Carrie Ann Inaba: 'It's a Shocker' Bristol Palin Is Still on 'Dancing'
The judge also says the threats sent to the studio - such as an envelope containing white powder addressed to Palin - "can be scary."
Bristol Palin has consistently received low scores on Dancing With the Stars, yet has remained on the ABC hit.
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba admits she's surprised.
"My theory is that she represents the every day girl, and the interesting part of the show is that you’ve got this girl next door who’s obviously not a celebrity and not a performer out here running neck and neck with an R&B singer, a guy who’s got his own TV show, and Jennifer Grey, and I feel that people are living vicariously through her. They’re like, I get it, she’s like me," she tells the Wall Street Journal. "But still, it’s a shocker."
Inaba compares Palin -- who received the lowest scores on Monday's finale -- to Kelly Osbourne, who came in third place in 2009. "I think in the beginning of the season, I compared Bristol and Kelly, because there’s a similar vulnerability to them."
The judge says all the negative attention Palin has been receiving this season has been tough on her -- and the rest of the competitors.
"I think that it must affect them — but mostly affects Bristol, because most of the comments are being directed to them as a team…I mean, we have standards and practices monitoring the votes, it’s all legit," says Inaba. "The American public just seems to be speaking louder this year. When people ask me if the right person has won, I always say yes, because the concept of the show is not, who is the best dancer? It’s who’s going to win the mirror ball trophy on all these challenges factoring in."
The winner will be selected on Tuesday's show. Inaba isn't sure if security will be upgraded in light of one viewer shooting his TV in anger over Palin, and another sending an envelope with white power addressed to her at the studio.
"It can be scary because there are people whose sense of reality is not the same as everyone else. I would never imaging taking a gun and shooting at my TV because of a reality game show," says Inaba. "It’s scary, and being on national TV for all of us, you just have to be careful and just watch out, because when people approach you, you don’t really know what their intentions are. It’s kind of sad that it has to be that way, but the world has its ups and downs."