We're in shock. Scratch that. We're in disappointment. When you break it down, it's not too shocking that Brandy was the one eliminated from the DWTS Season 11 Semifinals instead of Bristol Palin. Sad, but not shocking. Here's why:
1. Bristol has a loyal fan base Nixon called it "The Silent Majority." People sitting at home who vote and vote and vote for Bristol and don't talk about it. They are not the loud voices commenting on message boards and blogs. Casual fans seem to have embraced Bristol. Brooke Burke has supported her, and many other moms are rallying around this young girl who is trying to turn her life around.
2. Brandy was assumed to be safe Bristol has been called "the underdog" so many times, fans feel like they have to vote for her in order for her to be safe. With Brandy, there was an assumption that of course she'd be in the finals. Of course it would come down to Brandy vs. Jennifer. Duh! Brandy's status as a lock removed the "vote for me" urgency. Bristol and Kyle seemed like the ones who needed voters' help. But that left Brandy swinging in the breeze.
3. Brandy didn't have an exciting night It was Jennifer Grey's perfect night to shine. She was top of the leader board and her background package — with cameos from her tearful husband and our favorite regular, Jamie Lee Curtis — was the most emotional. Bizarrely enough, Brandy's package covered some of the same turf — fatal car accidents — but Jen has her age, injuries, and legacy to lift her up. Brandy had a perfect scoring Argentine Tango and a triple 9 scoring Paso Doble, but neither dance was emotional, exciting or memorable enough to prompt casual fans to rush to their phones. Brandy's Tango got the coveted "encore dance" on the Results Show, but it just reminded us of how much better Erin Andrews' Tango with Maks was last season.
4. Brandy wanted it too much This comment was brought up during the pro dancers' analysis of the Semifinalists. Brandy wanted to win too badly. The desperation was seeping out of her pores. She could come off as alternately needy, insecure, and too Stepford perfect, depending on the moment. She seemed to tell people what they wanted to hear, campaigning hard in total Miss America "world peace" style. Her dances with Maks were sometimes clinical. Technically perfect, but emotionally cold ... except for her tears afterward. She didn't have enough of a personal connection to the audience as a regular girl — cool, funny, goofy, shy, whatever. Instead, she seemed like a more pageant perfect version of last season's winner, Nicole Scherzinger — another pop star who also had dance talent and emotional drama from day one.
5. Maks' temper may have turned off some fans A lot of fans wanted this to be Maks' season. He has been in the finals three times and Maks lovers were hoping the fourth time would be the charm. (We predicted Brandy would win this season and the focus would be on Maks.) But many other viewers are tired of Maks getting frustrated and speaking out whenever things don't go his way. Everyone gets judged, but not every pro feels compelled to interrupt the judges and argue with them during the show — never mind pushing their celeb partners so hard they spank them and get called out about it in front of the judges. It creates unnecessary drama, puts the spotlight on Maks instead of his partner and turns off people who might otherwise have supported Brandy. Although the Maks/Brandy/Judges drama took a backseat this week, fans who got fed up earlier in the season may have already transferred their loyalties to another couple. MORE BRANDY & MAKS DRAMA: Brandy and Maks: Who Have They Dated Over the Years? Maks Apologizes for Getting Angry at Carrie Ann