Well, thaaat…was awkward.
The tension was palpable as Briston Palin, daughter of ex-Alaska governor Sarah Palin, met with TV critics today—along with 11 other returning stars like Drew Lachey, Melissa Rycroft and Pamela Anderson—to promote the new All-Star season of Dancing With the Stars.
Bristol received the bulk of questions during the press conference and grew increasingly defensive about her reasons for doing another reality show, ending the press conference by quipping, "Do I like to provide for my son? Yes, I do."
Bristol repeatedly blamed the press' overbearing nature as her prime reason for doing DWTS, saying (repeatedly), "God provides opportunities for me…The press is going to be talking about me no matter what, so I may as well be having fun."
When asked if she believes she has made herself more of a target by doing reality TV instead of quietly going home to raise her son after the 2008 election, Bristol replied, "Like I said before, this is a fun gig. I'm not whining; I'm not complaining about anything. I'm gonna go out there and I'm going to have fun. You guys, the media, you will talk about me whether I'm in my little Alaska life or doing this."
The reporters on hand were mostly members of the Television Critics Association, and when someone asked if there was any aspect of the show coverage Bristol does like, Bristol gave more of the same: "God provides opportunities for me. This is an amazing opportunity to for me. I get to work with awesome people. And it's a positive, active show. It's going to be awesome."
At one point, the conversation turned to politics and Palin's beliefs on homosexuality ("What will you think if you get a gay partner?"), to which Pamela Anderson immediately exclaimed, "I love gays!"
"I like gays," Palin said. "I'm not a homophobic. And I'm so sick of people saying that. Just because I'm for traditional marriage doesn't mean I'm scared or anything of anyone else. I don't hate anybody. You know, people are going to make up stuff about me no matter what and…whatever. I'm going to go dance and I'm going to have fun and I'm just going to go have fun on this show. It's not about politics. It's not about traditional marriage and anything like that. It's just about dancing and it's going to be fun and that's all I have to say about it."
DWTS executive producer Conrad Green revealed that it is "impossible" for the new cast—including Kelly Monaco, Gilles Marini, Drew Lachey, Anderson, Helio Castroneves, Palin and Rycroft—to have the same partners as before. And new pairings will be announced Aug. 13. "We are at their mercy!" Anderson joked.