Bristol Palin, Mark Ballas Bristol Palin, Mark Ballas

It's a shame the cameras weren't trained on the Dancing With the Stars judges for the beginning of Bristol Palin's paso doble last night. Because you would've seen all three of them, jaws dropped, astonished. "I never thought I would see this!" raved judge Bruno Tonioli after her performance. "The little lamb is turning into a tigress!"

The truth is, the girl who comes across as reserved and shy has a lot more bite than viewers realize. When asked how she feels about being referred to as Season 11's "spoiler" — referring to the fact that she's still in the competition when others, technically better, have gone home — Palin bristled. 

"I don't think there's anyone more deserving of winning than us," she said, referring to her pro partner, Mark Ballas. "I worked my butt off through this whole thing. And I'm the most improved dancer, by far."

Ballas, looking gray with fatigue, got even more heated. "I think spoiler is a horrible word. We're in that rehearsal studio all freakin' day. To the point where I, as a professional, want to collapse on the ground and curl into a little ball. So if anyone was to say 'spoiler' about my partner? Lights out, buddy."

Executive producer Conrad Green is also coming to Palin's defense. "I think it's pretty mean, the way everyone's been attacking Bristol when she's trying her heart out, bless her. There's always been a wide variety of abilities on the show. So when people complain that she shouldn't be on the show, well, use your bloody votes to vote for other people! Everyone acts like there's nothing you can do about this, and the whole thing's a terrible sham. Well, obviously, a large number of our audience wants to see Bristol continue to dance."

Will she make it to the finals? Tune in tomorrow to find out.

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!