Artem Chigvintsev, 37, is still “shocked” after he wasn’t included in Season 28’s roster of dancers on Dancing with the Stars. The dancing pro gave an update on this post-DWTS era while dropping by HollywoodLife’s Los Angeles office on Aug. 29, just a week after the unexpected casting decision rocked fans. But Artem doesn’t have to process the news alone — that’s where his girlfriend Nikki Bella, 35, comes in. “She’s been absolutely amazing,” Artem EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife of the WWE star, whose real name is Stephanie Nicole Garcia-Colace. “You know, it’s nice to have Nicole by my side, especially when things like that happen, you know? My family’s way, way, way, way, way back in Russia, and I can never really like, get that support. And it’s sort of just Nicole.”
Well, not just Nicole. Artem made sure to give his girlfriend’s twin, Brie, a shout-out too. “I mean, Brie and her whole family’s been extremely supportive,” Artem added, saying that the family has showed him an “Anything you need, let me know” type of hospitality. Refocusing his praise on Bella, Artem continued, “She’s extremely motivating, and trying to show me that, look, things happen for a reason. That means there is something else there which is bigger and better for you, and maybe suits [you more]. You know…she’s been incredible.”
Like Artem told us, Nikki has showed that “one door may have closed but SO many are about to open up” for the talented dancer — that’s what she captioned an Instagram picture from their time on the show during Season 25. One of those doors includes another reality show, Total Bellas, which Artem is now filming with Nikki! He admitted that he’s a “little nervous” about the new gig, since “it’s kind of like exposing yourself in a vulnerable place.” Cameras even caught Artem’s reaction to the big news about DWTS, and the surprise you’ll see is genuine. “I’ll be frank with you, because the conversation that I had with producers, it seems to be very uplifting. It seems to be very positive,” Artem confessed. “So it did come kind of like out of nowhere.”
While Artem is leaving DWTS behind for now — he’s still unsure if he’s left out from the brand “in general” — the Russia native gets to work with other dancers as a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance. He also has his blossoming romance with Nikki to focus on, now that they finally confirmed their relationship on the July 17 episode of The Bellas Podcast.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.