Tom Bergeron is opening up about one of the biggest mistakes he made while hosting Dancing with the Stars — and it involves Simone Biles.
After Biles, 26, danced with her partner, Sasha Farber, during season 24 of the reality show in 2017, the duo came over to receive feedback from the judges, Bergeron, 68, recalled on Cheryl Burke’s “Sex, Lies and Spray Tans” podcast episode released on Monday, October 16.
Tom Bergeron.Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
Bergeron noted that judges Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman’s comments were a “little harsh” while Carrie Ann Inaba was “very complimentary.” Bergeron claimed that the DWTS producer said in his ear, “‘Wow, she’s not even smiling at Carrie Ann’s compliments.’”
“So instead of saying ‘Simone, what’s your reaction to the judges’ comments? Now Carrie Ann was complimentary and the other two less so.’ Instead of saying that, I had that last thought from [the producer] in my head and I went ‘I noticed you didn’t smile,’” Bergeron recalled. “Now what woman wants to hear a guy say, ‘Hey sweetheart, smile!’”
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Biles famously clapped back at his comment by saying: “Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.”
“I was so properly put in my place,” Bergeron told Burke, 39, of the moment, adding that Biles went on to have a T-shirt made with the quote. “I stood next to her looking very sheepish while she wore that wonderful shirt and we put that on social media and everything. But that was one time when I wished I had taken a beat, translated what I heard in my ear and put it in my own words.”
Simone Biles.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
The gold medalist did not take home the mirrorball trophy (now renamed as the Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy to honor the late judge), finishing in fourth place. At the time, Biles opened up exclusively to Us Weekly following her shocking elimination and called the experience “a bit scary.”
During his candid chat with Burke, who was a pro on the show for 26 seasons, Bergeron also recalled a controversial comment regarding Witney Carson after one of her performances during season 25 of the show.
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Bergeron explained that after the dance, the 29-year-old’s partner, Frankie Muniz, said he “lost control of Witney because he couldn’t keep the steps up.”