Simone Biles flashed brave smiles after getting the ax during Monday night's "Dancing with the Stars."
Incredibly, the gymnast who received perfect scores for her two semi-final dances, was eliminated, sending Fifth Harmony singer Normani Kordei, football player Rashad Jennings, and ex-baseball player David Ross to next week's "DWTS" finale.
But the writing was probably on the wall last Monday after judges had blasted Biles, 20, for being robotic during "Trios Night."
The gymnast who thrilled America at last year's Rio Olympics snapped back at Judge Carrie Ann Inaba, "Smiling doesn't win you gold medals."
Did the TV tiff cause Biles to lose votes?
What's clear is Biles was shaken in this week's rehearsal, as cameras showed her crying about the critiques to her partner Sasha Farber, "It made me feel I didn't work hard enough but I knew I did."
Biles sobbed, "I feel like I tried my hardest and it's not good enough."
But on "Judges' Choice" week, guess who showed up in practice? Inaba was there to teach Biles a jive number and encourage her to release emotions.
Biles and Farber scored 40 out of 40, and later, their rumba also received a perfect score from judges, winding up in first place for the night with 80 points. Judges praised her for letting loose.
In the end, it wasn't enough and Biles shrugged to reporters backstage, "I've been going non-stop since the Olympics and I feel like I couldn't ask for more of what Sasha has done for me this entire season and I found out a lot about myself."
Biles plans to train for the 2020 Olympics but said after her "DWTS" experience, "I'm going to take some time off, finally relax, go on vacations and have family time. I've been going non-stop since the [Rio] Olympics."
The gold medalist said of the judges, "I think today I experienced what they wanted and it felt refreshing I did feel free…we went out with a bang."
Meanwhile, the final three competitors were left shocked by Biles' ouster.
Former Chicago Cub Ross, who earned a cumulative score of 70 out of 80 for his foxtrot and tango with partner Lindsay Arnold, told FOX411 after the show, "I'm shocked…. My heart hurt. I didn't feel like I could celebrate [making it to the finals] on the stage because I honestly felt bad. I felt like, why am I taking her spot? I don't know if I should feel that way or not but I do. I'm super happy I'm going [on] but there is a part of me that hurts for her."
Singer Kordei, with partner Val Chmerkovskiy, earned 36 points for a waltz and a perfect 40 for a lively jazz number paying tribute to her New Orleans home town. On Monday's show, the stars recalled dramas from their past and Kordei shared how her mother had breast cancer and the family had to flee New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Kordei, with a total of 76 points, said Biles has become a close friend. Although she looks like the clear front runner to win the mirror ball trophy, the singer told FOX411, "I was honestly really nervous tonight. For some reason, I was really anxious [but] I pulled through. I wouldn't have changed anything."
Football running back Jennings was also thrilled to be a finalist and told FOX411 he had no problem telling viewers about his learning difficulties and weight issues growing up.
"It's never hard for me to talk about anything that I went through. I have nothing to hide but it's emotional. You put yourself back in that place and every time I talk about it, I always feel it," he said backstage after earning a cumulative 77 points for two dances.
For the finale, Jennings and partner Emma Slater promised excitement.
The two-night "DWTS" finals air next Monday and Tuesday nights on ABC.