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Gary Busey Raves About Nyle DiMarco's Dancing with the Stars Debut : 'He Blew Me Away'

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From one star to another, Gary Busey has a lot of respect for Nyle DiMarco.

The Dancing with the Stars alum tells PEOPLE he is avidly watching the current season, and is particularly impressed with the America’s Next Top Model winner, who proved with his debut that even though he may not be able to hear the music, he’s got plenty of moves.

“He blew me away. It s just beautiful,” Busey, 71, tells PEOPLE of the deaf contestant. “The way he looks with his smile. His love, his compassion, and his dedication. That’s a winner.”

After DiMarco’s breakout performance last week, which earned him and 20 out of 30 and tied him and pro Peta Murgatroyd for first, the 26-year-old model weighed in on what the most nerve-wracking part of competing is (so far).

“The judges are the most intimidating part. This is their expertise, so to get that feedback from them is a relief,” DiMarco told PEOPLE. “But that doesn’t mean I can take it easy for week two.”

In his exclusive PEOPLE vlog, DiMarco revealed he and Murgatroyd actually made a big mistake in his debut – but no one noticed. (Find out what it was here! )

Busey was eliminated third last season, but treasures his memories from the show. Watching this season from his living room, he says he enjoys seeing his old DWTS stomping grounds.

“When I see the those sets and hallways, I know exactly where they are,” he says. “It feels like going back to a high school reunion!”

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.