Mark Ballas: Bristol Palin Wouldn’t ‘Step Out of the Box’ on DWTS

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas

Craig Sjodin/ABC

updated 10/17/2012 AT 7:00 AM ET

originally published 10/17/2012 AT 7:30 AM ET

One night after Bristol Palin convinced partner Mark Ballas to forgo matching bunny costumes on Monday’s Dancing with the Stars, the pair was eliminated.

Ballas, 26 – who after his dismissal told reporters backstage that he was “dead serious” about dressing up as an animal pair – doesn’t regret Palin’s decision to play it safe, but he also points out that taking a risk with what to wear could have possibly prolonged their time in the competition.

“Hey, you can guide a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink,” he says.

“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.”

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