updated 04/18/2012 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 04/18/2012 AT 7:00 PM ET
Gavin DeGraw didn’t end up at the bottom of the Dancing with the Stars leader board more than once because he couldn’t handle the demands of the show.
In fact, the high-intensity schedule of rehearsing in front of cameras and performing live in the ballroom is what helped him come as far as he did.
“I’ll miss the whole pressure element of the show,” DeGraw, 35, told PEOPLE backstage after he and partner Karina Smirnoff were booted from the ballroom Tuesday. “I enjoy the pressure. I don’t necessarily enjoy it all the time, but pressure is good frequently.”
Tanning, on the other hand, is another matter.