Oct. 3, 2012 at 9:37 AM ET
An all-star version of "Dancing With the Stars" is a new concept, yet there appears to be something kind of familiar about this season.
Contestant Bristol Palin, despite receiving the lowest scores among the competitors, has been voted through while arguably more qualified co-stars are gone -- just like she was when she competed in season 11. The reality TV star and pro partner Mark Ballas scored 18 points on Monday’s performance show. But they earned enough viewer votes to survive, so Joey Fatone and partner Kym Johnson, who earned 22.5 points, were sent packing.
“I’m definitely relieved,” Palin told TODAY in the post-show press line. “But it sucks seeing Joey gone.”
Ballas talked to the print portion of the press line last so he was understandably fatigued over questions about why he and Palin managed to elude expulsion or even placing in the bottom two.
“Same story over and over again,” the two-time mirror ball trophy winner lamented. “Every season (some) people with lower scores make it through. The scores make up for half. The most important thing is the fan vote. (The show has) 20 million fans and three judges. We’re grateful to the fans for putting us through.”
But what did the couple think of judge Carrie Ann Inaba’s proclamation on Monday that because Ballas and Palin “slammed” the judges (by breaking a quickstep rule about breaking hold in the middle of the dance) that the judges were going to "slam back"?
“It was pretty ghetto,” Palin responded. “I was just like, ‘OK! Whatever!’ It was pretty laughable.”
“We should write our own rap song called ‘Slam Back,’ ” suggested Ballas.
While the couple has found themselves in controversy once again, they’re not getting caught up in the hype.
“I’m on Twitter,” Ballas said. “But (Bristol) doesn’t really tweet. There are so many haters. At the end of the day it’s just a dance show.”
“This is a positive sign,” said Palin. “We’ve been voted through even though we had the lowest scores. That speaks volumes to anyone hiding behind a cell phone who are tweeting about us.”
“At the end of the day, we’re both human,” Ballas added. “The best thing is to stay away from it. We’re grateful. We’re doing the best we can.”
Apparently, Palin’s developed a bit of a thicker skin this time around -- or at least she’s more used to doing interviews.
“I knew what I was getting myself into when I signed up,” she said of the experience.
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Michael Maloney is the author of “The Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell, creator of The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.”
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