On the finale of Dancing with the Stars last night, Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey and her partner Derek Hough defeated Bristol Palin and her partner Mark Ballas (and second-place Kyle Massey and his partner Lacy Schwimmer) to win the shittiest prize in reality TV and save the world from the obvious calamities that would have befallen it had someone with less talent beaten someone with more talent in a popularity contest.
After all of the sky-is-falling panic, the only real consequence of this season is The Bristol Effect, which I discuss in this msnbc.com analysis. Basically, she’s done nothing except make the show more popular, more talked-about, which means they’ll try to cast more people like her in the future. I think that will be difficult, because she was so many different and rather unique things all at once.
Jennifer won and performed again despite rupturing a disc during a dance on Monday, earning more perfect scores to help her defeat Kyle Massey, who would have been this season’s real surprise and story had Bristol not been around. He started the season as a virtual unknown, and he’s not exactly a super-athlete, but he did very well, earning both votes and praise from the judges.
Meanwhile, Audrina Patridge and Michael Bolton both skipped the finale because of illness and a performance in London, or so we were told. They may be the real winners.