Bristol Palin briefly impersonates mom on Dancing with the Stars debut (VIDEO)

Bristol Palin cha-cha-chaed her way through 'Dancing with the Stars' in a power suit and red-fringed dress.

Greg Zabilski/ABC/AP
Bristol Palin rehearses with partner Mark Ballas ahead of the "Dancing With the Stars" premiere on Sept. 20.
Adam Larkey/ABC/AP
Bristol Palin dances with partner Mark Ballas on "Dancing With the Stars" on Sept. 20 in Los Angeles, Calif.

In Monday's much-awaited 'Dancing with the Stars' premiere, Bristol Palin, daughter of former vice presidential candidate and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, performed with partner Mark Ballas.

Bristol Palin began dressed in a modest business suit much like her mother would wear. But that was subsequently ripped off to reveal a red-fringed dress as the pair began their dance to Three Dog Night's "Mama Told Me Not to Come."

Palin, "just a regular girl," admits that she has not always taken her mother's advice.

"I've always listened to my mom growing up, but there have been times that I haven't, so this song is kind of a play off of that," CBS reported.

The duo received 18 out of 30 points for their "very acceptable" her performance and now sits comfortably in the middle of the competition.The ABC-TV show pairs professional dancers with celebrities.

Sarah Palin watched from a viewing party in Alaska, tweeting a photo of family watching and writing, "Over-the-moon excited and happy for Bristol! Cheering her on @DWTS party in the Palin living room."

Entertainment Weekly reported on ratings for the evening:

Whether it was Sarah Palin’s “public advocate for teen pregnancy prevention” daughter Bristol or the return of The Hoff to primetime, the premiere of Dancing with the Stars attracted a behemoth audience: The two-hour show lured a whopping 20.99 million eyeballs to ABC and was up 22 percent in the key adults 18-49 demographic versus last fall’s debut.

ABC probably owes Bristol some kudos for that. Her participation in this season's Dancing with the Stars has generated plenty of pre-show buzz.

Others were apparently less impressed.

Comedian David Letterman said on the Late Show on Monday, "I like watching [Dancing with the Stars], I get a group of people together and we try to figure out who the stars are."

"I'm telling you something, You can't get any bigger star than the daughter of a vice presidential loser, that's as good as it gets right there," Letterman quipped of Bristol's appearance on DWTS.

Tune in tonight for the results.

If Bristol survives the cut, CBS reports Hockey Mom Palin is expected to be in attendance next week.

If Mama Grizzly's in the house, will that change what Bristol will wear or shimmy and shake to?

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.