Bristol Palin's "Dancing With the Stars" partner Mark Ballas said he does not think the popularity or backing of her mother Sarah Palin and the conservative Tea Party movement is the reason the two, who have received some of the lowest scores of the current 11th season, are in the final four.
The two plan to dance the paso doble and waltz on Monday's show, which will also feature performances from their fellow semifinalists - singer Brandy, actress Jennifer Grey and actor Kyle Massey.
"I don't think the reason we're getting through is because of the 'Palin Train' or the Tea Party," Ballas told OnTheRedCarpet.com last week following the elimination of contestant Kurt Warner, a retired NFL star. "People are seeing an improvement, they're seeing a journey, they're seeing growth.
"I also think normal people at home, when they come home from their jobs, come home to their families, sit in their living room, tune into 'Dancing With the Stars' on Monday nights, they watch and they say, 'That's what I'd be like. That's exactly how I would be. I've never done that before,'" Ballas said. "I think people find that relatable."
Bristol Palin has received a considerable amount of criticism for her performances and has been a tabloid favorite ever since her Republican mother's 2008 vice presidential campaign, during which the now-20-year-old was pregnant with her son Tripp at age 18 and out of wedlock.
"Coming to the show, I knew that people were going to talk about me no matter what so I might as well come out and have fun," she said. "There's lots of negative things about being in the spotlight but there's also lots of good things."