The video: In what some commentators waggishly call a "striptease," Bristol Palin made her widely dreaded debut on ABC's hit "Dancing with the Stars" last night (see clip below), competing against such luminaries as David Hasselhoff and MTV's "The Situation." Billed as a "teen activist," Bristol first appeared in a conservative suit, aping her mother's style, before coyly revealing a fringed red dress and launching into a cha-cha-cha with her professional partner, Mark Ballas, to earn a middling 18 out of 30 from the show's judges.
The reaction: Despite the "hideous, matronly suit," Bristol was "not terrible," says Natalie Finn at E!, Unlike last year's "stunt contestant" Kate Gosselin, Bristol has "a cute figure, plenty of shakeable assets" and a discernible sense of rhythm. Bristol did rather well, says Linda Holmes at NPR, considering the embarrassing challenges of being commanded to "shimmy." Still, says Gawker's Matt Cherette, "Palin is about as good at dancing as she is at using contraception." She "appeared frightened and frumpy around the stage," and her moves consisted of "[shaking] her finger at somebody, and—yeah, that's about it." Watch for yourself: