, athletic when need be. She has managed to get past nagging injuries and emotional distress midway through the competition to ride this one to the end. Nice echo to “Dirty Dancing” last night in her free-style dance (aah… the watermelon!)

Why she won’t: She’s been almost too good. Voters may just get complacent and assume she’s safe. To some, she comes across as a bit too confident, maybe a bit too desperate to win.

Odds of winning: 1-1(odds I gave her before the competition: 10 to 1)

What if Bristol Palin wins "Dancing With the Stars"?

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Why Kyle Massey will win: If it weren’t for Bristol Palin, Kyle would be the true underdog. He started out in this competition as someone nobody (including his partner Lacey Schwimmer) expected to make it to the finals,  much less win. But he possessed a glint in his eye, an arch in his eyebrow and joy to his presentation. He overcame poor footwork and overall technique, keeping him safe week after week. He absorbed the judges’ advice and improved steadily, hitting 10s in recent weeks (though Len cannot give him better than 9). Sure, he has looked a bit chunky and immature to be doing some of these dances, but he has made it up with determination and artistry. He also took a big chance during the finale to with his “Tootsee Roll” freestyle, giving us some Will Smith ’90s old school.

Why he won’t: He is not and never has been the best natural dancer. He simply lacks a certain flow. Does he have a fan base as big or bigger than the other two? It’s hard to say. He received 56 out of 60 from the judges (50% of the final score) and will have one more dance to do tomorrow.

Odds of winning: 3-1 (odds I gave him before the competition: 125 to 1!)

Bristol-Palin-Dancing-with-the-Stars-finalistWhy Bristol Palin will win: It’s hard to discount her fan base, which has helped her overcome low scores week after week and take out better dancers.  Their knowledge that others dislike Bristol’s mom might even get folks to vote for her more. She has been a solid technical dancer and listens to her partner Mark Ballas. As an every-day person with no stage experience, people connect with her.

Why she won’t: She is the weakest overall dancer of the final three. She has not gotten a single 10 from a judge. The judges penalized her for her a rather difficult free-style dance from “Chicago” as she struggled again embodying the character she tried to play. There could be a backlash vote against her as well from folks who don’t want her to win. (The undercurrent includes many who vow never to watch the show again because they feel she is not a “star” at all and has politicized an entertainment show.)

Odds of winning: 3-1 (odds I gave her before the competition: 100- to 1!)

UPDATE: The Washington Post and ABC News actually polled people about Bristol. About 54 percent said she is in the finals because of her mom. Only 14 percent think it’s because she has the talent.

I checked back on my Sept. 17 handicapping before the competition started. I got a few right and a few way wrong. My top 5 before even seeing anybody on the dance floor were Grey, Brandy, Rick Fox, Kurt Warner and (oops) David Hasselhoff.

The first four did finish in the top 6. The Hoff? Axed week one. I completely over-estimated his appeal.

I placed Bristol in the middle of the pack near the bottom and Kyle second to last. I also chose Audrina Patridge at rock bottom. We all know about how I missed the appeal of Bristol and Kyle. Audrina, while obviously a good  natural talent, was so boring in my mind, I figured she’d be out first. She lasted six weeks. My bad!

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

75 comments Add your comment

kreedham

November 22nd, 2010
10:29 pm

They should finish in the order they were scored by the judges but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bristol got 2nd. DWTW better hope she doesn’t win cause they’ll lose half their audience next season.

Ahrean

November 22nd, 2010
11:22 pm

It’d be a mockery no matter how the show, it’s producers, anyone involved tried to spin it. Sure, Bristol tried, and improved, but you can try to improve from diarrhea and you still end up with solid poop and that’s basically her dancing/entertaining ability compared to Kyle and Jennifer.

Chuck

November 22nd, 2010
11:24 pm

You have to remember this is primarily a popularity contest. The most qualified does not always win and it happens on many award shows and even the last presidential election shows that the better candidate is not guaranteed to win. Just enjoy the show no matter who wins because the winner will not bankrupt the country.

Jere

November 22nd, 2010
11:28 pm

Bristol is still in this thing bcs it is just as much a popularity contest as it is a dance contest. While she’s not a Hollywood “star”, few of the people they ever have on this show are stars — Bristol, Jennifer Grey, Florence Henderson, Hasselhof, and Brandy are the only ones from this season I’d ever heard of. She started out with no dance experience and improved every week — good for her.

DHD

November 22nd, 2010
11:32 pm

How ’bout them Falcons?

Elore

November 22nd, 2010
11:53 pm

If you don’t vote you got nothing to complain about. You want your favorite to win, go and VOTE!

jc

November 22nd, 2010
11:56 pm

Another stupid blog by Rodney. Who cares?

Thumper

November 23rd, 2010
12:01 am

If Bristol wins…..we riot.

mack

November 23rd, 2010
12:13 am

The judges are out of their minds. They overpraised Jef’s paso doble and Bristol’s jive. Bruno has simply lost it. This is what happens when the show uses a girl for a ratings drive and puts pressure on the judges to protect the franchise…and their jobs. Judging tonight look like it was meant to ensure Bristol did not win, which would truly be an embarassment for everyone because her win would underscore that merit counts little on the show. And yes…that middle america loves the real person story is getting real old.

Courtney

November 23rd, 2010
12:36 am

Jennifer did not dance the final 1/3 of her second dance. She does NOT deserve to win. Go back and watch the tape.

bbsm

November 23rd, 2010
12:50 am

I give Bristol a lot of credit. I enjoy watching her because she has no dance experience and look how far she has come… Jennifer was in a movie called, Dirty Dancing for gods sake!!! Of course she had months of professional training.. I would not vote for Jennifer..

Ted Striker

November 23rd, 2010
12:57 am

The fact that Briston Palin is even in the finals — despite the fact that she’s never received a top score from judges — illustrates the fact that the “winner” isn’t necessarily the best.

People who want to watch it can, however, I won’t.

dave

November 23rd, 2010
12:57 am

if kyle wins we riot

Cho

November 23rd, 2010
1:14 am

I felt sorry for Bristol tonight. I wish she had a better freestyle song, but I don’t know what else Mark could do with her. Kyle was amazing and lots of fun to watch. Jennifer pulled out all the stops. I’m leaning ever so slightly towards Jennifer, but if Kyle wins, I won’t be sad.

SS

November 23rd, 2010
2:05 am

The one thing I love about Kyle is perserverence. Every criticism that he recieved, he took it with a grain of salt, put his heart into it and danced. Unfortunately, this show to me now does seem like a popular contest. Bristol should have been let go since the monkey suit. She keeps stating how much she has improved but I really do not see it. I see her effort but her heart is not into the dancing and I think she was ready to leave. Jennifer is an great dancer, but her smugness and constant aches and pains turned me off. This is a dancing contest, you would have to know how much your body will endure when practicing and Derek is demanding. I really would love to see Kyle win, but with the voting, it seems like it will be Jennifer. Still can not believe that Len only gave Kyle a 9 in the freestyle just because Len does not get into old school hip hop.

TwoCENTS

November 23rd, 2010
3:32 am

Watched tonight and saw Bristol try to be less than a stiff stick out there. She did improve on dance #1. However that dance with the hat and chair, OMG …. she walked through the steps and did not dance whatsoever. It was choreographed to make it easy on her which just proves again, she AIN’T got what either Jennifer or Kyle have. And watching Sarah Palin in the audience just about made me puke. Gawwwwd …. a bit over-reactive, no? Yes, get excited and root for your daughter no matter how good or bad she may be but this Palin woman has got to go! I really think she is one candle short on the birthday cake. A bit narcissitic Sarah? ME ME ME and ME. I will leave the USA and head to Canada if she gets elected in 2012. I voted for Jennifer and Derek and hope they prevail with winning on talent, not popularity. Then maybe Bristol can go back to being as boring as she always has been. Good Riddins, leave Los Angeles becauuse most of us just don’t give a hoot about you all up there in Alaska where you can see Russia from your kitchen window. Buh-Bye!

OldSchool

November 23rd, 2010
4:38 am

ABC has lost a loyal viewer – won’t waste my time watching this again. The judges should hav skewered both Bristol and Kyle from the beginning and they would not be here now. ABC bowed to a wanna be political power in Palin’s mom and trotted out one of their Disney stars in Kyle. Both of them are a waste of time to watch.

MyGirl

November 23rd, 2010
5:09 am

Bristol will win and p___ off all the libs. Let’s hear it for Bristol and Sarah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Lady

November 23rd, 2010
5:54 am

Everyone is so out of control regarding a stupid reality show that means absolutely nothing to the winner. No big money contract, or big money like other shows. Only a stupid mirror ball — big deal. And DWTS will not lose half their audience as some have said. They said it after Emmert won, after Donnie won, after Marie made it to the finals and after Kate Gosslin. I find the whole thing a riot. All against a young lady just because of her mother and nothing more. Shows how bad this country has become that they bully a person just because they don’t like their mother or her politics when this young lady doesn’t mention politics. Then they bully her because she is an unwed mother — big deal. There are millions of unwed mothers, all of races and regardless of whether or not they come from money or the poverty level. You blame the girl/woman for having a baby out of wedlock but the boy/man gets off free. Still shows that women are second class or even third class in this country just like foreign countries. All the uproar over a stupid reality show. This country has more important things to worry about then who wins a stupid reality show and guess what tomorrow the world will still be spinning and hopefully I will wake up and everything will go on as it has before even if by chance Bristol Palin wins and next season DWTS will still be a high rated show and there will be someone else for people to vent their hate and spew their venom on.

holly

November 23rd, 2010
6:43 am

BRISTOL CAN’T WIN! I THOUGHT THIS WAS A DANCE COMPETITION, NOT A POPULARITY CONTEST!!!!! BUT I GUESS NOW I SEE HOW IT IS! SHE SENT BRANDY HOME WHEN SHE SUCKS!!!!!!! TOTALLY UNFAIR! OBVIOUSLY THIS SHOW IS WHACK!

smh

November 23rd, 2010
7:02 am

It should be Jennifer and Kyle 1,2. Bristol is not even in the equation. That being said, I tried to vote for 90 minutes; two phones, and my husband tried online. We couldn’t get through a single vote before our time zone was “closed” for voting. Very frustrating.

Bo Doodley

November 23rd, 2010
7:06 am

I’ve put quite a bit of thought into this and have a question.

Who the hell cares? What kind of moron watches this stuff and actually cares?

carly

November 23rd, 2010
7:27 am

Did you know that you can vote as many times online as you want until 11am est?

Just go to cdn.abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/vote
and join with any email address (you can even make it up) and vote 5 times then do it again and again and again.

This is how the Tea Party has kept Palin in the game. Make sure it doesn’t happen again tonight.

Vote now.

Willy do it?

November 23rd, 2010
7:36 am

Hey TwoCENTS…I bet you ain’t near as pretty as Bristol’s momma!!

kick her off

November 23rd, 2010
7:38 am

Carly you are right!!! It is might funny because last night I called the numbers for both Jennifer and Kyle and they were not working. However, I called the one for that the stupid Tea Party people has kept in and it worked fine.

It says a lot about the Tea Party … they would rather someone win who clearly ISN’T qualified to just “because”. If this is what the “Republicans” want as their “face” then I feel sorry for them. I will remain an Independent until the “real” Republicans throw out the “trash”.

GO JENNIFER or KYLE!!!!!!

Bristol, break a leg!!!

OldSchool

November 23rd, 2010
8:00 am

Bristol is a joke and so is Kyle….should have been taken off by the judges in the first two weeks of the show.

Ella

November 23rd, 2010
8:07 am

The fact that people are making this into a political argument is stupid. Yes, Bristol Palin comes from a moronic mother – this isn’t news. Forget who her mom is for a second. Judge her by her performance. Yep. She’s still one of the worst dancers on the show and shouldn’t have made it this far.

Schmickly

November 23rd, 2010
8:11 am

Hey “Willy do it.” It doesn’t matter if TwoCENTS is prettier than Sarah Palin. She is clearly a hell of a lot SMARTER than Sarah. But then, a Pet Rock is smarter than Sarah…

bristol

November 23rd, 2010
8:16 am

the palins are an embarrassment to my race. I’m pulling for Kyle

Marie

November 23rd, 2010
8:27 am

I am sooooooooo proud to say that I HAVE NEVER watched 1 minute of this worthless show. And to read or hear the comments of all the losers out there who hate Bristol Palin just because she is the daughter of Sarah Palin makes me even prouder.

@Lady you are a voice of reason among a bunch of dummies who have gotten their panties all in a wad about a young lady who’s never done anything to them personally winning a silly dance contest. In the grand scheme of things who the heck cares; whether she wins or loses will it really alter the course of your life — you losers!!!!

bill gates

November 23rd, 2010
8:27 am

holly, put down the pipe

Sasha

November 23rd, 2010
8:36 am

All Americans need to get a life—volunteer for Habitat for Humanity—anything—just get off your
couch and stop the TV.

Jewel

November 23rd, 2010
8:37 am

Thanks for the comments because I was done with DWTS last week. If Jennifer or Kyle wins, I will have to watch the Youtube videos. ABC has destroyed a really good show that I’ve watched faithfully over the last 10 seasons…no more.

Patrick Swayze

November 23rd, 2010
8:42 am

Jennifer, you got my vote !!

Sailor

November 23rd, 2010
8:45 am

Brandy was the absolute BEST. She should have won.

dancer for money

November 23rd, 2010
8:45 am

The judges basically showed they want Jennifer to win. Even with missed cues last night, the couple was scored perfect marks.
I think people forget that Bristol is young and is not an actor. She doesn’t pretend to be other people all the time, like Kyle and Jennifer.

mike

November 23rd, 2010
8:47 am

I hope Bristol wins and her momma runs for President and she wins. We would then have an unwed mother as a role for your kids. And we would have a mother as President who has set no moral values for her children and will do the same for all the kids in America. It also illustrates that people win not because of their qualifications but because folks will stoop to any means to get someone elected.

jj

November 23rd, 2010
8:48 am

It is Disney that is keeping BP on the show, no matter what the votes are. Goal #1 of this – or any – show is to keep people watching. I’ve always watched this show – for the dancing and fun. I’ve never cared much for who wins, because it’s not a dance contest.
Last year, I didn’t watch until H8 Kate was off. This year, I’ve only watched a few dances- to see how bad BP was, and how good JG was (BP looked like she was being dragged across the floor!). And it confirmed that with Disney’s gamble (and it doesn’t hurt to kiss up to a woman that could be president. People vote for that as stupidly as they do for this show) was the final turn off for me. The magic was gone, the judges doing shtik, the phony practice flairups. Even Tom’s great quips seemed flat. I can’t stand Mama Palin, and really hate yet another Palin shoved down our throats.
So, the thrill is gone, I’m not coming back. ABC/Disney has turned a fun show into yet another phony reality show – another stinker!

Patrick Swayze

November 23rd, 2010
8:49 am

Kyle is ok and his partner is a hottie. A 2×4 has more movement than Bristol. One of those two should have went befor Brandi. GO JENNY, GO JENNY.

Clay

November 23rd, 2010
8:51 am

I voted for Bristol just because I want to hear the uproar if she wins.

Preze Obozo

November 23rd, 2010
8:54 am

First off I don’t watch this mindless moronic reality show or any of the others. A friend of mine updates me & I listen out of respect. (No wonder the Chinese are leaving us behind in the dirt!) I thought dws was supposed to be a star with a pro dancer? Technically Jennifer Gray is a star dancing with a pro but the REALITY of it is she is a TRAINED professional dancer already! Can you say ‘Dirty Dancin’? So the couple are actually two professionals teaming up. I know you bed wetters are going to whine but in a court of law this would be thrown out. Change the name to Dancing with the pros! Be glad when this, american idol & the rest runs their course and is cut from the networks!

Bob

November 23rd, 2010
9:00 am

I’m amazed at the fantastic job the costume designers did to cover up her pregnancy. Kudos!

jo

November 23rd, 2010
9:09 am

OK cry babies. It is called a
competition the one with the most votes win.

Patrick Swayze

November 23rd, 2010
9:16 am

Jennifer your still HOT after all these years !

Lucy

November 23rd, 2010
9:23 am

Wasn’t Dirty Dancing in the late 80s? Who can remember all the training they got 20+ years ago?

It is what it is

November 23rd, 2010
9:29 am

First, to all of you who say that people are losers for being into this show, why did you click the link, and then on top of that choose to type a response?!?! Second, I will be happy if Jennifer or Kyle wins. Third, will someone please buy Bristol a dictionary for Christmas so she can use more words besides “haters”?

Judy

November 23rd, 2010
9:40 am

I agree with DHD – HOW BOUT THEM FALCONS!!!!

Love Dancing with the stars

November 23rd, 2010
9:59 am

I text 5 time on my cell phone, I called 5 times on my Home phone, and I voted 5 times on line for Bristol. I want her to win because she to me is DWTS. Mark took an average person like you and me and made her into a dancing star. Jennifer is a pro and a liar. When she says that she has a knee injury and can run, and jump the way you have to on that show. No way. My final two is Kyle and Bristol. Say no to the Pro dancer.

swanzae

November 23rd, 2010
10:01 am

It may have been in the 80’s but remember her father is Joel Grey a great dancer. I really enjoy Kyle, Bristol is as many of you say being pulled across the floor. Talk about no musicality, no movement and no class. I also think she is uppity. There is not a humble bone in her body! What a piece of work.

Kevin

November 23rd, 2010
10:03 am

@Preze Obozo, you’re an idiot.