It’s one thing when Dancing with the Stars pros decide on their own to take a break from the ABC program. But show vets Sharna Burgess, 34, and Artem Chigvintsev, 37, were not asked to return for season 28, despite so many seasons on the dance competition. That’s especially shocking in Sharna’s case as she’s the reigning champ, winning season 27 with radio personality Bobby Bones, 39. HollywoodLife.com spoke EXCLUSIVELY to Bobby and he gave us his thoughts on their shocking removal from the pro-dancer cast.
“I was surprised to see Sharna not be brought back. And so was she,” he told us. “One, we won the show and I thought they would bring the champ back. What I think really happened is, and no one told me this, but I think that if I were to assume…I would assume she was one of the ones making the most money on the show, and if they had to make any adjustments at all, I would feel like…Because her and Artem both were pulled back. But she didn’t know until like three days before. Artem too.”
Sharna had been with the show through 12 seasons and Artem had eight under his belt. They’ve been replaced by newcomers, husband and wife pro dancers Daniella Karagach, 27, and Pasha Pashkov, 34. We asked Bobby if thought Sharna wasn’t brought back because the show wanted to give some new blood a chance. Bobby responded, “If they only pulled her back, I would have said that. Because I would got all my people to vote for her again. But they pulled back Artem too, and even Artem has said publicly that he didn’t know he was going to be relieved of his duties either.”
“And so, it was just weird. It was so close to the date of the show starting. Because Sharna and I would talk all the time. And I was like, ‘Hey, who’s your partner?’ I just wanted to know. I was nosy. And I was getting ready to be jealous, mostly. It’s like watching your ex-girlfriend with somebody new. Not literally my ex-girlfriend. But like your ex-girlfriend… And so, the whole thing was she didn’t know, she didn’t know. And then she hit me, she goes, ‘I’m not being brought back.’ And I was like, ‘What?!'” he continued.
“So the first thing I did was call and go, ‘Hey, are you guys not bringing Sharna back for any reason to have to do with?’ And they were like, ‘No, her and Artem both aren’t coming back. They made a decision.’ And so I was like, ‘All right.’ So, that’s really all I know is that she was shocked. Artem was shocked. I was shocked. Listen, I’m still going to go back on Monday, and I’m going to do some stuff on the show on Monday. I love the crew there. And I hope Lauren wins. And I’m going to push for Lauren hard,” he revealed, referring to country star Lauren Alaina, 24. It was Bobby’s fan base that propelled him to victory on ‘DWTS’ so throwing his support behind Lauren could really help her win.
Bobby, who’s working hard on the Dog Chow for the “Service Dog Salute” campaign, thinks Sharna and Artem will be back in the ballroom again one day. “You know, in the grand scheme of life, they’re going to be all right. She’s talented and strong and she’s going to…it’s just weird because they have mortgages to pay and they weren’t told until like three days before. They were expecting that money to be coming in. But I don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes there. Really. So it stinks. They’ll be fine. I imagine they’ll be back,” he explained. We spoke to ABC and they had no comment on Bobby’s remarks.