Simone Biles had a tough week on Monday’s Dancing with the Stars quarterfinals, with the judges surprisingly criticizing her for not bringing enough emotion to her Foxtrot and Paso doble routines. But the four-time Olympic gold medalist wasn’t taking the harsh feedback lying down.
After her second routine, host Tom Bergeron asked her why she wasn’t smiling from some of the more positive comments that came her way during judging. The 20-year-old Olympian — who has yet to earn a perfect score on the show — quickly responded, “Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.”
The clap-back had all of Twitter immediately on Biles’ side, many applauding her fierce determination.
After the show, Biles and her partner Sasha Farber talked with Entertainment Tonight about the struggle she’s had to connect with the judges this season. “I feel like everyone has their own opinion, clearly, and I feel it’s just how you take it,” Biles said. “I feel like I am trying, I am being honest, but if they don’t see that, I don’t know what more I can do.”
While Biles said she’s doing her best to convey real emotion in her routines, she admitted she struggles to understand what the judges want from her each week. “You don’t know which wild card of sexy or of happy they want to bring, and you almost have to read their minds and find it,” she said.
And though it looked like Biles managed the criticism like a pro, she said she nearly broke down during judging. “I had tears in my eyes,” she said. “I almost ran to the bathroom at one point, but I pulled it together.”
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.