“I thought it was us,” the former MLB star told PEOPLE backstage after the reality dance competition’s shocking elimination.
Instead, it was Olympic gymnast Simone Biles who was taken out of the competition by America’s votes.
“My heart hurts a little bit to see Simone go. I’m shocked,” Ross told reporters. “I didn’t feel like I could celebrate onstage because I honestly felt bad. I feel like I’m taking her spot. I don’t know if I should feel that way or not, but I do. This is a family. We’re friends. It’s hard to see anybody go.”
Still, the retired baseball player is happy to be one of the last three stars standing to compete for the Mirrorball Trophy next week with his partner Lindsay Arnold.
“I was just trying to make it past week three. It blows my mind,” he says. “I’m so grateful. People must be voting for me like crazy, which makes me feel good. And I’m getting better at dancing and I’m getting better scores. There is so much that I’m so proud for, Lindsay and I and our partnership and this journey I’ve been on. I didn’t really want to celebrate [next to Simone] but I’m happy right now and I’m so thankful.”