Improvement keeping Palin on 'DWTS,' not mom

LOS ANGELES /*Bristol Palin*/ has tangoed her way into the semifinals even though she and her partner Mark Ballas have placed in the bottom two of the judges' scoreboard for the past six weeks.

That means it's the viewers and Palin fans who are keeping their dance hopes alive.

"I don't think the reason we're getting through is because of the Palin train or the Tea Party or whatever it's called," said Ballas following last week's elimination of NFL star Kurt Warner. "People at home know what they are looking at and people are seeing an improvement, they're seeing a journey, they're seeing a growth."

"I think also normal people at home who have come home from their jobs, come home to their families, sit in their living room and tune into 'Dancing With the Stars" on Monday nights, they watch and they think 'That's what I'd be like. That's exactly how I would be. I've never done that before. I wouldn't be able to come out and just do it straight away, it would take a while.' And I think people find that relatable, that's why we're lasting as long as we are," Ballas added.

Palin has received a considerable amount of criticism for her performances. However, fellow "Dancing" contestants and professional dancers have defended Palin's spot in the competition.

"Bristol is shining and she deserves to be here just like everybody else. And I think there's nothing wrong with people keeping her in," said pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who's paired with Brandy.

"Everyone has their different fan base, and some are bigger than others. But at the end of the day this is a dance competition and whoever goes out there and dances the best will win. So if Bristol goes out and dances the best, she will win," said contestant Kyle Massey.

Not only has Palin had to learn many different dance moves, she's also learned a lot about dealing with fame.

"Coming into this show, I knew people were going to talk about me no matter what so I might as well come out and have fun. There's lots of negative things about being in the spotlight, but there's also lots of good things, like meeting people like Kurt and like Florence, and having a great dance partner and just getting to do so many fun things," said Palin.

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