She's been one of the worst dancers of this or any season, but Bristol Palin has still made her way to the Dancing with the Stars final four somehow. This follows another week where a contestant with higher scores from judges was sent home as the woman famous for being daughter of a high profile political figure stayed.
While early in the season, judges may have been nicer to her because of her inexperience in the entertainment world, it's been the viewer votes that have saved Bristol in recent weeks, and there is no secret that there is a campaign out there of Sarah Palin fans saving her.
Pro-Palin blogs, awash in their patriotic bunting, regularly encourage readers to cast multiple votes for the young mother, identified weekly without irony as "teen activist."
There has been a long Republican voting tradition on the show, dating back to season three, which began ominously with Tucker Carlson first to be eliminated, and included country singer Sara Evans, who had GOP operatives working on her behalf.
It was onetime House Majority Leader Tom DeLay who asked supporters to keep voting for Evans the same year he stepped down from office to avoid a scandal investigation.
The country singer, he said, "has been a strong supporter of the Republican Party and represents good American values in the media." Citing competition that year from "ultra liberal talk show host Jerry Springer," DeLay said, "We need to send a message to Hollywood and the media that smut has no place on television by supporting good people like Sara Evans."
Actually smut was cited in the ugly divorce case that caused Evans, in a surprise, to remove herself from the competition midseason. DeLay himself went on the show in season nine and danced three weeks before, like Evans, taking himself out of the competition. In this case, it was on doctor's orders due to stress fractures.
But withdrawing rather than being taken out by voters has been a legacy for Evans and DeLay on the show -- and Bristol Palin's mom in her own governership.
Sarah Palin has popped up on the show to cheer her daughter, appearing in the audience one week and this week showing up during a rehearsal of what she was told was going to be a "scandalous" dance. Would it be, mother Palin asked, "lapdancey scandalous?"
It's been common for reality show voters to carry certain contestants along for fun's sake, most famously on American Idol with Sanjaya Malakar. Even that "ultra liberal" Springer made it to fifth place on Dancing with the Stars.
But to have someone so unskilled in the final four reflects badly on the judgment of the voters. Just as in that other election Bristol's mom was out campaigning for last week.