LOS ANGELES — Is a voting bloc of Sarah Palin supporters enough to give daughter Bristol the mirrorball trophy on "Dancing With the Stars"? Or will Jennifer Grey's perfect score land her the win?
Grey comes into Tuesday's finale in first place. She and professional partner Derek Hough earned a perfect score for their two dances on Monday's show — the final bid for viewer votes, which count for half of contestants' total scores.
Actor Kyle Massey finished Monday's episode in second place with 56 points out of a possible 60, while Bristol Palin landed in third with 52 points. All three stars will perform two dances on Tuesday's show before a new "Dancing" champ is named.
Palin has made it to the finals despite so-so and at times poor performances. She said it was challenging to overcome the flurry of media coverage that erupted when she was voted in over Brandy — who had received a perfect score for her tango — on the hit ABC show, prompting some viewers to question the veracity of the "Dancing" voting system.
At the announcement on that particular episode, Brandy was speechless, and Hough's jaw quite literally dropped. The next morning, "Dancing" fan Kimberly Fishman arrived at her job at a northern California bank. She was furious at the result, and so were co-workers. "People were saying it's the tea party voting, that all of Alaska voted," she said. "It's all politics."
Palin's improbable run to the finals has been championed by websites such as conservative blogger Kevin DuJan's Hillbuzz.org, leading to such an uproar that conspiracy theories are floating.
"Are you planning on hosting a Team Bristol Monday Night Dancing Watch party?" reads a post on his website. "You ... can actually vote together and send Bristol over the top ... while sending Leftist heads into meltdown."
Though Palin said on Monday's episode that "there's lots of haters out there that are waiting for me to fail," the 20-year-old single mom said after the show that she feels she deserves to win.
"We've been working our butts off," she said.
How would it feel for Grey to take home the show's mirrorball trophy?
Grey won't even consider it until Tuesday's dances are done.
"I think it's bad juju," she said after earning a perfect 60 points on Monday's episode.
Massey and his professional partner, Lacey Schwimmer, said they've been having so much fun dancing together, they can hardly believe they actually have a chance at the title.
"We have a one-in-three shot," Schwimmer said.
"It'll be crazy if we win," Massey said. "I'll be excited. I'll probably do the worm again."
The 19-year-old Disney Channel star did the retro dance move during his freestyle routine on Monday's show.
Though viewer voting is closed, each contestant will add the judges' scores for their two dances Tuesday to their overall Monday totals. The dancer with the highest combined total of judges' points and viewer votes will become the new "Dancing" champ.