Thank you for writing.
The complexity of the approach seems to be related to the desired experience. The steps from your last post seem to be the shortest way to achieve the current experience. For example if you don't want to animate to the next item, but instead just "jump to it" when the selected item is removed, you can simply change your selected item property to the next item. Then the steps would be:
Tap (on Remove button) -> save the currently selected item -> change the selected item property to the next item from your collection -> remove the stored previously selected item.
If you want the animation to play, there is no other way but the one you are currently using: force animation, wait for its finish and then perform the item removal steps.
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