updated 03/26/2013 AT 8:40 AM ET
•originally published 03/26/2013 AT 9:30 AM ET
Is it easier to do well on Dancing with the Stars if you’re a teenager with boundless energy?
“Using age is almost an excuse,” Zendaya told PEOPLE after another brilliant performance. “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.”
Zendaya was mostly talking about herself, trying to explain why she’s doing so well at such a young age. But some of her older competitors had to laugh at the suggestion that age doesn’t mean anything.
“What is she talking about?” said Lisa Vanderpump. “You get out of bed with my 52-year-old body every morning, damn it, and I’ll let you know who’s challenged.”
“That really annoyed the hell out of me, I’ve gotta say,” added D.L. Hughley, 50, though he, too, was laughing. “Age is just a number when your number is very small.”
Karina Smirnoff, 35, agreed. “Age is only a number when you’re 16,” she said.