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Bristol: 'Thanks for hating on me' for 'Dancing'

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.

“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.

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

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.

“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.

“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.”

“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.”

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.”

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