An embarrassing beginning. Rivals shooting themselves in the foot. A redemption narrative. Uh oh: Where have we seen this before?
Bristol Palin finally got into the second act of her Dancing With The Stars career arc this week, as the Alaskan activist wowed the judges with a perfectly capable tango. Like a dancing version of SNL’s Stefon, we’re slowly warming to Bristol’s whole routine: she can’t resist adding a little bit of silliness to every dance (witness the awkward air-guitar segment), but her heart’s in the right place and she seems like she honestly just wants to have a good time.
One thing worries us, though: Could this have been a calculated effort all along? What if those horrendous costumes were part of a long con by Bristol to get voters on her side, to make them feel like she is just as stumblingly unglamorous as they are? She was, after all, raised by the master of this strategy.
This week’s loser Audrina Patridge provides an interesting counterpoint to the Bristol spectacle. Like Palin, Patridge has no identifiable skills, and is famous primarily for knowing other people who are likewise famous. Unlike Palin, however, Patridge came into the competition with the double advantages of being comfortable in front of cameras (her claim to fame, for the curious, was appearing on MTV’s The Hills) and and being hot. But it wasn’t enough to keep her from being completely forgettable most weeks.
Patridge’s Paso Doble looks better on first viewing; on second you realize she’s basically doing a more intense version of hair-ography. Could the factors that initially seemed to work in her favor —namely, her hotness — have turned out to be her undoing? After all, on DWTS, the thing that matters most is the one thing goofy Bristol had that Audrina never showed: a personality. We never thought we’d say this, but: Palin 2010!