We wondered if maybe voters would save them, or if Bristol Palin’s fan base would’ve disappeared after Season 11. We even worried about Joey Fatone andKym Johnson since they danced first and ended up close to the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard. (Weirdly enough, we never thought to worry about Drew Lachey andAnna Trebunskaya, who ended up in the bottom two!) But in the end, a combination of low scores, lack of rehearsal time and Pam and Tristan’s status as the ultimate underdogs of this season contributed to their early departure.
THEY NEVER HAD ENOUGH PUBLIC SUPPORT Pamela placed sixth back on DWTS Season 10. She was the only non-finalist to be selected for the season. Sabrina Bryan is the only other non-finalist competing, but she was voted in by viewers, so she already had the vote behind her. It remained to be seen if viewers would support Pamela. Maybe she would’ve had more general viewer support if she’d come out with a stronger routine, but that didn’t happen.
SHE DIDN’T SPEND ENOUGH TIME REHEARSING Tristan told On the Red Carpet they did put the hours in for their Week 1 Cha-Cha-Cha — despite the judges’ comments about Pam needing to do more work — but Pamela admitted she was traveling a lot in the past couple of weeks and that took away from some dancing time. She was planning to change things as they moved forward, but it was too late. Maybe we can see that Broadway dance she was talking about when they return on the finale.
THE SCORES DON’T LIE Agree or disagree, the judges felt Pamela and Tristan’s routine was the weakest of the evening. Their score of 17 out of 30 ended up being two points below the score for Kirstie Alley andMaksim Chmerkovskiy. The champions’ routines before Pam and Tris were all so polished and advanced, it made Pam’s routine look less refined than it may have seemed on an ordinary season. Kirstie and Bristol didn’t fare much better score-wise, but it was a surprise to see Bristol have more confidence and technique than she had back on Season 11, and Kirstie and Maks just continued their vaudeville act from Season 12; they don’t need high scores to stay alive. Pam and Tristan never really had enough time to catch up.
THEY MAY HAVE BEEN TOO SEXY To us, the words “Tristan” and “too sexy” don’t belong together, but this is supposedly a “family show.” Some DWTS viewers were never going to get behind the kind raw sexuality that just oozes out of Pam — especially when she never managed to channel that sexuality into strong technical dancing. Plus, Tristan started the season with an open shirt in a racy, emotional, heated routine. It may have just been too much. For reference, David Hasselhoff andKym Johnson and Ron Artest and Peta Murgatroyd were also eliminated first on Seasons 11 and 13, respectively, after particularly sexy premiere night Cha-Cha-Chas. It’s a Baywatch tradition!
THAT TEA PARTY DIG MAY NOT HAVE HELPED DWTS attracts all kinds of viewers, but a study has shown that it’s a favorite among people who identify as conservative Republicans. So when Pamela (not a conservative) made her comment about Bristol having the Tea Party votes behind her, the sweeping generalization may have annoyed some conservatives — whether they were supporting Bristol or not. Or it may have had no effect at all. But it probably didn’t help for her to make a comment like that about a fellow contestant.
PAM’S PARTING WORDS After Pamela and Tristan were named the couple going home, co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet asked Pam if she saw this coming. “I was ready for it, for sure,” Pamela said. “We got the lowest score. But we’re going to keep dancing. We’re going to dance together. It doesn’t end here.” Good for them!
Are you sorry to see Pam and Tris go, or just relieved that another couple is safe?
Catch a new episode of Dancing With the Stars Season 15: All-Stars on Monday, October 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT onABC.
Gina Carbone is a contributing writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter@ginacarbone.