After dancing a lovely foxtrot with her pro partner Sasha Farber, Biles received constructive criticism from Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba about how the Olympic gymnast needs to try to show more genuine emotion in her performances. However, Inaba's feedback was laced with praise.
After Inaba spoke her piece, Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron turned to Biles and said, "I was waiting for you to smile at some of the compliments, but you didn't."
"Smiling doesn't win you gold medals," Biles quipped in reply.
Many viewers and media outlets interpreted Biles' remark as a "biting comeback" or a "clap back" at the judges, and she received a lot of support on Twitter. Biles, who has yet to receive a perfect score of 40 points from the show's judges, was applauded for standing up for herself.
"I just cry. I'm not a yeller. I just cry," Biles told Entertainment Tonight of her reaction to the judges' lackluster feedback. "I had tears in my eyes. I almost ran to the bathroom at one point, but I pulled it together."
"I feel like everyone has their own opinion, clearly, and I feel it's just how you take it," Biles said, adding that she's doing her best to convey real emotion in her Dancing with the Stars routines.
"I feel like I am trying, I am being honest, but if they don't see that, I don't know what else or more I can do."
The judges have said Biles appears to force a smile sometimes and her connection with Farber is less than stellar. The naturally perky and bubbly 20-year-old has been told to sex up her routines for certain dance styles or become more vulnerable.
"You don't know which wild card of sexy or of happy they want to bring," Biles told ET of the judges' expectations, "and you almost have to read their minds and find it."
The couple received 36 out of 40 points from the judges for their foxtrot to "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction. Biles and Farber later earned the same score when they took the stage again for a trio dance featuring DWTS Troupe member Brittany Cherry.
When Farber was asked whether it was annoying to listen to the judges arguably nit-pick Biles' initial routine, the pro dancer said, "I wasn't irritated; I don't get irritated."
He continued, "But I just know how hard this girl works. 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."
Fellow Dancing with the Stars pro Val Chmerkovskiy also told ET that Biles is "a trooper" and he hopes this little incident "doesn't leave a bitter taste in her mouth" heading into Season 24's semifinals next week.
"She kept it real, you know, and sometimes the truth hurts," Chmerkovskiy said of Biles. "Smiles don't get you gold medals, and I agree with her. As an athlete, I agree with her and I side with her... [But] I know that she's loved, she's welcome, and everyone loves having her here."