Think about all the people who hate Bristol Palin's mom!
That's what Bristol the Pistol herself suggested we do on the eve of the Dancing With the Stars semifinals, which tonight featured the controversial "teen activist" going up against hot-to-trot faves Jennifer Grey and Brandy and the irresistibly bubbly Kyle Massey.
But with her insistence that there's no Tea Party conspiracy probably not doing anything to quell suspicion, perhaps Sarah Palin's daughter figured it was time to shut her detractors up with some really great dancing...
And guess what?
She and Mark Ballas totally delivered with a fiery paso doble that was exciting from the first second, if for no other reason than the demure teen was wearing knee-high boots.
But she maintained her ferocity throughout and that, combined with her usual school-girl precision, resulted in raves from the judges—including a hug from Carrie Ann Inaba, who could barely contain herself—and her first-ever trio of 9's.
"Your best dance, fabulous," Len Goodman informed her.
Her waltz didn't do quite as much for the panel, and Carrie Ann was left cold by more than the War & Peace, Russian-winter vibe. But Len and Bruno Tonioli caught a "haunting" quality in the routine that elevated her score on their end.
But it's obviously the peanut gallery that matters in Bristol's case. And regardless of who's been picking up the phone for whom, what we really wanted to see Monday was more than one measly 30...
Grey had Bruno writhing with pleasure after her cha-cha perfecto, a "luminous, vibrant" performance that made it even harder to believe that it's been 23 years since Dirty Dancing.
Carrie called Grey's equally perfect waltz with Derek Hough only "one of the most beautiful things [she'd] ever seen." That's all.
Brandy scored her first 30 of the season on her second-round Argentine tango,a style that really does seem to bring out the best in the women, if only because the lifts are so badass and it's hard not to look sexy when her leg is hooked over her partner's leg and he's stepping back so that she's lunging forward.
That routine was light years past her opening paso doble, which was way more angry than sexy. Perhaps we were distracted by Maksim Chmerkovskiy's leather hightops, but the "amazingly passionate" performance Carrie Ann saw looked more like overacting.
And Kyle almost joined the club, scoring two 10s and on his shimmytastic samba and his Argentine tango, which turns out to be a dance that makes the guys look extra good, too!
Here's tonight's leaderboard:
Jennifer Grey & Derek Hough 60 (30, 30)
Kyle Massey & Lacey Schwimmer 58 (29, 29)
Brandy & Maks Chmerkovskiy 57 (27, 30)
Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas 53 (27, 26)
Annie Lennox and Enrique Iglesias perform on Tuesday's results show, and then three of the remaining stars will move onto the finale.
(Originally published Nov. 15, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. PT)