DWTS Mirror Ball Trophy Mirrors Democracy in Action
by Dan Ehrlich

So, the scores were in, the votes counted and democracy emerged the winner on Dancing with the Stars.

After all the anger, frustration, conspiracy theories and even death threats, Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, as polls predicted, won the Mirror Ball Trophy as numero uno on the 11th season of a show originally exported to America from Britain.

In fact, the DWTS Mirror Ball trophy sort of mirrors the evolution of American politics. It began in Britain, was eventually tailored to American tastes and moved along as expected until a wild card appeared that didn’t really belong there.

This interloper without proper credentials or experience, however, amazed the public and DWTS stalwarts with her third party bid that became stronger as each week passed.

Yet, during the final countdown, election day for the top spot, the people voted and elected the true champion, the one best qualified and part of the established order…she was a star. As for the would-be champ…she is re examining her future, one that now looks much brighter than it did several weeks-ago as an unwed teenage mother.

It’s a shame in the real world voters aren’t as passionate about politics as many voters are nuts over DWTS. But maybe that’s simply because our politics isn’t as exciting or entertaining as this TV show.

With our economy in decline, unemployment soaring and social breakdown on the horizon, we have yet to have political leaders who have lifted our spirits and gave us hope. President Obama was supposed to be that man, but isn’t delivering the goods and his established competition has no answers, either.

But, there is an upstart in the picture, one that really doesn’t rate even being on the national political stage. She has minimal experience, a second rate education, totally out to lunch of social issues and has trouble speaking proper English. On the other hand she’s attractive and has a bubbly personality. And that’s what makes Sarah Palin qualified to be President of the USA.

Yet, amazingly her daughter Bristol, the third place finisher on DWTS, not only exemplified our democracy, but her progress on the show mirrored her mother, as well.

Here was a young attractive woman who really didn’t belong on DWTS because she wasn’t a star. But, the show executives thought she would boost ratings. They couldn’t have been more correct.

Yes, she was terrible at the start and experts thought she was destined for a quick trip back to Alaska. They couldn’t have been more wrong. As the weeks passed Bristol became better and better and her ratings higher and higher…thanks mainly to the voting public who enjoyed seeing a rank amateur, as well as Sarah’s daughter, do well.

Her success created heated feelings among a population, which has difficulty in differentiating between fantasy and reality. They couldn’t cope with lesser dancer being elevated above better dancers through democratic votes. TV sets were shot at and kicked in, viewers cried foul and journalists cooked up stories about a right wing conspiracy to steal the election for Palin….Bristol, that is.

Bristol said she could never have imagined that a TV show would create such strong feelings…feelings that resulted in death threats against her and partner Mark Ballas. The show hired bodyguards for the couple, the first time in 11 seasons of DWTS. Earlier Bristol said, "Going out there and winning this would mean a lot. It would be like a big middle finger to all the people out there that hate my mom and hate me."

Yet, in the end, after a long and hot campaign, talent and experience won the day….all hail the ageless Jennifer Grey…and keep in mind this is how democracy works…good or bad, you elect the candidates. And for the elder Palin, her daughter's run for gold may actually serve as a test run for her own presidential ambitions. But, as with DWTS, in the end experience and talent will probably win...probably?

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