Dancing With the Stars

Mark Ballas: Argument with Bristol Palin was a 45-minute talk

Oct. 9, 2012 at 5:57 PM ET

Adam Taylor / ABC /
Mark Ballas and Bristol Palin had a bit of a tiff during rehearsals last week.

The pre-taped video packages on Monday night’s "Dancing With the Stars" showed how celebrities contributed to the creativity of the couple’s dance. Alas, Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas’ video segment was dedicated to a conflict between the pair.

A teary Palin shared with Ballas her concern that he’d be happier with past partners Shawn Johnson or Sabrina Ryan (who are scoring higher), or that he’d prefer to leave the competition altogether rather than continue with her.

The Clicker spoke to Ballas after the show to get the scoop on what went down.

The conflict, which culminated in Palin walking out of the rehearsal hall “was a minute and a half of a 45-minute conversation," Ballas sad. "The rest of the week was fine and we had (on Monday night) our best performance.”

What about the rehearsal that Palin said Ballas missed? Well, technically, it turns out that he didn’t skip it.

“I missed the morning rehearsal,” the two-time mirror ball trophy winner explains. “I called ahead of time and let her know that I was running late. I had some personal issues with my family. I came to rehearsal, and then we made up for that time later in the evening.”

What ideas did Palin end up contributing to the duo’s chess-themed paso doble? “She didn’t really have a concept at first,” Ballas told us. “I said to her, ‘What do you like in terms of color and pictures?’ She said, ‘Black and white.’ I thought, ‘How about chess?’ [So] I was the Black King and she was the White Queen.”

On the post-show press line, stars and dancers defended Palin, noting that blowups between pros and partners simply come with the territory.

“I’m way too familiar with arguments,” joked pro Tony Dovolani, whose past partners include Kate Gosselin and Wendy Williams.

“I love Bristol,” added Melissa Rycroft, Dovolani’s celebrity partner. “She’s got a lot of stuff coming at her. I hope she does well.”

“We were warming up in the back and didn’t hear it,” deflected pro Derek Hough, adding with a shrug, “Fights happen.”

However, one pro dancer who did see the blowup said that it didn’t sit well with him.

“Seeing a fellow pro be belittled, yeah, that affects me,” said Valentine Chmerkovskiy. He hastened to add, “I don’t know that she belittled him, but whenever a celebrity questions the integrity of their coach, for me, that’s an offense. So, no, I don’t ever feel comfortable when there’s a conflict.”

Who do you think should shoulder the bigger share of the blame: Mark or Bristol? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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