Credit: Earl Gibson II/Getty Images Photo: Mark Ballas and Guest at Rolling Stone's Official 2012 AMA After-Party, November 18, 2012 - Getty Images

Although Mark Ballas and his celebrity partner Bristol Palin were eliminated from Dancing With the Stars Season 15 All-Stars early on in the season, the dance pro has been popping up throughout the season — first to step in for an injured Derek Hough and then for Derek and partner Shawn Johnson’s Trio dance. So, what does Mark make of the All-Stars season? Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with Mark at the American Music Awards Rolling Stone After-Party in Hollywood on Sunday, November 18.

Wetpaint Entertainment: So who is going to win DWTS this year?

Mark Ballas: That would be Shawn.

Who do you think most deserves to win?

Shawn!

What are your thoughts on this year’s cast?

I thought it was cool. I thought it was definitely interesting. If you were to call it an All Stars, I don’t know if it would have been all my picks but I feel like as far as the collective talent, controversy characteristic, sports figures, I felt like they really nailed it and it was a really good cast.

Who was left out of the all stars that you would have put in?

Kristi Yamaguchi was left out. Nicole Scherzinger was left out. Chelsea Kane was left out.

Who do you think has been the most improved this season so far?

I think that everyone’s improved this season. It’s really cool to see someone like Shawn who I dance with in Season 8 – her level now – I danced with her last week when Derek was injured and I danced with them both last week in the trio – and just to see how much she’s grown – she’s also older now. She’s 20 and she’s matured a lot. Emmitt’s improved. Everyone’s improved so I think it’s just a really good celebration of dance and it’s been really fun to watch so far.

What’s been your favorite dance that you’ve performed so far this season?

The tribal dance with Shawn and Derek. That’s one of my favorite numbers that I’ve ever done in the show. I know it got slammed but it felt so good and it was fun and it was different and Derek really nailed it in his question with Brooke because we’re in season 15 now and the fans have seen it all and they are going to get bored on the show. That’s the reason why it’s going to go off the air if we don’t keep pushing the boundaries and we do this for the fans. I feel like that was a really cool interpretation of African samba, mixing in the Brazilian thing and it’s one of my favorite numbers I’ve ever done.

What was the rehearsal for that like?

It was awesome. I mean Derek is like my brother and Shawn’s my baby girl so it’s been good.

Were there a lot of bloopers behind the scenes with that one?

No. Just a lot of laughing and giggles. We laugh at a lot of stuff and have a good time together.

What has been your favorite performance by another dancer that you’ve seen this season that you’ve really liked?

I really liked Derek and Shawn all the way. I’ve liked all the stuff that they’ve done – their quickstep where they dived off the thing into the band pit. That was really cool.

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