'DWTS' eliminated contestant's partner: 'You can drag a horse to water...'

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Image Credit: ABC

Kirstie Alley didn’t knock it out of the park on Monday’s Dancing with the Stars. Neither did Bristol Palin. So which low scorer stayed after Tuesday’s elimination episode to talk about why she does — or doesn’t — deserve to go? To read the words of the latest booted contestant, head to the jump: Snap! We tricked you. The latest eliminated contestant decided she didn’t want to talk to the press tonight. But then, it’s not exactly a surprise  that Palin – this week’s booted all-star — stayed hidden in her dressing room. Over the past few weeks, it couldn’t been easy to face the firing line when far more talented all-stars like Drew Lachey, Helio Castroneves, and Joey Fatone were eliminated, instead. Palin had enough, apparently, so she sent partner Mark Ballas to endure the (tough?) questions.

Here was the first one: So why isn’t she here? “It’s tough man,” Ballas said to reporters. “She’s never been eliminated before. Before she made it the finals so she doesn’t know what this feels like. I remember my first time. It was horrible.”

So what finally led to Palin’s ouster? It could have been how safe she played it on Monday. During the performance episode, Ballas was shown trying to convince Palin that he should do their rock and roll dance dressed as a rabbit, but Palin poo-pooed the high-concept idea that would have involved an Alice in Wonderland theme.

Does Ballas regret not pushing her harder? “You can drag a horse to water but you can’t make it drink,” says Ballas. (Yikes.) “If she wants to do what she wants to do thats totally fine. At the end of the day they have to be comfortable when they walk on stage. But this is an all-star season. All these people have been through the process. We have a lot of champions, a lot of finalists and a lot of people who are really open-minded. Look at Gille Marini’s outfit. [He was dressed like Aladdin on Monday]. That’s called stepping out of the box.”

And yet, he’s proud of Palin’s progress. “This is someone who, compared to the others, has zero dance experience and zero performing experience,” explained Ballas, who will now root for his old partners Sabrina Bryan and Shawn Johnson. “For someone like that who comes from a normal background, from Alaska where she never performed, I’m proud of her. This is really tough, especially when you come on this big of a platform with all this scrutiny. She’s got thick skin and she pushes on through it. To get past Drew and Helio and Pam … those are people were contenders.”

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