By People Staff
Updated December 01, 2020 06:50 PM
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Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC; Vince Flores/Celebrity Photo

Ballroom may not have been her “calling,” and her Viennese waltz was more bizarre than beautiful, but ousted DWTS celeb Macy Gray did manage to make a few fans along the way off the parquet.

“I think Macy should have stayed around,” pro Lacey Schwimmer told PEOPLE at the Surrogates world premiere in Hollywood on Thursday. “I thought that she was a breath of fresh air for the show. She was the new and improved Cloris Leachman.”

Fans, especially DWTS purists, may not see comparisons to the dance-challenged Leachman as the highest form of praise, but then again, Schwimmer has always been one that has “danced” outside of the ballroom box.

“Cloris was entertaining beyond belief,” she said, “and I feel like Macy Gray had that potential to be that entertaining thing for the show.”

With the immensely colorful Grammy winner gone, the question now is, who will step up and carry the Leachman torch for the rest of the season?

Tom Delay,” Schwimmer said without hesitating. “Backstage he’s hilarious and a lot of don’t get to see that side of him.”

As for the more pressing needs of her own partner, Iron Chef America host Mark Dacascos, Lacey’s lesson plan is a bluntly simple one: “Hurry up and get the choreography!” Though the duo placed third on the men’s side, Schwimmer feels far from safe and no closer to a disco ball on her mantel.

“He’s the cutest thing in the entire world,” she said, catching a quick breath before listing her partner’s DWTS flaws. “But he’s such a slow learner! The main problem is, he’s never really preformed before. You have to entertain the audience and then entertain through a camera to millions of … Mark needs to smile and breathe.” –Reagan Alexander

Tell us: Will you miss Macy Gray? Is Tom DeLay the funny one? And how well did Lacey and Mark do on the first week of competition?Adam Larkey/ABC; Vince Flores/Celebrity Photo