Mike Catherwood and partner Lacey Schwimmer were sent packing Tuesday night when Dancing with the Stars eliminated the first pair of season 12. Now that he’s out of the running for the mirror-ball trophy, the radio personality is hanging up his dancing shoes – for good.
“I’m sure there are a lot of past competitors that sparked a dancer within them, but I am not one of those people,” Catherwood told PEOPLE following Tuesday’s elimination show. “If anything, the only relief that comes with being eliminated tonight is knowing that I don’t have to go back in and frustrate myself and Lacey with my horrible dancing.”
While the L.A.-based KROQ disc jockey, who earned the lowest scores in the first two weeks of competition, may not be walking away with a newly instilled passion for the ballroom, he’s not exactly leaving empty handed, either.
“I’ll take away a friend,” Catherwood said says of Schwimmer. “It’s been a great experience for that reason and that reason alone. You realize as you get a little older … that nothing else really matters in life except the relationships you develop, and I’ve been lucky enough to develop a lot of them – but most importantly, Lacey.”
The funnyman admits his early departure is disappointing but considers the overall experience to be a success.
“In a weird way, I feel like I’ve matured, because I faced something that was profoundly intimidating and embarrassing and faced it head on,” says Catherwood. “If you can count on one hand all these moments that you’ll remember for the rest of your life, then I can take away knowing that this was one of them.”
Schwimmer agrees that their time on Dancing was well-spent. “We had a blast, and I think that’s the main important thing of this show is if you do not have fun, it’s a wasted experience,” she said. “We definitely laughed, so job well done!”
If Catherwood’s fans are holding out hope that “Psycho” Mike could one day return to the dance floor, rest assured that anything is possible.
“If I ever dance again, I will dance for comedy – but probably not for enjoyment!” he says.