Reality Check: Jennie Goes Home, Marie Likely Winner on 'Dancing'

If you'd checked with me at the beginning of "Dancing with the Stars," I would have told you in no uncertain terms that Marie Osmond was just a space-filler — a Leeza Gibbons or a Jerry Springer.

I thought she'd be occasionally fun to watch, but I was sure she stood more of a chance of walking on the moon than landing a mirror-ball trophy.

Back then, my money would have been on dainty and graceful Jennie Garth, who this week was sent home.

But after a series of amusing and tight performances, more one-liners than even Tom Bergeron could keep up with and one painstakingly chronicled fainting spell, the 48-year-old mother of eight seems destined to walk away a winner.

Here's the thing: People really love Osmond. Really, really love, and for good reason. I mean, she's survived a number of circumstances — child stardom, post-partum depression and divorce — that have driven others to addiction, death and appearances on "Celebrity Fit Club."

But it's not just that. No matter how much you may want to write her off as corny or saccharine or in over her head, she somehow manages to make you root for her.

Maybe it's growing up with all those siblings. Maybe it's that she's still standing after all these years in the entertainment business. Maybe it's her fierce determination (I mean, who else, after fainting, gets up and takes a bow?) Whatever it is, it has audiences fighting the good fight for her.

Even when her dances haven't earned her top scores from the judges, those viewers have made certain that she's stayed in the game.

Now that she's truly rising to the occasion and earning those 10s from the judges, it seems she has nowhere to end up but on top. Helio and Mel, consider yourselves warned.

And speaking of unpredictable, who could have guessed that "Bachelor" Brad Womack would end up leaving both of his lovely ladies in the lurch? While I was surprised, I have to respect the guy for not being willing to propose simply because that's what he was supposed to do.

But it does make me wonder what, exactly, he was expecting. This is the 11th season of "The Bachelor," and Trista and Ryan are the only ones who ever ended up happily ever after (though Byron Velvick and Mary Delgado, from the sixth season, are still said to be together).

Obviously, the chances of finding a wife after several televised dates are slim to none, but maybe he figured those odds weren't that bad. And maybe he would have been right.

Those are better stats, after all, than I originally would have given Marie.

Anna David is a freelance writer. Her novel, "Party Girl," is in stores now.