Fanny Mare said, "When they announced it last season, it was returning winners, fan favorites and controversial dancers."
Before the season started, I stated that both Bristol and Sabrina were returning for the element of controversy. Plainly, the producers have always liked to keep a little controversy going - some seasons much more than others. This season is no exception.
It appeared to me to be almost a cause/effect type thing with Bristol in her previous season. The more hate generated toward her, it appeared to me the more votes she received, and it did not matter what judges' scores she received. The fan votes buoyed up the judges' scores.
The judges are scoring Bristol lower this season, and she is aware of that, according to her statement about the 6s. However, it would appear that the fan vote is again buoying up the lower judges' score, much in the same way that a lower fan vote hurt Joey's higher judge's score as well as Helio's who also ended up in what appeared from the way it was worded as the true bottom 2.
Bristol's appearance and dancing have both improved; however, they are not on the same level as most of the others. It would appear that she and Mark are also cognizant of that. If the fans vote for her - regardless of the source of those fan votes - than that is just the way it is. ( realistic shrug?) My guess is that if the judges give her 5s right now, a "determined" fan group, thinking foul, would only vote in greater numbers to ensure her safety.
Sabrina is quite the capable dancer. The problem before was that her fan base was made up primarily of kids and teens - the Disney fans. Is her current fan base and the fan base they are developing strong enough to carry her through?
Kirstie is a generally well-liked and known TV star - funny, and we want to pull for her. Here is the controversy. She is also 61 - as she said, "3 life-times of Shawn ( at 20)." It remains to be seen how far Kirstie's popularity and fanbase can carry her along with all of the others.
Also, several seasons ago, we posted an interview from producer Conrad Green. In that interview, he stated that he liked to hire people "who have a story." This explained to me why some people - questionable to us as a "star" - ended up sometimes on the show.
Maybe if we keep this thought in mind, we might understand his reason for putting some of the people on in the first place and for bringing back others as well.