Bristol Palin and The Situation Bring Us the World's Most Awkward PSA

In one of the weirder zeitgeist-y mashups we’ve seen in a while, Bristol Palin and The Situation have teamed up for a “Pause Before You Play” PSA for Candie’s. While well-intentioned I’m sure, the result is painfully awkward to behold:

Yeesh. Not only is this combo of people a horrifying yet probably accurate representation of our current media climate (two years ago if someone would have told me that Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter would team up for a sex PSA with an MTV reality show personality and it would be relevant because they were starring in a dance-off show together that caused someone to shoot his television, I’d have have had a tough time believing it), but this PSA is more awkward than a bad blind date.

First of all, why does The Situation appear to have morphed into a sleazy bobblehead? He’s wobbling around, hitting on women and flashing *magnum* (wink!) condoms all over the place. Also, Bristol Palin’s—excuse me, “B.” Palin’s— wooden delivery and “Situation”-related puns make for more of an education in interpersonal weirdness than sex. Oh, and to top it off, the two of them are wearing glittery dance costumes and are apparently having this conversation on the set of Dancing with the Stars. You know, because that really lends some credibility to this whole thing. (No it doesn’t.)

Now, I don’t mean to disparage the message being sent here. If this PSA gets people to “pause before they play” and consider safer sex, then who cares how clunky and off-putting it is? However, I can’t help but think that Candie’s phoned it in a bit. Though some of their PSAs have been iffy in the past (including another one starring Bristol Palin) they’ve at least been more coherent and less slapped-together than this current situation.

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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17 Comments Have Been Posted


More BP pollution that requires less drilling.

Ugggh watching that PSA made

Ugggh watching that PSA made me want to have unsafe sex. Way to go pseudo-civicminded, slavelabor-made shoe company!

oh, giiiiirl, puh-leaze

Is Sitch (?!) fooling anyone?

She's Already Had A Situation

If this was REALLY about safe sex she should have taken the condoms, no matter how "abstinent" she was. Not to mention her mother doesn't want teenagers to have access to birth control! Ah!

Props to The Situation, Acting Lessons to B. Palin

Hey! It's a PSA about sex, directed at teens. I liked that Candies offered two views on avoiding STD situations, and I even found "The Situation's" acting to be lighthearted and fun. However, Bristol Palin looked so nervous! She rocked back and forth through the whole thing, using her body language to broadcast the PSA: "I am EXTREMELY nervous on camera!" Surely they could have done a few more takes, or at least let B. Palin get comfortable with the back-and-forth some more. This looks like the first or second take!


No, actually I think it's quite effective. I think the idea is that it deals such a crippling blow to the viewer's sex drive that they abstain from sex at least until they can forget this commercial.


...and what do you mean "morphed" into a sleazy bobblehead, as if there's a difference from his usual persona?

The bobbling...

is what got me. I know he's sleazy on the Jersey Shore, but why can't he stand still in this video? He looks like he's going to topple over!

It's the spirit of the dance.

It's the spirit of the dance. Or maybe the sequins are itchy.

Bona fide awful The Situation is a person. That clarifies some of the references I've seen on TV blogs.

Anyway, this PSA is not just awkward; it's downright misguided. If the point is to promote safety for the sexually active, why does it spend the majority of its duration discussing Bristol Palin's (lack of) sex life? I perked up when he handed her a condom just in case...then she asserted that she knew she'd never need it because she's a proper abstinent girl now. Because no one EVER changes their mind in the heat of the moment, and those situations TOTALLY don't account for many teen pregnancies. The message is not "Pause before you play;" it's "Contraception is unnecessary unless you're a sleazy dude who actually plans to have sex!" It's not progressive, or a public service, at all.

100% agree with you. I can

100% agree with you. I can deal with awkward, unpolished advertising, but SHE SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE CONDOM. the end.

I actually liked that advert.

I actually liked that advert. It did what very few safe-sex adverts have ever done, which is hold my attention for the entire time. Although I agree with TheBadassMuppet that it would've been better if Palin had taken one just in case, I DO appreciate that abstinence was explored alongside protection. Because it as a preventative shouldn't be ignored.

But this is coming from someone who has been swept up by The Jersey Shore phenomenon. I'm sitting very comfortably right in the target demographic for this ad.

They're also promoting Magnum

They're also promoting Magnum condoms, and using them to look like 'a big deal', when they'll probably just make the safe sex less safe! Regular size condoms stretch, A LOT. Magnums get loose and messy.

Of course, no comment was

Of course, no comment was made about how using a condom in the first place could have helped her avoid her current " I know how hard it is to be a Teen Mom" situation, or how any initial intentions she may have had to be abstinent didn't turn out as planned.

"You may end up with a situation... "

'The Situation' comments, "YOU may end up with a situation and you may not like that situation..." I interpreted this as him saying if she gets pregnant (again) then it will be her sole responsibility to care for the hypothetical baby...which is an awful reality for most teen mothers. His comment reinforces the notion that it is a woman's burden to endure and not a shared one between her and her partner. This video is a disaster. Not effective. It makes safe sex laughable and abstinence the only answer for "good girls."

"First of all, why does The

"First of all, why does The Situation appear to have morphed into a sleazy bobblehead? He's wobbling around, hitting on women and flashing *magnum* (wink!) condoms all over the place"

You mean he has a different persona on the show?

Wow. If the prospect of sex

Wow. If the prospect of sex with The Situation isn't an effective form of birth control, I don't know what is.

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