Turns out, the ballroom can be even more intimidating than the Olympics. Simone Biles spoke exclusively with Us Weekly about her run on season 24 of Dancing With the Stars, which came to a surprising end on Monday, May 15. And according to the four-time gold medalist, 20, the experience, although rewarding, was challenging at times.
Asked about the hardest part of DWTS, Biles — who was sent home in a shocking elimination on the May 15 episode after earning two perfect scores — told Us that it was difficult to show emotion on the dance floor.
“I think it’s just bringing out the emotional side because I’ve never had to do that before. If I was emotional, it was behind closed doors. But this is in front of all of America,” she said of working with pro Sasha Farber. “It’s a bit scary.”
The former frontrunner added that putting yourself out there can be terrifying — especially when you know millions of viewers are tuning in.
“Yeah, sometimes it is hard, but you try not to think of it,” Biles, who previously clapped back at the DWTS judges for criticizing her lack of facial expressions, told Us. “But sometimes you go back to what you’re used to and muscle memory and not showing [emotion]. That gets you.”
Still, Biles had an incredible time competing for the coveted mirrorball trophy, thanks to Farber, 33, whom she had hoped to be partnered with from the get-go. “I always love performing with Sasha. That’s probably my favorite part. And the practices overall. I hate the first day of learning a new dance. That’s just horrible. You feel like you’re getting nowhere,” she told Us. “Once you bring it together — I don’t know. Whenever we just joke around and be ourselves is when we have the most fun.”
The athlete, who had met Farber before she signed on to do the series, added, “He did not know I was doing Dancing With the Stars, but I did. Obviously I didn’t say anything and then a week and a half later I met my partner and it was him. I was like, ‘Hallelujah!’”
Read more of Biles’ interview in the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands later this week. Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.