The midterm elections may be behind us, but we're still a country divided. Last night, on "Dancing with the Stars", Bristol Palin made it to the finals while competitor Brandy was sent home in what's being called "the most shocking — and controversial — elimination" in the show's history, especially given allegations of a "Tea-Party conspiracy." (The audience booed the decision; an enraged Wisconsin viewer shot his television.) A "series-high number of [viewer] votes" helped Bristol edge out Brandy who'd earned higher scores from the judges, but some commentators — noting Bristol's record of "underwhelming performances" — are questioning the sanity of the nation:

Bristol's a weak dancer: She may be the most improved, but she's certainly not the most entertaining to watch, says Liane Bonin at HitFix. Sarah Palin's supporters should "leave the reality TV stuff alone." But, hey, "at least there's only one more week of Bulletproof Bristol."
"Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' results - down to 3 for the finale"

This is just how the show works: The fact is: Votes count, says Lois C. at Politics and World News. Even if Tea Partiers are voting for Bristol in large numbers, "that's no more of a conspiracy than Arizona Cardinal fans voting for Kurt Warner."
"Bristol Palin Dancing with the Stars 2010"

But this election has been fixed, and that's not fair: The "real conspiracy" isn't that conservatives are supporting Bristol in droves, says Tracie Egan Morrissey at Jezebel. Team Palin's "mobilization involves fixing this (albeit meaningless) election through a technical snafu on ABC's website" that allows fans to vote over and over again with fake email addresses. "Thankfully," our government doesn't rely on an email voting system that can be so easily manipulated — clearly, the Tea Party is a "force to be reckoned with."
"How Palin conservatives are cheating the DWTS voting system?