Dancing with the Stars alum Nikki Bella thinks her fiance Artem Chigvintsev and his partner Kaitlyn Bristowe deserve to win the Season 29 mirrorball trophy, and she’s going so far as to call foul if they don’t.
The former WWE star made her comments while chatting with her twin sister Brie on their Bellas Podcast this week. The new mom said Artem and The Bachelorette alum are the most deserving of the remaining couples because of how much they have grown as a team.
Nikki, who competed with Artem on Season 24 of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition, said part of the beauty of the show is how people root for contestants when they see their growth. She added that Artem’s ex-girlfriend, veteran DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba, may have even pushed Kaitlyn to greatness with her harsh critiques of the couple earlier in the competition.
“They got three 10s,” Nikki said, per Us Weekly.
“That Argentine tango, you were like I didn’t even think she could do that and she did that. And so for me, that’s how I see things. Like Carrie Ann pushed her in a way that made her even better. Honestly, if Kaitlyn and Artem don’t win, I’m calling, it’s rigged.”
On the podcast, Nikki added while Catfish star Nev Schulman is also a popular contender for the glittery trophy, she thinks Kaitlyn has grown even more than he has over the course of the season.
The Total Bellas star also defended her reaction to the recent bullying and backlash Carrie Ann was getting over her critiques and scores of Artem and Kaitlyn. Some fans thought the unfair criticisms were getting “personal” more than a decade after Artem and Carrie Ann broke up, but Nikki publicly defended the longtime DWTS judge by saying she was just doing her job.
“For the women who thought I should have my man’s back, I would take a bullet for that man,” Nikki said. “And by the way… he actually agreed.”
Should Artem win the current Dancing with the Stars competition, it would be his first mirrorball. He has competed on the show in eight previous seasons with partners that included Grammy-winning singer Patti LaBelle, Brady Bunch alum Maureen McCormick, and Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan.
As for Kaitlyn, a triumph would make her the second Bachelorette in a row to take home the mirrorball. Last fall, Bachelorette beauty Hannah Brown won DWTS with pro partner Alan Bersten.