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'Dancing With the Stars' all-star Bristol Palin and partner defend 'Redneck Woman' routine

Craig Sjodin / ABC

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas.

Last week "Dancing With Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba praised all-star contestant Bristol Palin as “most improved.”

Alas, Monday night the reality TV star and her pro partner, Mark Ballas, failed to keep that improved momentum going for their quickstep routine. They earned just 18 points for the dance.

In the post show press line, Ballas lamented the decision producers made to have him and Palin perform their routine to a country tune -- "Redneck Woman."

“We should really be dancing to big band, Frank Sinatra (song),” Ballas said. “But they gave us a country song, so therefore they’re going to get a country dance with quickstep flair.”

During the show, Inaba pointed out that the pair broke a rule by breaking hold during their dance.

“They say you can have (either) ten seconds at the start of your dance or at the end where you can (break hold, or separate from your partner),” explained Ballas. “We didn’t take ten seconds at the start. I took it around 15 seconds in.”

Palin backed Ballas’ creative decision. “If we wouldn’t have broken hold (when we did), it wouldn’t have been fun -- all those parts where we got down,” she told reporters in the press line.

As for the footage of the couple at a shooting range shown in their pre-dance video package, that was meant to empower Palin. But did the firearms intimidate Ballas?

“I’m from Texas,” Ballas said, referring to his familiarity with weaponry. “The way they edited, it made me look like I don’t shoot.”

“He’s actually a pretty good shot,” says Palin.

And if Ballas and Palin have a shot to dance again after Tuesday night's ballroom boot, they have a simple plan.

“We’re just going to focus on each dance as it comes in,” Palin said. “I’m just going to try to do my best with a smile on my face and have fun.”

What wasn’t fun -- at least in rehearsal -- was Ballas being on the receiving end of a breakaway bottle. It came off nicely when Palin smashed one on Ballas’ head at the conclusion of their performance. Alas, it didn’t go as well earlier in the day.

“In dress rehearsal it hurt,” Ballas revealed. Isn’t the breakaway bottle supposed to be pain-free?  “It depends on where it hits you. If it hits you in the forehead, it hurts!”

Do you think Bristol Palin will stay in the competition after Monday night's performance, or do you think she'll get the ballroom boot on Tuesday night? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Michael Maloney is the author of “The Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell, creator of The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.”

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