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Did Bristol Palin win ‘Dancing With the Stars’?

(ABC/GREG ZABILSKI)

(ABC/GREG ZABILSKI)

Jennifer Grey had the time of her life, ultimately taking home the mirror-ball trophy tonight.

By far, she was the superior dancer compared to her competitors: the exuberant, youthful Kyle Massey and the controversial Bristol Palin. From a pure dancing perspective, only Brandy had a shot at beating Grey but she was eliminated last week.

Was Jennifer Grey the right pick?

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Grey’s role as Baby in “Dirty Dancing” gave her the instant nostalgia vote. The thoughts of her and the late great Patrick Swayze was especially resonant early in the competition. And her fans embraced her roller-coaster ride  of  injuries and emotions.

This season 11 spurred more blog-Twitter-Facebook buzz than any prior one thanks to Palin and the political connection with her mom. As a result, the ratings on Monday night jumped to 23.7 million, the highest of this fall for any non-sports program.

The final dances didn’t really change the judges’ impressions of each. They marveled over Grey’s skills and passion. They loved Kyle’s stagecraft and power to connect with viewers. They gave Palin, the obvious amateur who made it to the finals on the strength of the voters (not the judges), props for pushing hard to improve at all levels.

Len Goodman noted that Kyle attacks the dance while Bristol is all about neatness and precision. “He has the wow,” he told Bristol on finals night. “You’ve got the how.”

Grey, at age 50, is often called a “professional dancer” based on the film in 1987 “Dirty Dancing.” She actually has had chronic neck problems the past two decades stemming from a car accident and has never been a “pro” dancer. Given how her career went nowhere after the film, this is a great resurrection for her. Hopefully, she’ll find some work from this.

Oh, and that Situation “dance” would not have gotten him into a Chippendale’s audition.

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

106 comments Add your comment

Yunel's Frosted Tips

November 23rd, 2010
11:19 pm

Nobody, but nobody, backs Baby in a corner……

vonnie

November 23rd, 2010
11:21 pm

I think all was made right tonight. This was purely dance at its best and the best man won. If this had been the measure all along, there would not have been all the bickering back and forth. Well done Jennifer, you deserved it.

jake's mom

November 23rd, 2010
11:23 pm

They got it right!!! Jennifer deserved the ball, and Bristol should have gotten the boot several weeks ago!!

Carl

November 23rd, 2010
11:26 pm

Congrats to Jennifer and congrats to Bristol for competing with style and grace. Hope to see Bristol in the future. And shame to all the haters out there……you all should be ashamed of yourself.

Ayana

November 23rd, 2010
11:34 pm

Does this mean Sarah Palin will not run for President?

Jill

November 23rd, 2010
11:34 pm

Carl, Bristol competed with style and grace? Guess you didn’t hear her comment about how winning would basically be a middle finger to all the people who hate her mom and hate her… Yeah, real graceful!

Sean

November 23rd, 2010
11:35 pm

It’s obvious that Jennifer was the best dancer, and that Bristol had no right being there. If Bristol Palin was anyone else, she would have been gone long ago. Luckily, the correct person was chosen. This one was for Swayze.

IntheDale

November 23rd, 2010
11:35 pm

Well done, all! Jennifer deserved the win. Kyle and Bristol deserved to be in the finals. This was the best finale so far.

huckleberry

November 23rd, 2010
11:40 pm

hahaha, for Swayze, lol.

Alexis

November 23rd, 2010
11:46 pm

Bristol seemed to gain weight instead of lose it.

Kat

November 23rd, 2010
11:47 pm

Why put on the AJC home page that Jennifer Grey won DWTS, and then put as the headline on the inside page story “Did Bristol Palin win DWTS?”

jaja

November 23rd, 2010
11:48 pm

But she had dancing background not fair bristol should of won

vonnie

November 23rd, 2010
11:49 pm

It’s amazing that people think you hate someone just because you think they don’t dance well. What does hate have to do with it? It’s dance, pure and simple. If you can’t see that, then perhaps you have the problem.

Carl

November 23rd, 2010
11:52 pm

Jill, I stand by my statement. Why don’t you stop being full of hate.

Astrid G.

November 23rd, 2010
11:53 pm

Thanks for setting the record straight about Jennifer and her career as a “professional dancer” . This is as lamebrained as calling Bristol “teen activist” and talking about her “come back”. What did Bristol come back from? Giving birth?

kick her off

November 23rd, 2010
11:57 pm

Congrats to Jennifer!!!!!

The Tea Party “people” will have their blogs buzzing tonight and tomorrow. I guess they didn’t have the “magic” after all.

Brad

November 24th, 2010
12:10 am

I didn’t see Mama Palin tonight; was she not there or did I just miss her? It does like Bristol got pregnant during the show, does anyone know if it’s Mark or the Situation who is is the father?

SS

November 24th, 2010
12:28 am

I based it mainly on the dancing, and I still stand by what I have said before, Bristol should have been long gone from the competition. She unfortunately can not dance and to me did not seem as if she was putting much effort into it. The best person won it, even though I was still partial to Kyle.

Jill

November 24th, 2010
12:32 am

Carl no hate from me here… Just questioning whether you felt that kind of comment exuded style and grace because in my book that’s far from it!! As for her position on the show, I’ve danced since I was 3 and while Bristol executed the steps she didn’t DANCE… And I stand by my statement… Not everyone is going to like you and there are many other ways she could’ve responded to that question then by basically saying “F you” to the “haters”… That’s my problem with you saying she had style and grace… By the same token I think Michael Bolton was just as ungraceful with his comments after he was eliminated… My standards for everyones behavior is the same and a comment like hers is completely distasteful!

Joey

November 24th, 2010
12:32 am

@ jaja…you should do your homework before making a comment like that. Although, Jennifer danced in movie, she does NOT have a dancing background….aside from taking a few classes as a little girl, she has not had any extensive training nor does she have a dancing background. She simply has natural talent, unlike Bristol.

Dagg

November 24th, 2010
1:17 am

I have never voted for any DWTS contestant, but I made an exception this monday and voted for Jennifer. It upsets me that a show about dancing that celebrates talent and sheer effort is getting polluted by politics. You don’t need to be an expert to tell that Grey is simply the best dancer. To top it off, she danced through the pain of her injuries like a real trooper. Her determination and passion for the dance deserves to be rewarded.

To me it’s not about making sure that Bristol loses, it’s about making sure that Jennifer wins. Jennifer’s victory restores a little bit of my faith in America, that in general we still value skill and performance above simple partisan politics.

Carl

November 24th, 2010
1:22 am

@Jill I also respected Bristol for hanging in there. Was she the best dancer, no. But at least she did the best that she could and for that she gets my praise.

Lanette

November 24th, 2010
1:25 am

To me, Jennifer was a little phony. She took dance lessons and was a dancer early on. She claimed on Ellen that she is shy and does not dance at weddings. That is real surprising. She talked about her neck inquiry, but if one has a ruptured disc, they CANNOT do the moves that she did the very next day. She is a great dancer, I’ll give you that, however she was not truthful as so many people have been commenting on. Bristol did improve but still not enough and that crude remark was wrong. Kyle should have won.

RadioLady

November 24th, 2010
1:44 am

Now, can we go back to what the show is supposed to be “Dancing with the STARS” and only select real STARS from here on out!

dawn

November 24th, 2010
2:28 am

Wow!! it is obvious from some of the comments some people do not know how to READ{ concerning JG’s dancing experience!!}.Jennifer Grey is one class act, and a absolutely beautiful dancer….; AND SORRY, but you can dance after that kind of injury; I know people who have!!!Let’s all give credit where credit’s due.I loved bouncy little sparkplug Kyle, but he was NOT an exqusite dancer who brought tears to your eyes; Jennifer was. NO ONE PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER!!!!

dawn

November 24th, 2010
2:34 am

Oops!!! I was so fired up I forgot how to spell exquisite!!LOL Jennifer, you have the ability to inspire that kind of passion in people when you dance; thank you so much for that…

Controversy

November 24th, 2010
4:46 am

If you’re going to quote Swayze, do it right. I’ve seen that movie over a hundred times…it’s “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”.

Boses

November 24th, 2010
6:15 am

Thank goodness that bloated cow Palin didn’ win.

Amanda

November 24th, 2010
6:25 am

The right person won on Dancing With the Stars. Jennifer is a class act and deserved the win. Kyle was a spark plug that added entertainment to the show. Bristol, well she looked like a cow and was no dancer. She should have been gone weeks ago. Thank you America for making the right choice and voting for Jennifer and Derek. I hope next season they will have some real stars and not some bimbo like Bristol with mama watching on.

C.D. Gunderson

November 24th, 2010
6:25 am

I liked her dancing but her emotions and crying certainly turned me off I would not vote for her.

DancesWithWolves

November 24th, 2010
6:26 am

I just can’t get into these Dance/Idol shows anymore. The “Twits” determine the outcomes. Okay for kiddies, I guess, but shouldn’t these shows be on at like Saturday morning or on Nickelodeon or something? I mean like? Having said that I’m glad Jennifer won and could care less about who lost.

Tim

November 24th, 2010
6:26 am

This just in…Jennifer Grey’s leg fell off and she went blind after her first dance last night. But she went to the doctor and he fixed her right up to dance the final dance. She must have one heck of a doctor!

I haven't watched this show since the first

November 24th, 2010
6:31 am

I haven’t watched this show since the first one, DOES NOTHING FOR ME.

BitterEXdemocrackkk

November 24th, 2010
6:32 am

Um, one of the original RULES of DWTS was that no contestant could have ever been a professional dancer. So HOW did Jennifer Grey get to compete at all? Can you IMAGINE the froth if Bristol had won fair and square? The lieberals would be screaming!

Bo U

November 24th, 2010
6:52 am

GREAT!! Maybe Bristol will go to college now!!

Sherry

November 24th, 2010
7:10 am

I agree that Bristol wasn’t a great dancer. But at least she wasn’t as big of embrassment for show as Kate Gosselin.

Snickers

November 24th, 2010
7:23 am

Sorry, there’s no such thing as a Palin with “grace”. Bristol demonstrated time and time again on the show and off the show that she is just like her lowbrow mother, a con artist. And now her little sister is showing what trash she is with her homophobic Facebook blather.

Oh well, at least between the trashy children and this trashy reality show that pathetic family is batting a thousand. I’ve always said, that reality show is what will do Sarah Palin in with the public (even the morons who have supported her before), and it looks like I’m being proven right.

Pamela

November 24th, 2010
7:24 am

Bristol should have never been there. When she tried out, she should have been cut. I have nothing against her, but the chick cannot dance!

Jubie

November 24th, 2010
7:26 am

Got so sick of Jennifer whining and complaining. She was so phony trying to get sympathy. Got so bad it had to be script.

kjdfa

November 24th, 2010
7:28 am

you haters that make fun of palin for being fat have nothing to say about kyle. he is no chipendale

Jim

November 24th, 2010
7:32 am

The right person won the trophy last night. I for one now see how politics has even danced its way into TV. Bristol diffently knew technique but just didnt have the dance. Jennifer Gray had grace and style and just the ability to make you feel the dance. I do wish Brandy could have been there for finals it would have been something to see though.

Shmoopie

November 24th, 2010
7:39 am

I decree that Pamela shouldn’t be able to comment. But I have nothing against her.

DC

November 24th, 2010
7:40 am

I boycotted this season because of Bristol Palin…..and why is she a celebrity anyway????? Is being an unwed mother of a vice presidential candidate worthy of celebrity? I have never figured this one out!!!! People don’t usually flaunt their indiscretions.

Willy do it?

November 24th, 2010
7:43 am

Kyle is fat and couldn’t dance either….but he’s not a Palin!
Why do liberals have so much hate in them?

Bob LaBlah

November 24th, 2010
7:46 am

Snickers – people like you are what’s wrong with this country. Is your info gleaned from watching TMZ and reading People magazine? Read The Wall Street Journal or The National Review. I can’t believe I’m even reading this section of the AJC! I am ashamed.

Bob LaBlah

November 24th, 2010
7:47 am

DC – you are worse than Snickers.

Road Scholar

November 24th, 2010
7:51 am

Someone asked above where was Momma grizzly. She was unveiling her new book. She is soooooo narcassistic (sp). She couldn’t even let her daughter have her day- win or lose. And over an opinion book! There was no other day that Palin could unveil her book?

I’m glad Grey won

At Work

November 24th, 2010
7:56 am

I think it’s funny that everyone keeps picking on Bristol for being an “unwed” mother. Hmmm, funny because Brandy had a kid with Robert Smith in 2002 and she pretended to be married to protect her image. So, just for the record, Brandy is an unwed mother too. Let me prepare as the ACLU and NAACP come after me for that comment.

G

November 24th, 2010
8:01 am

Why must they have a ringer every season and be surprised that they win?

Donna

November 24th, 2010
8:14 am

What does the Tea party have to do with it? That’s as lame as it gets…lol I don’t like Bristol Palin or her dancing but half of most of the couples don’t have any dance background. I’m glad Jennifer won – she’s obviously the best dancer but bringing the Tea Party in it is as pathetic as Bristol’s comment about the middle finger. I’m a Tea Party member and not all of us like Sarah.