The Season 11 finale of Dancing With the Stars opened with tension in the air, which probably stemmed more from the polarizing presence of Bristol Palin than from the actual competition.
Of course, you wouldn't know that from the smoke, dramatic music, and tear-jerker montages the producers worked up. And then there was Bristol.
Whether or not she deserved to win or deserved to be on the finale, most everyone had a strong opinion one way or another. As someone who has watched the show every season, I will say she is what the show is all about. Seeing someone like Nicole Scherzinger (winner of Season 10) dance is hot, but she is a pro.
Bristol is who this show is all about -- a non-dancer who grows.
That said, she earned her third place finish. We can all agree that she worked hard and improved, but had she won, I suspect there would have been more bullet-ridden television sets across the US.
Jennifer Grey was the winner and all is right in the world.
The show opened with a dramatic re-introduction of every star from the show (minus Michael Bolton and Audrina Patridge). David Hasselhoff, "the Hoff," gave us the most entertaining five minutes of the show and reminded me (and especially my husband) how ridiculous it was that he left the first week.
"They missed such an opportunity!" my husband said. Yes. Perhaps the most telling statement of the season.
The Situation did some bizarre futuristic dance sans shirt (and apparently juice -- were his biceps teeny or is it just me?) and Christina Aguilera performed.
Jennifer won and it was the right decision. That doesn't make it ideal. In a season that was highly unpredictable, this was the outcome almost everyone expected from the beginning.
Baby made it out of the corner, but DWTS may not. People were furious about Bristol and they will probably be equally furious that the favored contestant from Day 1 was the ultimate winner (just like last season).
It will be interesting to see how they change it up for the future.
In the meantime, congratulations to Derek and Jennifer! No matter what is said in the next day, you undoubtedly earned and deserved the Mirror Ball Trophy.
Did you think the right person won?
Image via ABC