The Olympic gymnast and her professional partner Sasha Farber were unexpectedly ousted from the Season 24 competition right before the finals after receiving two perfect scores from the Dancing with the Stars judges. Many fans assumed Simone, a frontrunner from the start, was a shoo-in for next week's finale.
Simone and Sasha's ouster meant the other couple in jeopardy of going home last night, retired pro baseball player David Ross and pro partner Lindsay Arnold, were safe and moving on to the next round.
"I thought they were going to pull a Steve Harvey on us," Simone said Tuesday on Good Morning America of the moment DWTS host Tom Bergeron read the results live on TV. "At least I was hoping! But it's okay."
Simone's "pull a Steve Harvey" comment is a reference to the time Harvey mistakenly announced the wrong winner of the Miss Universe 2015 pageant in December of that year. When Harvey hosted the pageant, he incorrectly named the first runner-up, Ariadna Gutierrez -- who competed as Miss Colombia -- the winner.
A few minutes after Gutierrez was crowned, Harvey returned to the stage and announced he had read the results incorrectly and Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, was the new Miss Universe. Harvey had to witness the awkward exchange of the crown.
Simone was therefore hoping Tom said the wrong name when announcing she was Dancing with the Stars' latest eliminee, but that clearly wasn't the case.
"If you're going to go out, you go out on a note like that," Sasha said on GMA. "I'm just so proud of Simone. She's grown into this beautiful woman, and she's a dancer now! I feel like this show is all about growth, and she did exactly that. I couldn't have asked for a better partner."
"I loved the rumba that we had to do," Simone added. "It was fun. It was my favorite [dance]."
Although Simone received high scores week to week, she felt defeated in recent days because the judges never gave her a perfect score prior to the semifinals. Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Julianne Hough and Len Goodman would always compliment her perfect technique but accuse the 20-year-old gymnast of not showing enough emotion.
When asked whether she felt unfairly criticized by the show's judges, Simone replied, "At times, I think the expectations were a little bit different for each contestant, and it's hard to follow [Laurie Hernandez]."
Laurie was a member of Simone's 2016 Olympic gymnastics team and actually won Dancing with the Stars' 23rd season.
"I feel like they wanted me to pick up where she left off," Simone explained, "which is very hard because we're two different people. But I had an amazing time on the show and it was exciting."
In response to constructive criticism from Carrie Ann last week on Dancing with the Stars, Simone had made the following controversial comment about her alleged lack of emotion while dancing that went viral: "Smiling doesn't win you gold medals."
Some fans praised Simone for standing up for herself and being honest about her feelings, while others called it an unnecessary "biting comeback."
Simone was "very surprised" her snarky remark got so much traction, however, she feels the fact her elimination occurred one episode after the incident was just a coincidence. Simone believes speaking her mind that night didn't cost her any votes.
"I feel like it was a positive spin if anything," Simone said on GMA. "There were a couple of negative comments that we saw, but you just dismiss it and you're like, 'Ehh, it's fine.'"
As for what's next for Simone, she plans to go on some family vacations and live a normal life for a while.