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Dancing queen: Will Bristol Palin be crowned champion of 'Dancing with the Stars'?

23 NOVEMBER 2010

"There's lots of haters out there just waiting for me to fail. That just gives me more motivation to prove them wrong."

There's no doubt that when it comes to this year's Dancing with the Stars finalists, Bristol Palin is the wildcard.

On Monday, the 20-year-old – with partner Mark Ballas - performed for the last time on the show as a serious contender for the coveted mirror ball trophy. She has survived nine weeks of eliminations, but not without controversy.

Despite consistently receiving low marks from the judges for her efforts, Sarah Palin's daughter has been kept in the competition by the viewers, knocking out other, arguably more talented dancers, in the process.

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Photo: ABC


Bristol's staying power has led to speculation that members of the Tea Party, many of whom are strong supporters of her politician mother Sarah, are involved in an organised effort to keep her in the show.

These claims, however, have been dismissed by the show's executive producer Conrad Green who has said he believes Bristol "deserves" her place in the season 11 finals.

And, with some saying the programme's credibility has been thrown into question, he added that it's not the first time a less-skilled dancer has made it to the last round.

"Quite often it's been the one who's the most popular or someone who's captured the public's imagination because of their performance or who they were," he told People.

"You can argue whether or not she deserves to be there more than someone else who the judges have assigned to be a better dancer, but then you make sure you vote for that person. It's not rocket science."

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Photo: ABC


Bristol certainly has a fight on her hands of she wants to be crowned this year's DWTS champion on Tuesday.

Hot favourite Jennifer Grey and her partner Derek Hough (pictured together left) have consistently impressed with their routines, receiving perfect scores of 30 for their last two dances.

Kyle Massey, 19, who is best known for his work in Disney's That's So Raven, is also receiving consistently good marks for his efforts. After his last dance this week, the judges praised him for his vast improvement, with Len Goodman telling the star: "You've gone from Messy Massey to Marvellous Massey."

But Bristol's sheer determination does seem to have made her the sweetheart of this year's show.

As pro dancer Karina Smirnoff says: "This season has proven it is not a dance competition only.

"With Jennifer we have the strongest dancer, with Kyle we have the strongest personality and then with Bristol we have the best journey.

"She literally drove five days in her car to get here and learn how to dance. Fans develop a relationship with these people each week. You never know who they are going to like."

 

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