Bristol Palin, Derek Hough

ABC/BOB D'AMICO

Derek Hough's got Bristol Palin's back.

Just a day after Sarah Palin's 21-year-old daughter clashed with reporters at the Television Critics Association over her participation in the new all-star edition of Dancing With the Stars, Mr. Hough exclaimed, "Good for her."

No, not good for fighting with the media, but for agreeing to be on DWTS again even if it means bad press.

"Unfortunately with the Palin drama and crazy entertainment it's brought to the United States, I suppose it comes with the territory," Hough, 27, told me at the Dizzy Feet Foundation's Celebration of Dance gala at L.A.'s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

"But I think," he continued, "Good for her—good for her to put herself out there because it's really easy to kind of hibernate and just to disappear."

Calling DWTS a "fun gig," Palin also said, "You guys, the media, you will talk about me whether I'm in my little Alaska life or doing this."

Hough applauded Palin, who came in third in season 11 of the long running reality competition. "She's saying, 'I'm going to go out there and do my thing and if you don't like it, then fine!'" he said.

Thirteen former contestants will compete on the first edition of DWTS All-Stars. Their professional dancing partners will be revealed Aug. 13.

Hough declined to say who he was hoping to be paired with. "I never do that," he insisted. "I want to be excited about whoever I get."

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