artem chigvintsev

Former Strictly star Artem Chigvintsev breaks silence over shock DWTS departure

The professional dancer joined Dancing With the Stars in 2014

Sharnaz Shahid

Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Artem Chigvintsev has revealed his shock over his exit from the US series, Dancing With the Stars, after nearly ten years on the show. The pro dancer, who joined the American version of the dancing programme in 2014, confessed he only found out about the news three days before the cast was announced. Appearing on girlfriend Nikki Bella's podcast, The Bellas, 37-year-old Artem described the departure as a "breakup over ten years".

Artem Chigvintsev joined DWTS in 2014

"Getting this call and there's going to be no involvement with the show from now on, it's like going through a breakup over ten years," he explained, adding: "I dedicated 10 years of my life to that company and being let go three days before the announcement, that's like a punch in the stomach really. I can't let anyone decide my fate from now on."

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Although the dancer knew there was no guarantee his contract would be renewed for another series, Artem was sure he would be back this year. "In my mind, it's 99 per cent that I'm going to be on, that's not even going to be a question mark in my mind," he admitted.

"It's not even a job. It's a lifestyle that you've been doing for a very, very long time and there's never been a thought in my mind that I'm not going to be doing it, you know?" Artem, who won Strictly back in 2010 with ex-girlfriend Kara Tointon, explained how he was receiving texts about promo shoots two weeks before the cast announcement came. "It was always a positive conversation…never even thought, 'Oh we're going to let you know if you're going to be on or not,'" he shared.

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"There was always a conversation of like, 'Oh, that's what when we're planning to do the promo shoot', or, 'That's when we're planning the announcement. That's when we're planning GMA,'" he said. However, things went suspiciously quiet the week before the announcement. "I called up producers and they said, 'Hey we're going to find out by end of the day today, we'll let you know.' That was approximately, what 10 in the morning? So, I waited until like 7pm at night," he recalled. Artem left Strictly in 2013 and landed a role as a backing dancer on Dancing With the Stars in 2014 before being promoted to a pro in season 19.

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