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Bristol Palin Going Against the Odds on 'Dancing With the Stars'

4 years ago
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When Bristol Palin premieres on "Dancing With the Stars" next Monday, she'll be fighting the odds, costume criticism and rumors of troubled practice sessions.

Sports bookies (really? really!) have put Bristol above "Brady Bunch" mom Florence Henderson, who's picked to finish last. But that's not saying much. The teen mom, who was thrust into the spotlight two years ago when her own mom (you know, Sarah Palin) became John McCain's running mate, is predicted to finish 11th out of the 12 celebrity contestants by two different bookmakers. Her odds of winning: 20-1. ("Dirty Dancing" star Jennifer Grey is the early fave.)

Meanwhile, there are reports that Bristol and professional partner Mark Ballas missed several practice sessions last week because of a variety of conflicts.

Bristol Palin, Dance With the StarsWhy is Bristol doing "DWTS"? Good question. Cynics might posit that her brief re-engagement to Levi Johnston last summer was a gambit for a reality show. When that didn't happen, the couple parted ways. He's trolling for his own reality show with a run for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. "DWTS" is clearly the better deal here.

Of course, neither of these kids would be in the spotlight if former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hadn't put them there. Palin's run for vice president, accompanied by the announcement of Bristol's pregnancy and engagement to Johnston, the father of the baby -- put the couple in the national limelight.

Bristol must see this foray into reality television as an opportunity to fan the celebrity flames, pick up some cash and perhaps parlay a positive performance into something even more lucrative.

But there are plenty of potential pratfalls to the dance competition, which requires both skill and charisma.

Does Bristol have it? Can she learn it?

We'll have to wait a week to find out.

In the meantime, here are do's and don'ts based on past "Dancing With the Stars" performances.

Do avoid the skin-baring costumes if your moral code dictates (though that black number looks plenty hot). But don't let the designers dress you up like Monica Seles in some hideous Pepto-Bismol-colored coverall. That's when you agree to show skin instead.

Do put on a happy face and have some fun, like past contestants Kelly Osbourne, Kenny Mayne and, yes, Tom DeLay. (Who knew The Hammer could shake it?) A sense of humor and a bit of self-depreciation goes a long way with the judges. Meanwhile, don't get your grouch on, as Kate Gosselin last season when she acted out during rehearsals and looked miserable during the competition.

Do take some lessons from your elders. Watch some of Cloris Leachman's performances (sure, she was 82, but she gave it her all and then some) and her sharp wit had everyone rolling with laughter. But don't be all stiff and fakey like elder astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Do take the fitness aspect of the dancing seriously, as Marie Osmond and others have. You don't want to be described as "deceptively unfit," as was Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Josie Moran, whose muscle tone in Season 5 appeared to be that of a wet noodle.

Do be gracious, as Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan (Ballas' former partner and flame) was when she was surprisingly eliminated from the show. Don't be, again, like Kate Gosselin.

Finally, do embody your mom's enthusiasm and perkiness. But don't follow her lead when it comes to being defensive or overly strident.

Because we'll be watching.
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22 Comments

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bskooter1

You go Norma and nannyfive5 and all others with good taste. I like how you think. Rather than come down on Bristol, why not come down on the unfairness of the show. As nice as it is to see the older stars doing the dancing, it's just not fair to put them against the likes of the modern day talents of the younger people. We older people just can't do what they can do. If they want to do that then make all the contestants 65 or over. However, who'd watch that? So many 'stars' aren't accepting the invitation to dance so let those who become famous, in whatever way, join the cast. If you don't like it, there are hundreds of other channels to choose from. Choose.

September 13 2010 at 11:35 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Norma

NOW, LET ME SEE.. The writer has given her opinion on what Bristol should do, and not do....WOW! And she hasn't even danced, yet. Let me put this as succinctly as I can, "Get off of her case!" Bristol is the one doing the dancing, you are not. If she wants to put a bag on her head, and dance on her tippy-toes....So what! If her mother is in the audience....So what!....Did you belitle Kelly Osborne when she came out and stumbled through the first few dances....No!...She ended up doing quite well, and I was very proud for her. And, for the record.....her costumes were showy, but for the most part, in good taste. When Mel B's costumes were bursting at the seams....Did you judge her? No!....So, what is it that makes you want to start judging Bristol Palin, before she has even danced the first dance......Oh wait, I know.....Her Mother is a white woman, Conservative, moral person, and she might be running for a very high office very soon.......I get it, that's the answer. Shame on you! Give her a chance!

September 13 2010 at 10:57 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
nannyfive5

You people talk about what Bristol is and what she isn't, yet you don't know a darn thing about her except she is Sarah's daughter and she is an unwed mother.You act like you or your kids are wallflowers when in reality 95% of girls have had sex before they get out of high school. Who knows, Bristol may be brilliant and may be a better spokesperson that her mother. You're just jealous because she got the opportunity to be on DWTS and you or your daughter can't. As far as some of you keep asking how she is considered a star to be on DWTS. Think!!!! The show is not titled Stars Dancing With Stars. It is titled Dancing With the Stars, so I suppose that entitles anyone to dance with the Professional Dancers (the stars)if you pass their qualtifications. I wish Bristol all the luck. I would love to see her walk off with the winners award.

September 13 2010 at 10:31 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
lkieger

Excuse me but this is worthy of Politics Daily? Are you serious?

September 13 2010 at 9:47 PM Report abuse +20 rate up rate down Reply
pbaldaw

My best wishes go to Bristol. She is a beautiful young lady and it would be nice to see her go a long way on this program and enjoy the success she deserves. As a teenager she was sweet-talked by a self-serving young man and their story is an age old one where the girl is left to suffer the consequences while the male goes off to seek more excitement in his life. He has really attracted the vultures and low-lifes of our society. She is a good mother and a very good daughter and without a doubt is loved and appreciated by her parents and has earned the right to have something good in her life.

September 13 2010 at 9:44 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pbaldaw's comment
jpjmcnamara

I would say the world knows enough about Bristol that we all have an opinion, which is what this writer has. YOU have your opinion, we have ours. Obviously you don't like the from Sandra Fish and few real Americans would agree with you. That is fact, not an opinion. The majority of Americans think that Bristol Palin is an unwed teen mother opportunist born into a highly dysfunctional family. Pity her, cradle her and pray for her. But, be an en abler and encourage this disgrace behavior. Since when did exploiting your collegiate child become respectable?

September 13 2010 at 11:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
msmichlee

KMA8:34 wrote: I look at Bristol Palin, the up and coming and the Chelsea Clinton, been there and done that and see why people are nervous about the future. If Bristol is what the GOP is got for their future, I'm pretty nervous too. Which one would you take home to introduce to your folks? How can you try to compare Brisol Palin to Chelsea Clinton??? Bristol is nothing but an uneducated unwed teen mother. Chelsea is well educated, planned her life and family with dignity and grace. Bristol will never reach the class and dignity of Chelsea Clinton.

September 13 2010 at 9:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Linda

Like mother like daughter, publicity ******!

September 13 2010 at 9:00 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
msmichlee

This is a joke who gives a darn about any of the Palins????? She is a unwed mother thats all, what makes you think anyone is pulling for her success. She needs to get on with taking care of her illegitmate child.

September 13 2010 at 8:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cornell0673

how is she a star?

September 13 2010 at 8:47 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
eyeforeye42

I look at Bristol Palin, the up and coming and the Chelsea Clinton, been there and done that and see why people are nervous about the future. If Bristol is what the GOP is got for their future, I'm pretty nervous too. Which one would you take home to introduce to your folks?

September 13 2010 at 8:34 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to eyeforeye42's comment
dc walker

.Bristol comes from working parents; Chelse came from lawyers.

September 13 2010 at 9:15 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

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