Bristol Palin danced to her best scores of the season on Monday’s edition of Dancing With The Stars with her mother Sarah in attendance, though her solid 53-point night was overshadowed by her peers’ equally-impressive performances, leaving the Alaska native at the bottom of the leader board for the seventh straight week.
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The format for Monday’s show was two dances, a Latin-themed dance with a solo, and a ballroom dance each respective couple hadn’t yet used on the show.
Following a respectable 27-point paso doble, Carrie Ann Inaba told Palin, “I’m so happy to see you finally come out of your shell and nail it,” while Len Goodman told her, “Bristol the pistol, you’ve fired a few blanks, but tonight – all guns blazing.”
Her second dance, a 26-point waltz, earned high marks from Bruno Tonioli, who told Palin he “quite liked the way [she] approached this waltz differently.”
Palin, in her practice clips, openly discussed the turbulent nature of her life since the summer of 2008, when her unexpected pregnancy with then-high school sweetheart Levi Johnston fed a media frenzy fueled by her mother’s vice presidential aspirations.
“I never had a problems or challenges until I started dating Levi,” Bristol said in the vignette. “For people to jump to assumptions, to think that I was some trashy, disgusting girl that was knocked up, [like] ‘Oh look she’s 17 and pregnant!’
“No, I’ve slept with one guy in my life,” Bristol said. “I’ve had an on-and-off boyfriend for years on end. It was definitely a challenge to go through that.”
Sarah Palin, also in the clip, said Bristol was unfazed by the possibility of failure and embarrassment on the huge stage, prior to appearing on ABC’s ratings juggernaut.
“She told me, ‘Mom, I’m going to get criticized anyway,’” Sarah said. “They may say mean things. They may try to bring ya down but — doggone it — you might as well dance!”
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough were atop the leader board with a perfect 60/60, while Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer were just a step behind with 58 points on the night. Rounding out the pack were Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy with 57/60.
Annie Lennox and Enrique Iglesias perform when Dancing With The Stars‘ eleventh season continues with the results show on ABC Tuesday at 9/8c.