Bristol Palin Played it Too Safe on Dancing With the Stars, Mark Ballas Says

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Last night's Dancing With the Stars results show marked the end of Bristol Palin's run on the program, and her partner Mark Ballas has a theory on why they got bounced:

Bristol Palin played it too safe and didn't think outside the box, he feels.

Bristol Palin Weight Loss
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas DWTS

Ballas told reporters he was "dead serious" about dressing up as an animal pair for their routine previous night, which Palin nixed (see their performance below).

He doesn't regret her decision, he says, but believes taking a risk could've helped her.

"Hey, you can guide a horse to water, but you can't make it drink," Ballas says. "At the end of the day, they have to be comfortable when they walk on stage."

"The problem is, though, with doing that, this is the all-star season, so we have a lot of champions and a lot of finalists, so all of these people are really open-minded."

Using contestant Gilles Marini's open-chested Aladdin ensemble as an example, Ballas said, "It's called stepping out of the box, you know what I mean?"

"You've got to be more open-minded to that stuff, but at the same time, as a choreographer and coach, you have to be respectful of your partner's choices."

Ballas says their Week 4 elimination "just sucks," but what can you do.

Give props to your partner for coming this far, for one.

"This is someone [who], compared to the others, has zero dance experience or performance experience," he says of the 21-year-old Bristol Palin.

"For someone who comes from a normal background from Alaska, I'm really proud of her."

Mark says he's pulling for Sabrina Bryan and Shawn Johnson now that Palin's out.

What do you think? Did Bristol the Pistol deserve to get the heave-ho?

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Dancing with the Stars Quotes

We should have started dancing with one arm waaay before.

Cristian de la Fuente [following his injury, trip to the hospital and subsequent stellar performance]

I am not the best dancer, and I have not been the best dancer from the beginning. I am happy we made it this far.

Cristian de la Fuente