Grey was the most accomplished dancer among the three finalists, and ended the improbable run of Bristol Palin, who started her freestyle dance routine in a cage Monday in front her mother Sarah Palin seated with the audience. Still, Bristol overcame her lack of dance expertise, mediocre marks from the judges, media outcry over her narrow escapes from elimination, and even alleged death threats, to reach the finale of the hit ABC reality series which was held amidst heightened security.
Palin, who trailed Grey and fellow finalist Kyle Massey in every round of judging, was eliminated first, with Grey named the winner minutes later.
There hasn’t been this much attention surrounding the finale of a reality series since the maiden season of Survivor and the early cycles of Fox’s American Idol.
The final Nielsen ratings show that Monday’s Dancing With The Stars (23.7 million, 4.9/13 in adults 18-49) posted the strongest results for a Dancing performance finale in six seasons, since the fifth cycle’s Monday finale in November 2007. (Dancing airs two cycles every broadcast season.) Versus last year, the show was up by 3.3 million viewers and by 23% in 18-49.
This story was originally reported by Nellie Andreeva for Deadline.com.