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But voter support for Palin, including get-out-the-vote efforts spearheaded by some conservative bloggers, became a focal point during the “Dancing” season, as week after week Sarah Palin’s daughter outlasted more talented dancers. A flurry of media coverage erupted when Bristol Palin was voted in over Brandy _ who had received a perfect score for her tango _ prompting some viewers to question the veracity of the “Dancing” voting system.

Producers maintained that the system was sound and Palin was just very popular.

The show did experience some voting problems this week. Producers said Tuesday that “a record amount of activity” overloaded its online and telephone voting systems after Monday’s episode.

“Some viewers reported experiencing difficulties registering their votes for the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ finale, which affected each finalist equally,” show producers said in a statement. “The issue was promptly addressed” and voting times were not extended.

Palin acknowledged that the voting frenzy may have been good for the show.

“I think it boosted its ratings,” she said.

Viewer votes are combined with judges’ scores to determine where each couple stands.

Tuesday’s two-hour season finale also included performances by Christina Aguilera and colorful routines from some of the season’s past contestants, including a “Baywatch”-themed number by David Hasselhoff, a dance showdown between pro athletes Rick Fox and Kurt Warner, and a quickstep by Brandy that got a standing ovation.

Comedian Margaret Cho, actress Florence Henderson and reality star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino also appeared on the season closer.

Cho’s professional partner, Louis Van Amstel, has an idea for how the show can top itself next season: “Bring in a same-sex couple,” he said. “Why not?”


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.