Simone Biles set the internet on fire during Monday's Dancing With the Stars when she clapped back at the judges, who criticized both of her routines for not having enough emotion.
After her second dance of the night, Biles did not look pleased to hear some inexplicably harsh feedback about her routine, especially from Carrie Ann Inaba, who shared her notes along with some kind words and supportive comments.
When asked by host Tom Bergeron why the positive comments didn't elicit a smile from the 20-year-old Olympian, Biles replied "Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals."
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The biting comeback received an outpouring of support from her fans, who applauded Biles for standing up for herself against the judges' surprisingly lackluster feedback.
Biles has been one of Dancing With the Stars' fan favorites since the season began, but the four-time Olympic gold medalist has had a tough time connecting with the judges and has yet to earn a perfect score. On Monday, she earned 36 out of 40 for both of her routines.
ET's Nischelle Turner caught up with Biles and her pro partner, Sasha Farber, after the show, where they opened up about the disappointing response and how they are going to move forward.
"I feel like everyone has their own opinion, clearly, and I feel it's just how you take it," Biles said, adding that, in spite of the judges saying that they can't get a feel for who she really is during her performances, she's doing her best to convey real emotion.
"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," Biles explained.
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"I just know how hard this girl works," Farber shared. "Each week she comes in and she delivers something different. There's a lot of expectation on her shoulders, and we're just gonna go back into the studio and keep digging."
One thing Biles has struggled with is knowing and understanding what the judges want from her, in terms of her emotions in her performances. While some of the dances call for her to show her sexy side, others require nuanced emotion, and from her point of view, there's never a clear sign as to what will impress them from week to 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 explained.
While Biles dealt with the criticism like a pro, the young star admitted that she nearly started crying.
"I had tears in my eyes," she recalled. "I almost ran to the bathroom at one point, but I pulled it together."
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ET also caught up with the night's highest scoring star and this season's frontrunner, Normani Kordei, along with her partner, longtime DWTS pro Val Chmerkovskiy, who opened up about how much of an "honor" it is to have Biles on the show.
"Thank you for embracing our show, thank you for doing it, thank you for putting yourself out there," Chmerkovskiy said, addressing Biles. "Hopefully this [incident] doesn't leave a bitter taste in her mouth. I know that she's loved, she's welcome, everybody loves having her here."
The 31-year-old dancer said he fully supports the Olympic champ, and backed her up when it came to her response.
"She kept it real, you know, and sometimes the truth hurts," he said. "Smiles don't get you gold medals and I agree with her as an athlete and I side with her. It doesn't always sound pretty, you know, the gym, the locker room, none of these places are all fun and games. There's hard work and sweat and tears and, most of the time, everything but smiling."
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As the competition said goodbye to Bonner Bolton on Monday and moved forward to the semifinals, Biles and Kordei are the only remaining female competitors, and the Fifth Harmony singer says she's developed a close friendship with her castmate.
"We're literally the best of friends," Kordei shared. "I love her to death… the cool thing about Dancing With The Stars is that it creates amazing relationships and friendships that will last a lifetime."
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