Ballas has admitted he was "dead serious" about wearing matching bunny outfits for Monday night's performance show and he feels the pair might've racked in more votes and potentially lasted longer in the competition if Palin had actually agreed to play along and hop onboard.
"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 toldPeople following Tuesday night'sDancing with the Stars: All-Starsresults show, referencing how contestant Gilles Marini successfully sported a vest resembling the look of Disney's Aladdin.
"You can guide a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. 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."
Despite Ballas' apparent disappointment in Palin's reluctance to try something new, he told People he didn't regret his partner's final decision to forego the bunny costumes and ultimately applauds her efforts this season.
"This is someone [who], compared to the others, has zero dance experience or performance experience," Ballas explained. "So for someone like that who comes from a normal background from Alaska, I'm really proud of her."
Added the professional dancer, "[Elimination] just sucks."
Looking towards the future, Ballas noted he'll be rooting for Shawn Johnson and close friend Derek Hough along with Sabrina Bryan and Louis van Amstel to win the competition. In addition to his friendship with Hough, his choices also stem from personal experience with the celebrity dancers, as Ballas won Dancing with the Stars' eighth season with Johnson in 2009 and also danced alongside Bryan during the franchise's fifth season in Fall 2007.
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