Kaitlyn Bristowe & Artem Chigvintsev on 'DWTS' Elimination Mix-Up & What's Next

Kaitlyn Bristowe Artem Chigvintsev Dancing With the Stars
ABC/Kelsey McNeal

All ejections on Dancing With the Stars are dramatic, but the October 5 elimination of Anne Heche (Men in Trees; Another World) and Keo Motsepe delivered an extra tense moment or two as the other couple that was in danger of being sent home – Monica Aldama (Cheer) and Val Chmerkovskiy — were originally called safe for next week. Yikes!

Upon being told there had be an error, host Tyra Banks called the pair back so that judges could vote on which duo they wanted to keep in the dance reality competition.

(ABC/Eric McCandless)

Judge Bruno Tonioli said that this has happened in the past on the U.K. version of the show, but Kaitlyn Bristowe's pro partner Artem Chigvintsev, who’s competed on the U.K.’s Strictly Come Dancing, told reporters after the show that this was a first for him.

“Honestly, I’ve never witnessed anything like it,” Chigvintsev admits. “I think it’s the first time in the history of Dancing With the Stars (U.S. version). I know Bruno said it did happen on the U.K. version, but I was definitely not part of that season ... You know, it’s a shame. Once you tell someone they get to go through and then, ‘No, you have to come back…’ I’m sure [Monica and Val] were feeling very upset by that.”

Fortunately, all three judges voted to save Aldama and Chmerkovskiy. “Luckily, they did not go home,” Chigvintsev adds. “So, I hope they’re in better spirits now than they were during those final minutes of the show.”

As for their own performance in the competition, while their on-screen partnership is going very well, Bristowe and Chigvintsev each emphasize how great their respective off-screen relationships are helping them this season. And for the former Bachelorette star, that relationship was highlighted during Monday's performance.

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Of boyfriend Jason Tartick, Bristowe gushes, “He helps in ways where he massages my feet, makes me coffee in the morning, and he makes sure I get my proper rest at night. Sometimes, he’ll go and sleep in the other room just so his snoring isn’t waking me up.”

 

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“Beautiful, crazy, she can't help but amaze me. The way that she dances, ain't afraid to take chances. And wears her heart on her sleeve. Yeah, she's crazy but her crazy's beautiful to me” Tears galore after that dance...it was just amazing! Please text “Kaitlyn” to 21523 and support this amazing run @kaitlynbristowe and @theartemc are on!

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Chigvintsev is still riding high on being a new dad to son Matteo, whom he shares with WWE alum Nikki Bella, his fiancée and former celeb DWTS partner from Season 25. “Our baby is the literally best baby ever,” he beams, adding wryly, “I can’t believe it happened because I participated in it.”

 

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My whole world ❤️

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The pair getting the season’s first "9" score after performing a Viennese Waltz to "Beautiful Crazy" by Luke Combs “feels incredible,” says Bristowe. “This week, we worked really, really hard and sometimes I was having a couple of off days so, to know it came together…was reassuring and motivating and felt awesome.”

(ABC/Eric McCandless)

Next week’s DWTS theme is the 1980s, so what does the couple have in mind? “Oh, we are going to bring it,” Bristowe previews.

“It’s going to be an interesting week,” muses Chigvintsev, adding with a bit of humor, “because obviously, I know nothing about the ‘80s except for the fact that you can see go to YouTube and maybe [see some] '80s movies. But there’s more in store…we’re definitely doing a ballroom dance, but it’ll be a faster ballroom dance. The judges have told us they’ve been seeing these slow contemporary dances. We’re doing a tango.”

However, the attractive duo may be unrecognizable when they take to the floor. “We’re two absolute nerds,” Chigvintsev previews of the couple’s costumes and look.

“Yes,” adds Bristowe. “We’re going to be huge ‘80s dorks.”

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In between dance rehearsals, the reality star makes time for her podcast, Off the Vine. “I’m going to have Artem on at one point and I talk to a lot of Bachelor Nation people on it, too,” she says. “I talk to a lot of country [music] artists. We drink wine and just have a good fun 45-minute conversation. It’s one of my favorite things to do.”

Does Bristowe think that she can go all the way and win that Mirrorball trophy as fellow Bachelorette star Hannah Brown did in Season 28? “That is like my dream,” she says. “I’m putting it out there to the universe. That would be obviously the best-case scenario.“

Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC