It was clear that she was on a course to win the season. Each week her performances (those that I made a point of watching) were exciting, dynamic, creative. The judges, despite some constructive criticism, loved her. And so did the voters.
When they bothered to vote.
From her Wikipedia entry:
This election isn't over, not by a long shot. Election Day isn't until next Tuesday, though it seems that most of the country will have voted before then, those that are going to vote at all. How many others will assume that the election results are a sure thing, a done deal, and not even bother to head out to cast their votes?
On Week 4 of the show, they set another record by receiving a 30/30 from the judges for their paso doble, the earliest any contestant has ever received a perfect score in the show's history. Bryan led all contenders in judges' scoring in Weeks 1, 3, and 4. Bryan received her lowest score, a 25 for a foxtrot, during Week 6, in which she also performed a Rock n' Roll routine with the other contestants. That week, she was voted off; the announcement was met by shock and tears from the show's judges, contestants and live audience, since she and Ballas were favored by many to win the competition. An AOL poll voted their elimination "2007's most shocking TV moment." Her elimination served as a reminder to viewers that they had to vote for the stars and not assume that they'll get by on just talent.
AOL had an excellent interactive Electoral Map on their site yesterday which I cannot locate today. With it I was able to come up with multiple scenarios where John McCain was able to tip some Obama-leaning states into the red and win the Presidential election by anything from a slim to a wide margin - even some scenarios where this could be accomplished, contrary to statements I made earlier, without Pennsylvania. Another version of an interactive Electoral Map can be found at 270towin.com - try out your own scenarios. Yesterday, on my second or third try, I accidentally came up with what has been called the "Nightmare Scenario" - a 269-269 split! Lord save the Union if that happens!
So. Remember the lesson of Sabrina Bryan. Your vote doesn't count if it isn't cast. Don't assume either candidate has won until this election is over. And if you haven't cast your vote before Election Day, make damned sure you cast it on Election Day!