Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
As announced earlier at today’s TCA, Bristol Palin is among the returning stars for this season’s Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars. Palin came under fire during her season on the show because she made it to the finals despite her comparable lack of talent (one of her infamous routines included her dancing in a very hairy monkey suit). And at this panel, she was peppered with questions about why she would subject herself to it all again. Said Palin: “I just think that God provides opportunities like this. You can either go out and do ‘em or not do ‘em, the press is going to talk about me no matter what so I might as well be having fun”. Adding another reason for participating in a later comment: “Do I like to provide for my son? Yes I do”.
Palin was also asked about whether the various Palins making reality TV into sort of a family business. “I definitely don’t think it’s our business”, she said. “I just think you guys are going to be talking about us either way, so I might as well be doing something enjoyable and fun. (DWTS host Tom Bergeron joked that the Palins have not quite gone “full Kardashian” yet).
Though Palin kept deflecting questions with her claim that she just wants to have a “fun gig”, she was also asked to address her feelings about gays, given that the show features gay dancers and she could conceivably end up with a gay partner (partners will be revealed Aug, 13, Green said).
“I like gays, I’m not a homophobic”, Palin said. “I’m sick of people saying that just because I’m for traditional marriage doesn’t mean I’m scared, don’t hate anybody. People are going to make up stuff about me no matter what. It’s just about dancing and it’s going to be fun and that’s all I have to say about it”.
Palin did reveal one piece of news about the upcoming season: “I will not be dancing in a monkey suit”.
DWTS showrunner Conrad Green addressed the reason why the show is bringing back favorite stars rather than bringing in a new cast as in previous seasons. First of all he said that the show has finally reached critical mass where there is enough inventory of competitive stars to make up an entire cast. He added that there is a “genuine warmth and appetite” to see certain stars again. Green acknowledged a ratings dip last season, attributing it to being up against The Voice, which draws a similar audience.
For his part, host Bergeron said that familiarity with the contestants would allow him to treat them with a little more edge, be “a little snarkier” this season.