Dancing With the Stars Dancing With the Stars

Dancing With the Stars belonged to Brandy on October 25 — the singer left her competition in the dust with her dramatic tango and non-stop, booty-shaking energy during the dance marathon. But what everyone in the audience was talking about was the surprisingly strong showing by Bristol Palin, who managed to rack up 23 points for her graceful tango before coming in second-to-last for the marathon. Nevertheless, she wowed with a newfound confidence on the dance floor.

"I realized that if I didn't go all out, I was gonna go home," said Palin, who is known to be painfully shy. "So I tried my best to go all out." The 20-year-old single mom somehow managed to survive dancing in a disastrous monkey costume last week, to say nothing of forgetting her steps.

That survival has led to much speculation that the Tea Party may be warming up their voting fingers in preparation for next week's election by voting for Republican Sarah Palin's daughter. Does Bristol think that's what's going on? "I'm sure they're backing us up," she said. "It's just my mom's supporters." 

Added her partner, pro Mark Ballas, "I have no idea what the Tea Party is. But I'm from England and I like tea. So, whether it's a tea party, a coffee party, or any other beverage party — as long as it's non-alcoholic — we appreciate any support we can get."

Ballas has a very gentle, big brother attitude toward Palin. "Because she's never done anything like this before," he said, gesturing to the lights and cameras. When Palin was told that booted contestant Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino was enthusiastic about the idea of dating her, and would say yes if she asked him out, Palin turned to Ballas.  "Should I ask him out?" she said. "Totally," responded Ballas. "Do it. Text him. I'll go with you."

But is The Situation really her kind of guy? Palin shook her head, no. "He's a sweet guy, a respectable guy," she said. But, added Ballas of the 28-year-old Jersey Shore star, "He's a little bit old for her. I'm protective now."

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