Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol won through to the final of hit US show “Dancing with the Stars”, bouyed by public support in defiance of judges’ skepticism about her dance floor talents.
As her mother continues to shine in the political spotlight, the 20-year-old is enjoying the media limelight generated by her unexpected success on the hugely popular TV talent show.
Palin was again ranked last by judges in the semi-final of the show, in which celebrities partner with professional dancers, but voting by viewers pushed her score with partner Mark Ballas up into third place.
Singer Brandy broke down in tears after being knocked out, although her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy conceded: “People vote and their voices count, and I love the fact that the show represents that.”
Former “Dirty Dancing” star Jennifer Grey and her partner Derek Hough jumped with joy when they learnt they were through to the final, as did actor-singer Kyle Massey and professional ballroom dancer Lacey Schwimmer.
Like her mother, Bristol is a hit with the public despite experts’ scorn, in what some commentators say could take the younger Palin all the way to the top in next week’s final.
“Bristol will now go on to win the whole shebang. She doesn’t deserve it. Everyone knows it, even, I suspect, the people who keep voting for her,” predicted Lisa Gutierrez on the Kansas City Star newspaper’s website.
Bristol’s success comes as her mother, the former governor of Alaska, solidifies her own life in the spotlight with her own reality show launched at the weekend, fueling speculation about her 2012 White House plans.
The former governor of Alaska burst onto the national stage like a supernova in 2008 when Republican presidential nominee John McCain picked her to be his running mate.
Bristol has a nearly two-year-old son with her on-off boyfriend Levi Johnston. Her unplanned pregnancy became a talking point during the 2008 White House campaign, which made her America’s most famous teenage mother.
Of her latest television triumph Tuesday, one blogger commented on the politics-and-world-5678.blogspot.com website: “She could win this thing, and here’s why — the power of the American voter.”