Have Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas really put their bust-up behind them? Or are the smiles all for show? Mark Ballas has been pretty chivalrous, as he spoke to the press about falling out with Bristol, behind the scenes at Dancing With The Stars. Palin has hardly been doing well on the show – she’s not exactly a popular character and she’s scored pretty low each week that the show has been on. “We love each other," Ballas explained to People Magazine. "Sometimes people piss each other off. We've swept it under the rug and carried on. We had a rough day out of many, many, many days that we've spent together." Pretty generous behavior, given that she accused him of being mentally and physically absent from some of their rehearsals together.
Palin also accused Mark Ballas of wishing that he had been dancing with his former partners, such as Sabrina Bryan or Shawn Johnson, though he insists that isn’t the case, stressing that whilst he will “continue to support them… Bristol is my number one and I'll always be here 100 percent.” The media, of course, will be looking for the smallest sign of ongoing drama, though Mark insists that the row is behind them. “We're fine," Ballas said backstage after the show. "We've danced together before. This isn't our first season together. The last season we did together, we didn't argue once – nothing, we were just chill. So the fact that we've made it through a season and a quarter and this is now our first fight is amazing.”
Is this just a front from Ballas and Palin though? Bristol herself hasn’t been quite as vocal on the matter – though she’s hardly renowned for being tactful when she’s faced with pressure, so maybe the show’s producers are trying to make sure that Mark does all the talking. It will be interesting to see how the pair get on for the remainder of the series… for however long they remain.
They've been waiting a couple of weeks, but the third week of the new series of Dancing With The Stars finally saw the 11 remaining couples seek to expand their dance repertoire and bring in some high flying moves that pleased the crowd no end. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the previous two weeks of the show have worryingly looked like a re-hash both structurally and dance performance-wise of the previous 14 season.
This week however it seems that some of the couples fancied trying something new with pride of place going to Derek Hough and Shawn Johnson, who tackled a quickstep that was pretty far out by Dancing With The Stars standards. The pair flaunted the rule that says they shouldn't break hold, but they more than made up for it with a series of springboard flips and wonderfully well-synced steps. They received unanimous praise from the judges. "One thing I've learned on this show is that I want to have really good dances that I can go back to and enjoy," Hough said backstage. "I don't go home two years from now and look at my sevens or my nines and my eights."
The thinking behind the pair's routine was clear; with judges scores only counting for 50%, some standout moves in an otherwise not-technically-perfect performance could well win over the audiences who vote the other 50%.
The Dancing With The Stars contestants didn’t show any signs of slacking as the show entered its second week, reports CBS News.
The first episode of DWTS usually features an impressive bow: the stars having had three weeks to prepare their routines, but as the show continues, they only have one, which in the past, has caused standards to drop. But not this time; Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, Comic actress Kirstie Alley and Girl band singer Sabrina Bryan all delivered confident, sparkling performances to increase the pressure on their rivals. "I have something no one else can do, it's like my secret weapon," said Johnson, a gold medal-winning gymnast, using her considerable and bendy talents to her advantage. The quality now is astounding, and any weak dance will be punished quickly, as there’s no room for mistakes. Fellow Olympian Apolo Ohno put the pressure on sports stars competing to succeed: "As an Olympian, if you're not in the top 3, you're not on the podium," he said, before delivering a composed performance. "Speed with control," said judge Len Goodman. Determination, focus and hard work!" lauded Bruno Tonioli. “Someone put on his competitive pants today!” Joked Carrie Ann Inaba. It was a popular dance indeed.
Elsewhere, French actor Gilles Marini showed incredible synchronization, staking his claim for a continued presence on the show, and shaking off the effects of a strained hamstring, which was the cause of some backstage rehearsal drama. Next week the stars "will take creative control," explained chief judge Goodman. "We want eye-popping stuff".
Shawn Johnson and Dancing With The Stars - Mark Ballas and Olympic gold-medal gymnast Shawn Johnson Los Angeles, California - leaving their first practice for the new season of Dancing with the Stars Tuesday 10th February 2009