Last night, on Dancing With the Stars Season 16 Week 2, Zendaya Coleman tied with Kellie Pickler for the top score on the leaderboard, and she's in the lead as we enter tonight's first Results Show.
In the Celebriquarium, Zendaya said age is just a number and she may be only 16 but she can still keep up with the big kids. It sounds like, to her, youth is something she’s overcoming, as opposed to an advantage. "Using age is almost an excuse," Zendaya told People after the show. "Age doesn't mean anything. Age doesn't mean I can't work as hard. Age doesn't mean I can't do as well as everyone else. It's just a factor. It's just there."
Well, tell that to Lisa Vanderpump and D.L. Hughley, who are more than three-times Zendaya's age. "What is she talking about?" Lisa, 52, told People. "You get out of bed with my 52-year-old body every morning, damn it, and I'll let you know who's challenged." D.L., 50, added, while laughing, "That really annoyed the hell out of me, I've gotta say. Age is just a number when your number is very small." Pro dancer Karina Smirnoff, 35, said, "Age is only a number when you're 16.” However, being 16 also means she has to go to school every day. Zendaya added, "When everybody else gets to rehearse, I have to do school. When everybody else is in hair and makeup, I'm in school." So there is a tradeoff that comes with the exuberance of youth.
Besides, this always happens. It's true that Zendaya is 16 and known for a show about dancing, Disney's Shake It Up, but whenever someone stands out at the start of any DWTS season, the "ringer" talk starts, and there's always a different reason for why it’s “unfair” — like having Olympic gymnastics or figure skating experience, or, in the case of then 50-year-old Jennifer Grey, because she was famous for being in a movie with dancing right in the title. For every person who did well based on those qualities, there are other examples of people who didn't do so well, just because they were young (remember Bristol Palin?!) or had dance experience (Sabrina Bryan could never get past Week 6).
What do you think about age on DWTS? Is Zendaya’s 16-year-old status a blessing, a curse, or a bit of both?