Bristol Palin’s 9-year-old son is poised to follow in her footsteps.
Some eight years after she placed third during the 2010 season of Dancing With the Stars, the 27-year-old reality star has agreed to let son Tripp Johnston compete on the dancing competition’s spinoff for kids, Dancing With the Stars: Juniors.
The boy, whose father is Palin’s high school sweetheart and former fiancé Levi Johnston, will face off against young stars such as Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson and Black-ish‘s Miles Brown as well as fellow celebrity offspring (Stevie Wonder’s son Mandla Morris and Scottie Pippen’s daughter Sophia), People confirmed Tuesday.
The news marks the second major reality TV coup for former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s family this year. Bristol Palin has joined the cast of Teen Mom OG, which will feature appearances by her famous mother and Tripp when it premieres on Oct. 1. DWTS: Juniors, meanwhile, will debut on Oct. 7.
Palin’s fans have flooded her with congratulatory messages, but the mom of three is also getting flak from critics who have accused her of using her kids for fame. And just as the Teen Mom OG casting was slammed, others bemoaned the Palin family’s rise in popularity. Some also claimed that Tripp — who didn’t appear on last night’s DWTS due to a family wedding — was “miserable” during taping and only competed for a week.
“I can’t!! It’s icky!!” one Instagram commenter complained of Tripp’s new role. “He’s a kid. Make some money another way… I really do think you are better than letting your kid do this.”
Bristol Palin’s son is going to be on Dancing With The Stars Junior. Why is the Palin family becoming relevant again?
— NTNM (@nonteennonmom) September 26, 2018
Why would she allow this poor kid to do this, because mama and are thirsty and need money
— Amy 🍂☕️📚 (@Steelers_Girl74) August 22, 2018
Palin’s supporters pushed back against the mom-shaming reactions.
“All of you little judging people… leave her and her kids alone!” read one comment. “My goodness!!! It’s not up to you to judge!
“Why is this ‘bad’ or ‘icky?!’” a fan added. “Are some of y’all that ridiculous?? From what I’ve seen, Bristol is a top-notch momma! She wouldn’t do anything to exploit her children! If she was going to exploit Tripp, she would have done it a long time ago. And obviously, she was too busy raising decent humans to do that!”
Meanwhile, Palin discussed her son’s ballroom debut in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“Of course my son at first was like, ‘Oh, yeah, this sounds so fun. Yeah, I am going to do it!’” she said. “And then I showed him some clips of young dancers, [and he said,] ‘I am not doing it!’
“[I was] like, ‘We already signed the contract — you have to do it!’” she added. “But he had the best time of his life, and he has made lifelong friends there. [He had an] incredible, incredible time, and I have the utmost respect for the show and everyone there. It was a great experience for him.
“I felt like a complete pageant mom, like, ‘Tripp, you better smile! You better practice!’” Palin said.
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