‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 16: Age, by the Numbers

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‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 16: Age, by the Numbers
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(Derek Hough)

Will someone please tell Zendaya Coleman to stop talking about her age? The Disney star turned "Dancing With the Stars" leaderboard topper, has been acting as though people look at her young age as a disadvantage. Truth is, no one does, and in fact being 16 on the salsa-slinging show is a huge perk!

On Monday night's show, the 16-year old "Shake It Up" declared, "Age is just a number. I can do just as good as the big kids!"

But some of her 50-something "DWTS" competitors are confused as to what exactly she's thinking. Low man on the leaderboard D.L. Hughley, who's 50, told People. "That really annoyed the hell out of me, I've gotta say. Age is just a number when your number is very small."

And "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Lisa Vanderpump -- who narrowly missed elimination thanks to Dorothy Hamill's sudden withdrawal from the comp -- said, "What is she talking about? You get out of bed with my 52-year-old body every morning, damn it, and I'll let you know who's challenged."

Vanderpump, 52, has already said the intense training for the TV dancing competition should "come with a health warning," and on Tuesday night's results show she revealed that she's so bruised up from training with pro partner Gleb Savencho that she looks "like a patchwork quilt."

Dorothy Hamill's doctor-ordered withdrawal from the competition means there's little chance of crowing the oldest mirror ball winner in "Dancing With the Stars" history this season, unless Vanderpump starts to really rule. The 56-year old figure skating legend showed much promise after her opening night contemporary with partner Tristan MacManus, but a spine cyst put an end to the magic.

In 2009, singer Donny Osmond was crowned the Season 9 mirror ball champ at the age of 51. "I am really proud of this," he said. " I am the oldest recipient of the Mirror Ball Trophy." The year before that, Olympian Shawn Johnson was the youngest winner of the dancing competition, winning her season of the show at the age of 17. And Julianne Hough was the youngest pro dancer champion on the show, dancing her way to victory in 2007 with Apolo Ohno when she was just 18.

For this season, Zendaya's pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, revealed on his blog for Today that he would "most definitely do things differently" with such a young celeb partner (unlike last season's steamy stint with Kelly Monaco!)

"Last time I did contemporary half the nation got pregnant!" Val wrote. " So I'm probably going to tone it down with Zendaya and take a different route! Less about passion and more about inspiration!"

By the way, next Monday is Prom Night on "Dancing With the Stars." Now that's sure to bring out the kid in all of the contestants!

"Dancing With the Stars" airs on Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC.

More From This Contributor:

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Is Lisa Vanderpump the New Queen Bee of Reality TV?

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