The video: On Monday night, Bristol Palin undertook new footwork for the "Dancing With the Stars" finale, taking on rivals Jennifer Grey and Kyle Massey. The 20-year-old Palin has made it this far despite mediocre reviews from the judges, particularly for her "disastrous jive in a monkey suit" earlier this season, and protests that her steady advancement proves the show is more about popularity than prowess. On Monday, Palin (and partner Mark Ballas) tried to appease her detractors with a pair of routines: Another attempt at a jive, and then a freestyle performance in which Bristol "gyrated in a cage" to a song from the musical Chicago. Although the pair received the lowest scores of the evening, that may be irrelevant when the winners are announced Tuesday night.
The reaction:
Dancing to a standard from a well-known musical was a "risky" move, says Allyssa Lee at The Los Angeles Times, and indeed, "it turned out that Bristol had never even heard of Chicago, much less seen a Broadway show." The bigger problem, of course, says Edward Schumacher-Matos at The Washington Post, is that "Bristol can't dance." While she did show "a flash of fun and movement" in her jive number, she "reverted to her largely flat, heavy-legged form" during the freestyle section. "Will America come to its senses" and give the more deserving Jennifer Grey the crown? Watch Bristol Palin's freestyle performance: