Is Bristol Palin's 'Dancing with the Stars' Vote a 2012 Precursor?

Is the voting for who wins this year's "Dancing with the Stars" a foreshadowing of the presidential elections in 2012?

Before answering that question, readers are advised to watch Bristol Palin's dance routines from Monday night:

Now, here are Jennifer Grey's routines:

If you weren't predisposed to either contestant - didn't know who they were, had no feelings one way or another - who would you say had the better performances?

Regardless of your answer, that's probably  irrelevant, for these television contests have for years been more about popularity than skill, which makes this one even more fascinating given Palin's involvement.

A televised talent show has once again become political, and America's votes are similarly so.

If you doubt that, just imagine the number of people that voted Monday evening without having watched one episode of this program but are suddenly engaged because of the political overtones.

Guilty as charged.

But this isn't the first time this has happened.

Readers are reminded of 2009's "American Idol" finals when the clearly more talented Adam Lambert squared off against Kris Allen.

Though the flashy and flamboyant Lambert hailed from San Diego, he was considered Hollywood through and through. By contrast, the more humble Allen was from a small town in Arkansas, and thus became a darling of the heartland.

As the two finalists were chosen just months after President Obama's inauguration, the contest became another battle between Blue and Red states, with Lambert representing the former and Allen the latter.

To the astonishment of most music critics that saw Lambert as being far more talented, Allen prevailed, and Red staters felt a little vindication following the drubbing they took in the previous election.

Now America is faced with another televised battle with such overtones - even more so because this time the Red stater just so happens to be the daughter of one of the nation's foremost conservative leaders and a possible candidate for president.

By contrast, Grey is a movie star bringing with her all the baggage that entails.

So once again, the nation's political divide is playing out on our television sets. Even brainless entertainment that's supposed to take us away from the harsh realities of daily life can no longer do so.

If you question this conclusion, ask yourself who Democrats and Republicans are supporting in this contest, and in particular, who Barack, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha voted for.

Much as Allen's surprising victory over Lambert in 2009 might have been part of the Tea Party revolt that began in earnest weeks earlier, so too might that be said of Bristol's success in "DWTS" up to this point.

If it carries her through to victory Tuesday evening, political pundits on both sides of the aisle will surely be wondering what it means for the upcoming presidential campaign.

Don't touch that dial.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.