1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: Bristol Palin
FRED PROUSER  /  Reuters
Bristol Palin is taking all the criticism directed at her dancing in stride.
Access Hollywood
updated 11/16/2010 5:20:18 PM ET 2010-11-16T22:20:18

Bristol Palin has survived weeks of low scores on “Dancing with the Stars,” and more recently, a barrage of criticism about whether or not she even belongs among the last celebrities standings — something she addressed after Monday night’s show.

“What do you want to say to them?” AccessHollywood.com’s Laura “Dish of Salt” Saltman asked the 20-year-old single mom backstage at Monday night’s “DWTS,” regarding her critics.

PHOTOS: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 11 Highlights! Part II

  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

“Well, thanks for hating on me because that’s just going to [give] me more motivation,” Palin said of how the haters have inspired her to improve by leaps and bounds.

Bristol vs. Brandy: Who had better dance?

“I’m blessed to still be around and I’m thankful for our fans that keep voting us through,” she added.

PHOTOS: Ballroom Bristol Palin - From Alaska To ‘Dancing’

  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

On Monday’s competition round of “Dancing,” Palin and partner, Mark Ballas, got some of their highest scores of the season, including a 27 in the first round for a paso doble, the same score Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovksiy earned for the same dance.

Story: 'Dancing' semifinals prove semi-predictable

“I was thrilled,” Palin said of her first round scores. “I was so excited. ... They’ve never said that much positive feedback to us so it was good.”

Ballas said their smooth moves didn’t come easily — the two put in some major training effort.

PHOTOS: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 11: The Official Cast Shots

“We’re working long, long days and long hours as much as we can and dress rehearsal went really well,” Ballas said before turning his attention to Palin and their last dance — a waltz to a song from the motion picture “Passion of the Christ.”

Story: Bristol: 'There's no politics involved' on 'Dancing'

“You turned into somebody else on that last one,” Ballas told his partner. “You turned around and I was like, ‘Oh! All right! Game on! Let’s go!’ It really felt good. I was really proud.”

  1. Most popular

PHOTOS: ‘Dancing’s’ Viewer-Voted Top 10 Dances Of All Time

Additionally, the professional dancer revealed that it was his idea to perform their semi-final round waltz to a song from the Mel Gibson movie.

“John Denby is one of my favorite composers and that song is just so powerful and it’s something that I think both of us really believe in and we’re passionate about the music,” Ballas explained. “It’s just moving ... my favorite thing in the world is music and to be moved by music is just the most beautiful thing ... and especially if you watched the movie, when that song is playing [over] the scene that’s happening it’s just so inspiring and so motivating. The song is just gorgeous and I’ve always wanted to dance to it.”

Story: The politics that keep Bristol shimmying on 'Dancing'

Copyright 2013 by NBC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Season 16

loading photos...
  1. Call the fashion police!

    "Dancing With the Stars" is known for its lively judges, sexy dancers, and of course, its sometimes questionable costumes. Check out some of our favorite odd outfits from the season, and why they may have been better off left in the dressing rooms. -- Anna Chan

    On March 25, Wynonna Judd and pro partner Tony Dovolani donned cop costumes for a sad quickstep that was slower than molasses. Oddly enough, judge Bruno Tonioli "loved the bonkers cop idea." We're not so sure "Fashion Police" boss Joan Rivers would agree. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Throw them a life saver!

    "Bachelor" Sean Lowe and pro Peta Murgatroyd offered up a sloppy jive that left the judges wanting on March 25. But their matchy-matchy yellow outfits only sank them further. Granted, Peta can pull off pretty much any atrocity, but Sean? What's up with those lemon yellow pajama bottoms? Don't lifeguards wear swim trunks? (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Stayin' alive

    Head judge Len Goodman got into the theme on April 1 when "DWTS" went back to the prom. Ruffled shirts were never hot, so why not make them hot pink? (Hey, we all know the costume department doesn't always choose the best colors.) (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Pretty in pink

    Oh, the hair! The one glove! The pink bows on her dress! Co-host Brooke Burke has looked nothing but stunning all season (a surprise, as her wardrobe in the past has been rather questionable). Yet during prom week, she let go of the glam. We'll forgive her this one and only fashion faux pas of the season. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Going to the Y

    While the rest of the "DWTS" cast went to the prom on April 1, Peta and Sean somehow missed the memo and went to the YMCA instead as the Village People. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Prom? So what?

    Every prom has them: the anti-prom kids who are too cool for school. For the "DWTS" bash, that was Wynonna and Tony, who got all rockered out. Normally, we wouldn't take issue with this, but Tony! The mullet! Really?!?!? It's almost as bad as Maksim Chmerkovskiy's Mick Jagger wig from last season! (Nice boots, though.) (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. She's golden

    As gorgeous as Peta is, even she couldn't quite pull off those questionable gold bell bottoms and giant hair when she and Sean danced a highly praised quickstep on April 15. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Let's boogie!

    On April 22, Team Samba (or as Andy Dick preferred to call it, Team Pickler Dick) took the the ballroom bash with a '70s-themed dance complete with the decade's questionable fashions. Among the low lights? The guys' creepy mustaches. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Not so easy on the eyes

    On Latin Night April 29, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and pro partner Mark Ballas took on a salsa that had the judges raving. What the panel didn't rave about were the seasick green/blue getups both wore. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A little young?

    On May 6, Aly and pro partner Mark were joined by Henry Byalikov for a trio jive full of shimmies and shakes for the 18-year-old gymnast -- and also a saucy red garter. Not that we're prudes, but did we mention yet that Aly's only 18? (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  1. LOUIE ANDERSON, KATHERINE WEBB, WYNONNA JUDD, TONY DOVOLANI
    Adam Taylor / ABC
    Above: Slideshow (10) 'Dancing's' worst outfits - Season 16
  2. APOLO ANTON OHNO, KARINA SMIRNOFF
    Adam Taylor / ABC
    Slideshow (14) 'Dancing's' worst outfits - All-Stars
  3. TOM BERGERON, ANNA TREBUNSKAYA, JACK WAGNER
    Adam Taylor / ABC
    Slideshow (17) 'Dancing's' worst outfits - Season 14
  4. Image: Cheryl Burke, Rob Kardashian
    Adam Taylor / ABC
    Slideshow (16) 'Dancing's' worst outfits - Season 13
  5. Image: Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas
    Adam Taylor / ABC
    Slideshow (14) 'Dancing's' worst outfits - Season 12
  6. KYLE MASSEY, LACEY SCHWIMMER
    Adam Larkey / ABC
    Slideshow (13) 'Dancing's' worst outfits - Season 11
  1. ASHLY COSTA, BUZZ ALDRIN
    Adam Larkey / ABC
    Slideshow (19) 'Dancing's' worst outfits - Season 10
  2. ABC
    Slideshow (27) 'Dancing's' worst outfits - Season 9

Video: Lacey Schwimmer on same-sex 'Dancing'

Discuss: Do you think Bristol can win the mirror ball trophy?

Monday night, she saw her highest score of the season, which also happened to tie Brandy's score for the same dance.

Discussion comments

,

More on TODAY.com

  1. Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images

    video Obama on ISIS: ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’

    8/29/2014 11:54:00 AM +00:00 2014-08-29T11:54:00
  1. Shanee Gibson Hart/Facebook

    Little boy wins our hearts with response to mom’s baby news: ‘This is exasperating!’

    8/28/2014 2:25:46 PM +00:00 2014-08-28T14:25:46
  1. Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing.

    8/28/2014 10:32:57 PM +00:00 2014-08-28T22:32:57
  1. Jason Merritt / Getty Images

    Before Brangelina: 7 other celeb couples who secretly tied the knot

    8/28/2014 7:04:52 PM +00:00 2014-08-28T19:04:52