ABC confirmed the dancer’s pro casting on Monday’s Good Morning America, after the show teased that a surprise announcement was coming via Twitter last Friday. GMA also revealed that the celebrity cast will be announced on their show on Wednesday, Sept. 2.
Artem’s casting announcement comes just a few weeks after he welcomed his first child, a baby boy, with fiancée Nikki Bella.
« Last season, watching from the sidelines, really made me realize how much I really miss the show, miss performing live, » Artem said on GMA. « I just can’t wait to get back. I want to dedicate this season to my little boy. »
As for how his son is doing, the new dad quipped, « I really feel bad for Nicole because he’s a really good eater. »
« I am obsessed and just didn’t know I had so much love to give, » he added. « It is just incredible. »
That being said, Artem admitted that he and Nikki aren’t getting much sleep these days with the newborn around. « It has been kind of challenging, » he shared. « He has been waking up every 1.5 hours. »
OMG! @artemchigvintse (and new dad) is returning to the dance floor on @DancingABC! See the full list of Pros here: https://t.co/aOIgnLMpX3#DWTSpic.twitter.com/RsMPO9kls8
This will mark Artem’s long-awaited return to the ballroom after he and fellow fan-favorite dancer Sharna Burgess were cut from the pro lineup last year. Sharna will also be competing for the mirrorball this season, along with previously announced pros Alan Bersten, Gleb Savchenko, Peta Murgatroyd, Val Chmerkovskiy, Jenna Johnson, Sasha Farber, Emma Slater, Brandon Armstrong, Keo Motsepe, Cheryl Burke, Pasha Pashkov, Britt Stewart and Daniella Karagach.
Prior to the big announcement, Nikki opened up about the possibility of Artem returning to the dance competition show during a recent episode on her Total Bellas podcast,
« People really missed his presence and he’s just an incredible dancer and he’s always an incredible partner too, » gushed Nikki, who was paired with Artem during the show’s 25th season. « He truly knows how to showcase the celebrity and he’s an incredible choreographer. »
« I’m praying and hoping that he’s back this season. Even for him, I just know how much he misses dancing and I know he would love to be back on the show, » she added. « It would just be fun to experience it now as his fiancée because I’ve danced with him. »
« Honestly, at this point, I want him to get [the job] so bad that I feel like I wouldn’t, » she admitted. « I would be turned on. I want to see my man dance again! I love it. I need to see those hips move and roll! »
Dancing With the Stars returns Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. In the meantime, here’s everything we know (so far!) about the all-new season.
‘DWTS’: Everything We Know So Far About the New Season (Exclusive)
Kaitlyn Bristowe Shows Off Insane 14-Week Progress Training for ‘DWTS’
Witney Carson on Taking a Season Off From ‘DWTS,’ Tyra Banks & More
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