Dancing with the Stars pro dancer Artem Chigvintsev has officially been added to the Season 29 cast.
The fan-favorite dancer, who last competed on the show two years ago and was thought to be permanently cut from the ABC dance competition, shared the big news in a post on Instagram.
In a video posted to his social media page, which can be seen below, the Russian-American choreographer said he was happy to finally reveal his secret. Artem also said 2020 has been an amazing year for him. Not only did he get engaged to his former DWTS partner Nikki Bella, but the couple welcomed their first child together July 31. Artem said a return to Dancing with the Stars as a surprise 15th professional dancer is the “cherry on the cake.”
In the comments section to the post, fans were thrilled to hear that the longtime pro will be back in the ballroom where he belongs. Several fans noted they hadn’t planned to watch the show without Artem on it, while others said producers must have realized what a mistake they made by letting him go in the first place.
“Finally I can watch again!!!” one fan wrote of DWTS.
“They realized what they were missing,” another added.
“YESSSSSSSSS! I knew they couldn’t keep you off for too long!” a third fan chimed in.
“WE’VE MISSED YOU KING,” another fan wrote.
Arten also talked about his return to the celebrity ballroom competition during an interview with Good Morning America.
“Last season, watching from the sidelines, really made me realize how much I really miss the show, miss performing live,” Artem said on GMA, per ET Online. “I just can’t wait to get back. I want to dedicate this season to my little boy.”
This will mark Artem’s ninth time on Dancing with the Stars. He previously partnered with singer Patti LaBelle, Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick, Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan, and, of course, his future fiancée, Nikki. Artem’s most recent DWTS partner was Paralympic skier Danelle Umstead, and the two landed in 12th place in 2018.
Now that he’s a new dad, Artem could face some challenges when rehearsing for the weekly series. Not only will he miss spending time with his baby boy, but a lack of sleep could take a toll on him amid his grueling rehearsal schedule. In the GMA interview, Artem revealed his son has been waking up every hour and a half throughout the night.
The news of Artem’s casting on Dancing with the Stars comes a few days after a teaser posted by GMA strongly hinted that he would be returning to the ABC celebrity ballroom competition in September. Other surprises this fall include the return of Mirrorball champ Sharna Burgess and two new pros — Britt Stewart and Daniella Karagach Pashkova — as well as the addition of new host and executive producer Tyra Banks.