ET spoke with the dancer on Monday, just hours after he was officially announced as a pro for season 29.
ET spoke with the 38-year-old dancer on Monday, just hours after he was officially announced as a pro for the dance competition show's 29th season. Throughout the candid chat, Artem opened up about everything from how he's feeling about making his way back to the ballroom after a season off to which celebrity he'd love to be partnered up with in hopes of winning the mirrorball.
"This year has been so amazing to me," he gushed. "First of all, I have a beautiful fiancée. Now I have a newborn baby that we just adore and love. And this is like the cherry on the cake. Getting my dream job back, you know? There is really no other job in the world like Dancing With the Stars. So it's just a perfect situation."
"I think I'm the happiest person in the world, I swear to you," he added. "I'm like continuously catching my mind, like, 'Wow, like, everything is perfect in my life, there's nothing wrong.' I'm just so scared to even admit it because I want nothing to go wrong. I'm holding to this moment as long as I can."
Artem admitted that getting the call from DWTS' executive producers was "very emotional, but in the most happiest way."
"Long story short, I [originally] contacted the producers saying, 'Hey, I'm open to coming back to the show,'" he shared. "There had been a few conversations back and forth but nothing was guaranteed and then it happened."
"When they said the line, 'We want to have you back,' I teared up," he confessed. "I was speechless for a second, and then all I wanted to do was be done with the phone call, go downstairs, tell Nicole and just squeeze my whole little family, and be like, 'Oh my god, the most amazing thing happened.' So, I'm dedicating this season to my baby boy."
Later in the interview, Artem revealed to ET that former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe -- who is confirmed to compete in the ballroom next month -- was actually almost his partner back in season 21. He shared via Instagram at the time that he would not be competing with a celeb partner that season due to "last minute casting changes."
"I know Kaitlyn's been announced as one of the contestants on the show and there's a funny story behind it," he said. "She was just on the Total Bellas podcast and Nicole and her talked and they're like, 'Oh my god, this would be amazing if you could partner up with Artem.' There's been some conversation between them two and I'm just gonna say, hey, bring it on. If anybody would ask me who I would wanna be partnered with, I would say Kaitlyn."
"She was supposed to be on one of the seasons before, and she was supposed to be my partner," he added. "So, we need to correct the course of history ... fingers crossed, we'll see what happens."
While we'll all have to wait until premiere night to see which celebs the pros are paired up with, Artem did give a little teaser of what fans can expect from the all-new season... and it starts with the ballroom!
"All I can say is, it's a new stage. Very bright, very fancy, a lot of LED screens and there's definitely going to be a different feel, for sure," he teased. "We kind of have to co-exist with what's happening in the world [with the coronavirus] so they have to restructure the stage to make it top-notch. So it's gonna be a whole new stage, a very surprising stage. I think it will surprise a lot of people."
"Also, we'll have to follow all the [COVID-19 safety] protocols, so I heard in the rehearsal room there's going to be pre-set cameras," he added. "It's going to be, like, no people besides the dancer and the celebrity."
Before the interview ended, Artem also gave a shout-out to his longtime fans, whom he can't thank enough for supporting him throughout his journey, especially this past year.
"The response has been so great, and it just makes me so thankful for all the fans who have been through this with me and been supporting me for so many years," he raved. "I'm just grateful. I want to make them happy by being on the show, performing different performances and hopefully going all the way to the end. Maybe getting that mirrorball!"
Dancing With the Stars returns Monday, Sept. 14 on ABC. Tune into Entertainment Tonight on Monday for more from Artem's interview.