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Backstage at DWTS: Bristol Palin Reveals Secret to Making It This Far

DWTS, Bristol Palin, Mark Ballas ABC/ADAM LARKEY

The wonder that is Bristol Palin lives to dance another day. So, what's her secret?

We caught up with the rising starlet backstage at Dancing With the Stars tonight, and she spilled all on how she and Mark Ballas shimmied their way into the semifinals...

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Believe it or not, Bristol believes it's her antistardom that's kept her around on DWTS.

"I think lots of people see themselves in me because I'm pretty untouched when it comes to celebrity status," Bristol told us (with a straight face). "I'm pretty raw and vulnerable when it comes to this whole thing. I'm just having fun and people see that."

And Mark agrees. Apparently Bristol is some sort of People's Champ.

"When people watch the show, people see themselves," said the pro. "Bristol has no performance background, she has no dance background, and people think, 'Oh, that's what I'd look like!' So people want to get behind her and see the progression, see how far she's come. From week one [to] week nine, the progression is huge and it is something to watch."

Added Bristol: "People are definitely seeing me in a whole new light. I never thought I was going to be here, but I'm thrilled. It's crazy to me."

Tonight did mark the end of the road for one dancer: Poor Kurt Warner was sent home, but per usual, his head was held high.

"I'm disappointed," he told us with his tearful partner Anna Trebunskaya by his side. "You want to go far when you get to this point. I'm going to go away with a smile on my face, there's a whole lot more out there for me and I'm looking forward to it."

What'd you think of tonight's outcome? Is Bristol's "everyman" theory valid? Give us the goods in the comments.

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