‘Dancing with the Stars’ spotlight: Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas

When you look by and large at the cast for “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars,” most of them are on board the show for reasons strictly related to their dancing. When it comes to Bristol Palin, it’s a little bit different — while she did make it all the way to the finale on her season, she also has the lowest average score (in 22.6) out of any of the contestants on the show this time. She also made one guy so angry that he shot his TV the last time she was on.

So how will she do this time around? Her family is not as popular as they once were, even if she does have the advantage of being back with her former dance partner Mark Ballas.

Claim to fame – Being the daughter of former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and for being a reality star and spokesperson against teen pregnancy. Bristol first emerged in the headlines when she was expecting a child with her boyfriend Levi Johnston during Palin’s campaign. The two now have an extremely troubled relationship.

Past placement – 3rd (season 11)

Past and current partner – Mark Ballas

Story on the show – After struggling early in the competition, Bristol started to slowly show off some genuine dance talent and become comfortable in front of an audience. However, a number of uncomfortable routines — including a freestyle involving a cage and one where she dressed up in a monkey suit. She did not have the talent of some of the other contenders, and her political views quickly tuned her into a lightning rod of controversy.

Strengths – It may sound cliche, but the biggest asset that Bristol has is her determination. Not everyone may like her, but it takes a ton of courage to be able to keep on in the public eye when you receive so much hate on a regular basis. Compared to some of what she has been through, competing on a dance competition is nothing. You also cannot discount Mark’s ability to get the best out of her, especially since he already knows her better than any pro on this show.

Weaknesses – The biggest problem Bristol faces is that we’re not quite sure she has the same sort of following that she did a few years ago. The Palins are no longer the “it” family of politics, and her own reality show was canceled by Lifetime earlier this summer due to low ratings. We know that she will not be the best dancer, and unless her fans all vote so many times that their fingers bleed, she’s not going to have the largest following.

Prediction – We really just do not see Bristol lasting longer here than just a couple of weeks. Her fans may be able to carry her still for a week or two past some other contestants with small fan bases, but everyone here has a proven following and it is not 2010 anymore. She’s going to have to work really hard, butt even then we’re not sure it will be enough.

How well do you think that Bristol and Mark are going to do this season? We want to hear some of your thoughts below! If you want to check out some more entries on our spotlight series, be sure to head on over to this link.

Photo: ABC

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