Sarah Palin Cheers On Bristol On ‘Dancing’; Judges Spar Over Michael Bolton Jive

A week after she was first expected to be in attendance, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin finally made her first trip to the ballroom on Monday’s “Dancing with the Stars,” and the one-time Vice Presidential candidate said she found the experience thrilling.

“This is amazing,” Sarah told show co-host Tom Bergeron who referred to the politico as a “guest ballroom commentator” as he interviewed her during the show. “It’s so exciting and it’s great to see all this courage and joy and exuberance by every dancer. It’s awesome.”

Sarah sat front row at the competition where she rooted on her daughter — whom she called “Bristol the pistol” – and escaped critiquing the judges, who Tom asked her opinion of before the young mom took to the dance floor with a quickstep.

“Before a hockey game, you’re not gonna chew out the refs before your team is on the ice,” Sarah laughed. “They’re great.”

When it came down to Bristol’s time on the dance floor, the judges — for the second week in a row — were impressed by the teen mom’s moves with partner Mark Ballas.

Their quickstep scored a 22 out of 30 and received just recommendations from the panel, instead of criticism.

“You remind me of one of my favorite dancers — Kelly Osbourne,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said. “There’s something so beautiful about watching you. There’s like this very vulnerable, endearing spirit.”

As for Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli, they both praised the 19-year-old, but asked for more drama if she returns next week.

While the judges were kind to Bristol, they slammed crooner Michael Bolton’s jive with partner Chelsie Hightower.

Len struck first, telling the pair he didn’t think that “the world’s quite ready for your interpretation of the jive,” adding that their dance could have used an additional prop – “a pooper scooper.”

Things got heated though, when Bruno Tonioli chimed in.

“I think this is probably the worst jive in 11 seasons,” Bruno said, setting Len off, who hit back at the fiery Italian judge and his heated remark.

“That’s unfair!” Len said. “OK, you hated it, but you should keep some of the comments to yourself really because that is unfair.”

“Why?” Bruno yelled back. “[It was] badly done. You said it needed a pooper-scooper. Who’s going to collect it?”

The judges’ battle cooled down as the competition moved on, especially when frontrunner Jennifer Grey and partner Derek Hough took to the floor with a speedy jive that left both the pair, and the panel, breathless.

“You’re kind of like this sexy, hot, energizing, bionic bunny out there dancing the jive,” Carrie Ann told Jennifer, who took her commentary on the floor, as she and Derek tried to catch their breath. “It was amazing from start to finish.”

“That choreography was so difficult, it was beyond belief,” Bruno said as the pair topped the leaderboard for the second week in a row, with a score of 24 out of 30. “And you nailed it; it was wicked.”

Former “Hills” star Audrina Patridge and her partner, Tony Dovolani, managed a second place finish, netting 23 out of 30 for their quickstep, but co-host Brooke Burke revealed that – prior to the show – the pro made a promise his score couldn’t help him keep.

Before the two hit the ballroom, Tony promised they would earn three 8s from the judges or he would wax his legs.

While Carrie Ann and Len came up with the goods, Bruno scored them a 7.

The full dances for the pairs and their scores were as follows:

Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke’s jive took home 21/30

Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas’ quickstep netted 19/30

Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s jive was scored 21/30

Michael Bolton and Chelsie Hightower’s jive earned 12/30

Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani’s quickstep took home 23/30

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough’s breathless jive earned them 24/30

Margaret Cho and Louis van Amstel’s jive earned 18/30

Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer’s quickstep was scored 22/30

Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya’s jive took home 21/30

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Karina Smirnoff’s quickstep earned 18/30

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas’ quickstep earned 22/30

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