There were a lot of surprises when the Dancing with the Stars cast was announced last week. However, it wasn’t just some of the celebrity contestants that fans found surprising, but also the fact that some notable dancers wouldn’t be returning. Artem Chigvintsev has appeared on the show as a professional dancer for years, pairing up with many different celebrities, but will not be returning for the new season. It turns out that fans weren’t the only ones who were shocked, but Artem himself was shocked to find out he wouldn’t be returning.
According to a report from Us Weekly, Artem appeared on “The Bella’s Podcast” on Wednesday and opened up about his feelings on not returning to the hit show.
“Obviously, it was a massive shock.”
Artem explained that being on the show is a “lifestyle” rather than a “job” saying, “There was never a thought in my mind that I’m not going to be doing it. There’s always a chance, as a pro, you might be doing some performances on the show and there’s still an involvement in some sort. But getting this call, [hearing] ‘There’s gonna be no involvement in the show from now on,’ it’s like going through a breakup after 10 years.”
Artem said he realized “something was wrong” when he hadn’t heard who he would be partnered with the weekend before the casting announcement was set to be made. He explained that he touched base with producers who said they would let him know. It wasn’t until later that night that he received word he wouldn’t be returning to the show for the new season.
He described being let go from the show after a decade on the show as a “punch in the stomach.”
His girlfriend, Nikki Bella, chimed in and said she was “upset” that the dancers had been “on hold” since the beginning of the year, only to be cut “at the last minute.”
Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev met on Dancing with the Stars and were paired together during Season 25 of the show. At the time, Nikki was still dating WWE wrestler John Cena, but the two called it quits in July 2018. A few months after the split, rumors began swirling that Nikki and Artem had started dating. It wasn’t until early 2019 that they went public with their relationship.
Artem appeared as part of the Dance Troupe for Dancing with the Stars in 2014 and was added as a professional dancer the following season. Over the years, he partnered with many celebrities including Mischa Barton, Maureen McCormick, and Nancy Kerrigan.
Artem Chigvintsev is not the only professional dancer who won’t be returning to the show this year. It was also announced that Sharna Burgess will not be on the new season.
The new season of Dancing with the Stars premiers on Monday, September 16 on ABC.