After performing her Paso Trio dance on Monday night’s show of “Dancing with the Stars,” Olympic all-around gymnastics champion Simone Biles showed she didn’t appreciate the repeated criticism from the judges that she lacks emotion in her performances.
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba praised Biles for smiling after doing a gymnastics trick during the dance, but also told her, “Sometimes you dance like a metronome, you’re so on the beat. I want to see if you can play a little bit, holding and extending.”
20-year-old Biles, who has yet to earn a perfect cumulative score this season, has often heard the judges say she needs to work harder to bring authentic emotions to her performances.
The usually sunny Biles was stonefaced as she listened to Inaba’s comments. When host Tom Bergeron asked why she didn’t crack a smile during the positive parts, Biles shot back, “Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.”
Inaba took the blunt retort in stride, pretending to slap herself across the face with a laugh.
20-year-old Biles, who won four gold medals and a bronze in Rio, and her partner Sasha Ferber, along with Brittany Cherry, scored 36 points for their Paso Trio, earning Biles and Ferber a spot in the Final Four.
Biles defended herself further when she spoke to reporters after the show.
“I’ve spent my whole entire life in the gym training for something I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl,” Biles said. “I think they think because I’m 20 I should’ve gone through those life experiences, but I missed out on all of that and that’s why I’m taking a year off and am trying to find it.”
She also told Entertainment Tonight, “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… 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.”
Biles is the fifth Olympic gymnast to compete on “Dancing with the Stars.” Nastia Liukin and Aly Raisman finished fourth, while Shawn Johnson won the Mirror Ball Trophy in 2009 and Laurie Hernandez was crowned champion in 2016.