I could be objective about Brandy’s elimination from Dancing with the Stars in the semi-finals. I could try to come up with reasons to explain why Bristol deserves a place in the finals more than Brandy. I could pretend that it’s just another elimination and no big deal.

But I won’t.

Why? Because Brandy’s elimination is a joke. No show that claims to be a dancing competition would ever eliminate such a strong performer when there was an obviously inferior dancer available.

Yes, I said Bristol was an inferior dancer. That’s because she is.

Bristol seems like a lovely person. I admit that she has tried hard and done far better than many (myself included) expected. She deserves many of her successes on Dancing with the Stars.

What she does not deserve is a place in the finals. Not more than Brandy deserves it anyway.

Bristol won because of voter support. She got that voter support by being a “non-star.” She got that voter support by being young and vulnerable. Most of all, she got that voter support by being her mother’s daughter — no matter what your opinion, you have to concede this point if you value honesty.

In contrast, Brandy had her dancing. What non-dancing support she had came from lingering fame, and that worked against Brandy as much as it helped her.

When it comes to voter support versus dancing, dancing never wins. Not on this season of Dancing with the Stars.

How much does dancing not matter? Take a look at the numbers.

Week 1
Brandy dances the Viennese waltz. Bristol dances the cha-cha.

Brandy: 23
Bristol: 18

Week 2
Brandy dances the jive. Bristol dances the quickstep.

Brandy: 21
Bristol: 22

Week 3
Brandy dances the samba. Bristol dances the foxtrot.

Brandy: 24
Bristol: 19

Week 4
Brandy dances the rumba. Bristol dances the rumba.

Brandy: 48
Bristol: 32

Week 5
Brandy dances the quickstep. Bristol dances the jive.

Brandy: 27
Bristol: 18

Week 6
Brandy dances the tango. Bristol dances the tango.

Brandy: 26
Bristol: 23

Week 7
Brandy dances the group cha-cha and the foxtrot. Bristol dances the group cha-cha and the Argentine tango.

Brandy: 64 (27 + 37)
Bristol: 57 (24 + 33)

Week 8
Brandy dances the waltz and the cha-cha. Bristol dances the Argentine tango and the samba.

Brandy: 57 (29 + 28)
Bristol: 47 (24 + 23)

Week 9
Brandy dances the paso doble and the Argentine tango. Bristol dances the paso doble and the waltz.

Brandy: 57 (27 + 30)
Bristol: 53 (27 + 26)

And there you have it. Brandy out-danced Bristol in all but one week. And Brandy was only 1 point behind Bristol in that anomalous second week.

Yes, popularity is part of the equation on Dancing with the Stars. It should be. Why should a technically great — but hated — dancer stick around? Still, dancing should be more important.

As long as Dancing with the Stars pretends to be a dancing competition and not a popularity contest, dancing should be the key to success.

Because when it doesn’t, this is what we get. And it’s what we deserve, for allowing popularity to trump technique.

Enjoy the finals everyone!

What do you think? Did Bristol deserve to make the finals ahead of Brandy? Or does this result expose a flaw in the Dancing with the Stars system? Let us know your opinions in the comments section below!

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.