ABC Insiders Reportedly Terrified by Prospect of Palin Win on 'DWTS'

According to Rob Shuter of Popeater.com, folks at ABC are apoplectic over the possibility that Bristol Palin might emerge victorious in the season finale of "Dancing With the Stars" Tuesday night.

Their gripes are ironic, given attempts to force a political message into the outcome of the show, in that they essentially boil down to complaints about a system of elections. Insiders are angry that the DWTS winner could be the contestant most popular among the show's viewers, whose votes determine the outcome, and not necessarily the best dancer.

Shuter wrote Thursday:

"This will be a disaster for the show if Bristol wins," one TV insider tells me. "Any creditability the show had will be over. It will go from being a dancing competition to a popularity competition where whoever has the most rabid fan base will always win no matter how little talent they have."

Given the litany of stars that have appeared on the show - many of them sub-par dancers - it seems strange that "TV insiders" would suddenly discover the importance of a merit-based reality show. Isn't the point of the "viewers vote" system that the contestant who most appeals to those viewers wins?

Apparently not, according to some at ABC. A Palin victory could spell doom for "Dancing With the Stars", some say:

"Another problem the producers foresee is that after Bristol wins no one in Hollywood will ever want to be on the show again," a well-placed ABC source tells me. "Why would a real star want to compete and lose against someone like [former U.S. Senate candidate] Christine O'Donnell or Levi Johnston. It's humiliating. The producers know they are in big trouble for sure."

And it's not just future contestants and viewers that the show needs to worry about. A friend of one of the judges tells me Bristol has made a fool out of all of them. It's now painfully obvious that the judge's scores and opinions mean nothing.

Does DWTS have political implications? It seems almost absurd even to ask. At the very least, the national sensation over Bristol's "candidacy" - and the apparent freak-out taking place at ABC - is highly entertaining.