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Thursday 18 November 2010

Strictly Happening Stateside

Bruno Tonioli was aghast – in typically unsubtle fashion – as the Great US Viewing Public voted his preferred contestant off Dancing With The Stars last weekend. The programme is the Stateside version of Strictly Come Dancing (hence the presence of OTT-meister Tonioli), and has the same twist in the tail: the public vote.

In the UK, John Sargent conceded that he shouldn’t keep on being brought back every week when he wasn’t very good at the dancing lark. He bowed out gracefully. But former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe is made of sterner stuff, and she won’t budge as long as the public vote keeps her there.

So who is getting that vote in the US? Step forward Bristol Palin, single mother and more notably daughter of Sarah. She’s clearly full of enthusiasm, and it is hard to argue with her when she says she has been “working [her] butt off”. But the judges don’t think she should still be on the show.

Tonioli clearly wanted to see Brandy, who the public voted off, return: “I’m so disappointed” he told her. Meanwhile, the rumour mill is off and running, with a variety of conspiracy theories floated, usually suggesting that the Palin family, and perhaps the wider “Tea Party” movement, has organised to keep Bristol on the show.

That one I don’t buy: the Palins are well known across the USA, whatever viewers’ stripe, and viewers have clearly taken to Bristol. It’s the final next weekend.

[And the story has even made the Maily Telegraph]

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