Simone Biles is used to winning, and she has the Olympic gold medals to prove it. But the talented gymnast fell short of taking home the mirror ball trophy on the popular “Dancing With the Stars” competition.
Despite a perfect score from the judges, the Olympic champion and Houston native was eliminated at the end of “Dancing with the Stars” semifinals round. The audience and judges were visibly shocked at the outcome. Since eliminations are determined by a combination of judges’ scores and viewer votes, it appears Biles did not have a strong enough fan base.
Biles’ ouster was particularly stinging after she earned perfect 10s her last week for her jive and her rumba. It was a breakthrough after the previous week’s dust-up, in which she told host Tom Bergeron “Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.”
Biles looked frustrated after what many deemed confusing and contrasting critiques the previous week from the judges.
“The judges’ comments hurt. It made me feel like I didn’t work hard enough, but I had,” Biles said during rehearsal footage. She eventually broke down in tears.
Biles and her partner, Sasha Farber, received the lowest number of votes from the previous week combined with the judges’ scores for the semi-final show. Biles had danced solidly, receiving straight nines from each of the judges for both of her routines.
She got a 36 out of 40 for her foxtrot to One Direction’s “What Makes Your Beautiful,” and the same score for her trio paso doble with Farber and Brittany Cherry. Biles’ elimination is clearly a shocker, as the Olympic gold medalist was one of the season’s top dancers. During the semifinals, however, Biles got a perfect 40 out of 40 points for her rumba to Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper.” And earlier, Biles received another perfect score for her jive to Stevie Wonder’s “Faith,” which was chosen by Carrie Ann Inaba as part of the judge’s challenge round. But it wasn’t enough, and so Biles was the ninth contestant voted off.
Inaba had challenged Biles to let go of being perfect. Biles said she channeled alter egos named “Zoe” for the jive and “Sophia” for the rumba to help get into character.
“Last time I showed a little bit of emotion I messed up at the Olympics on beam, and I ended up with a bronze instead of a gold,” Biles said.
Fifth Harmony member Normani Kordei, whose family lives in the Pearland area, danced into the Season 24 finale. NFL running back Rashad Jennings was also among the finalists.
The finals are set for May 22.