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Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas may not have started off slowly this season on Dancing With the Stars, but they were definitely under the radar.

After dancing to the top of the scoreboard last night, they won't have that problem the rest of the season, however long their run might last.

Hopefully Pia Toscano took notes, because Chelsea gave Mark a bit of a dressing down at the onset, and he became a better partner for it.

With only five couples remaining, and each enjoying a large degree of fan support, it's anyone's game. But Chelsea and Mark have proved they belong.

Watch the prohibitive favorites showcase their skills below ...

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American Idol castoff Pia Toscano and Mark Ballas, who are dating in real life, teamed up for a beautiful routine the Dancing With the Stars results show last night.

Pia's early exit from Idol a few weeks ago shocked many, but the girl is still in high demand. Toscano's rendition of The Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You" proved why.

She nailed every note, and this time, there wasn't a panel of judges or voters critiquing her performance. Just her boyfriend Mark accompanying her on the floor:

Quite the night for the show, which also featured two efforts by New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys. The only unhappy viewer? Chris Jericho. Sorry man!

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Pia Toscano and Mark Ballas have put those dating rumors to rest.

There's no rumor about it - this is a real relationship! Pia was introduced to Mark's mom and friends on a night out in Beverly Hills over the weekend.

Here's a cute photo of this adorable, smitten new couple ...

Mark Ballas and Pia Toscano

The vanquished American Idol finallist and her Dancing with the Stars beau dined out with fellow dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani.

Mark even invited his mom Shirley along. Things must be getting serious!

The two will perform together on DWTS this week, with Pia singing and Mark dancing along with his Season 12 partner, Disney's Chelesa Kane.

[Photo: Pacific Coast News]

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Pia Toscano and Mark Ballas are reportedly together. Romantically.

They'll definitely be together next week as the gone-too-soon American Idol outcast sings and the Dancing With the Stars pro dances on the results show!

Mark's upcoming performance set to the vocal accompaniment of his alleged new love was announced Tuesday, with Mark ever the gentleman in response.

Pia Picture

Apart from saying calling Pia a "phenomenal vocalist," Ballas says he had little in the way of details for this rumored girlfriend's appearance next week.

He denies having anything to do with the planning, saying that he found out about it when the announcement was made on the DWTS results show.

Maybe so, but we doubt he's unhappy about it.

As for his partner in the professional sense, Mark and Chelsea Kane survived another week. He and the Disney star have looked strong thus far!

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A week ago, Kirstie Alley fell to the floor, only to make a full recovery on Dancing With the Stars. Unfortunately, she suffered another mishap last night.

This time, it was a footwear malfunction. Kirstie and Maksim Chmerkovskiy had to fight through more adversity as Alley's left shoe fell off in mid-waltz.

Just like the previous week, they recovered well enough to earn a respectable score – 22 out of 30 – plus sympathy and respect from fans and judges.

"You didn't miss a beat," said Carrie Ann Inaba. Bruno Tonioli agreed, while Len Goodman was less impressed, pointing out the need for improvement.

Still, we'd be surprised if Kirstie and Maks were in jeopardy after a second straight week of bouncing back strongly from a somewhat freakish setback.

Another gal who should be safe? Disney starlet Chelsea Kane, whose Viennese waltz with Mark Ballas earned them the top score of the night at 26.

Watch it, and check out the full scoreboard, after the jump ...

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In fun celebrity couple news bringing the worlds of American Idol and Dancing With the Stars together, Pia Toscano and Mark Ballas are dating.

Pia and Mark became acquainted while shooting their respective shows and went on their first date Friday. According to reports, it was a 10!

Maybe an awesome date isn't enough to soften the blow of her stunning elimination from American Idol this week, but it can't hurt, right?

  • Pia Picture
  • Mark Ballas of Dancing With the Stars

Pia was the instigator of the romance with Mark Ballas, sources say, but there was a surprise matchmaker involved who played a role in setting them up:

WWE great and current DWTS contestant Chris Jericho!

Pia and Mark both shoot American Idol and Dancing With the Stars on the same CBS Television City lot in L.A., and it turns out Pia is pretty resourceful.

She has a friend who is friends with Jericho, so Pia gave her friend a piece of paper with her number on it, who then passed it to Chris to give to Mark.

Sounds so high school, but apparently it worked out. Peeps connected with both Mark Ballas and Pia Toscano say they really hit it off. Way to go guys!

[Photos: Fox, ABC]

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Never far from controversy or the spotlight, Bristol Palin was spotted at an Alaska bar last week while rehearsing and taping a segment for Dancing With the Stars.

The 19-year-old's excuse for being there all comes down to ... nachos.

A segment Bristol taped for DWTS inside Rumrunner's Old Towne Bar and Grill Thursday sparked a state investigation (seriously). But Bristol should be fine.

  • Vote For Mark
  • Bristol P. Pic

Back off (and vote for) Mark and Bristol! [Photos: PacificCoastNewsOnline.com]

"The place is also a restaurant ... so under 21 is allowed under Alaska law if she is accompanied by a person over 21, which she was," says a Palin source.

Bristol was with partner Mark Ballas, 24, during the segment, and moreover, the source is adamant that "Bristol had nachos only," which TMZ's pics support.

So far, the Alaska Department of Public Safety has no comment on the matter, but if it's a bona fide restaurant, and she was there to eat, what's the big deal?

We can't believe we're saying this, but ... leave Bristol alone!!!!!! You can boo Sarah Palin all you like, but let the girl enjoy some nachos in peace ... right?

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Dancing With the Stars must not have much faith in Bristol Palin.

In her tangoin' talents, anyway. Usually, DWTS producers save the big ratings guns for the end of the season, but a very special segment on Bristol and her famous family connections looks to be airing this coming Monday night.

How do we know? Twitter Exhibit A:

Sarah Palin Tweets a photo of herself with Mark Ballas.

Hot off their successful debut (hey, The Hoff was hassled instead of her), Bristol and partner Mark Ballas are currently in Wasilla, Alaska, for a little practice ... and a little pre-taped, star-studded filming to air prior to their performance.

We have a hunch who might be appearing on that footage. Just a hunch.

Who are you rooting for on Dancing With the Stars? Bristol? Vote!

 

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Will Bristol Palin be good, bad or downright embarrassing on Dancing With the Stars? Sources close to her partner, Mark Ballas, say he's fearful of the latter.

Mark worries that Bristol, who canceled Tuesday's rehearsal because she's giving a speech, has been missing so many that their debut could be beyond bad.

Last week, Bristol canceled practice because her son, Tripp, was ill, which us understandable, but she was only able to practice a half day Thursday too.

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas Picture

Has she bitten off more than she can chew? [Photo: ABC]

Maybe not. Other sources say Bristol Palin has been making solid progress and will continue pushing herself hard until the first live TV show September 20.

It's only Dancing With the Stars, too.

If she's terrible, we've likely seen worse over the previous 10 seasons. Besides, an early ouster just means more time to launch her run for mayor of Wasilla.

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Len has called her dancing "dreadful."

Bruno has called her the super bitch from hell.

Tony Dovolani just wants her gone at any cost.

America won't oblige, however, at least not yet. Kate Gosselin's controversial stint on Dancing with the Stars continues Monday. Will it be her last performance?

Maybe, maybe not. But Mark Ballas, who was inexplicably eliminated first this season with Shannen Doherty, thinks er need to cut the reality mom some slack.

  • Shannen Doherty and Mark Ballas Pic
  • Kate and Tony Picture

Mark Ballas (left) is showing Kate Gosselin some love.

"She's really out of her element, thrown in the deep end," Ballas says. "I think she's doing a really good job, and I think people need to give her a break. I absolutely sympathize with her. She's never done this before. It's difficult."

This isn't to say he thinks Kate Gosselin is even remotely good, just that we should back off a little. Until she quits her non-stop whining, don't expect it.

As for who he likes to hoist the coveted disco ball come season's end, Mark is high on Jake Pavelka, Nicole Scherzinger, Evan Lysacek and Erin Andrews.

"I like Erin and Maks together," he said of Erin and partner / rumored beau Maksim Chmerkovskiy. "What they did with the blindfold was really creative."

Who are you rooting for on Dancing with the Stars?