Going for Gold! Simone Biles Tops DWTS Premiere as Teammate — & Mirrorball Winner — Laurie Hernandez Cheers Her On
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC
Will a second member of the Final Five be taking home a Mirrorball Trophy?
Five-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles just made her debut on season 24 of Dancing with the Stars on Monday night, but she’s already topping the leader board — and has a Mirrorball Trophy winner and U.S. Women’s Gymnastics teammate cheering her on!
As Biles, 20, took the dance floor with pro partner Sasha Farber on the season 24 premiere, fellow gymnast and season 23 DWTS winner Laurie Hernandez stood in the audience as a cheerleader.
“She’s been texting to me wishing me good luck,” Biles told PEOPLE after the show. “She’s been amazing.”
The fact that Hernandez won the title is not lost Biles. “I try not to think about it but it is a lot of pressure because all of the gymnasts have done really well,” she said, adding, “but I just try to be myself.”
Biles and Farber were the last of the 12 couples to perform on the 400th episode of the ABC reality dancing competition — and they didn’t disappoint with their tango!
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The professional gymnast and pro dancer pairing proved to viewers that the best was indeed saved for last when the judges — Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli — awarded them a 32/40, a.k.a. the highest score of the night, which was received with all smiles by Biles and Farber.
Ahead of the premiere, 16-year-old Hernandez passed on her lucky silver sequin tennis shoes to Biles as a good luck gesture — and they evidently worked!
The gold medalist joins a community of Olympic gymnasts who have competed on the reality competition show. Besides Hernandez, Biles’ other Final Five teammate Aly Raisman competed on DWTS in 2013 after her first Olympic appearance, Nastia Liukin came in fourth place in 2008 with Derek Hough and Shawn Johnson won the competition with Mark Ballas in 2012.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.