The professional dancer and his girlfriend, Nikki Bella, visited our Los Angeles studio on Wednesday, where they guest co-hosted our show with Keltie Knight. During the rundown, Artem shared his thoughts on Dancing With the Stars' all-new voting format this season, and Nikki couldn't help herself from bringing up a hilarious fact from her boyfriend's past.
In case you missed it, host Tom Bergeron announced on Monday's show that for the first time ever on DWTS, there will now be a judges' save. Fans will still get to vote on ABC.com and via text, but who goes home is ultimately up to the judges now. Week two's first elimination sent Mary Wilson and her pro partner, Brandon Armstrong, home packing.
"When I did Strictly Come Dancing in the U.K. for four years, that's how they do it," Artem explained. "I feel like I'm a little bit biased on this one. Because I love the people to be involved ... but I also feel that the judges are the experts, so having that option is good, too. We'll see how it goes."
Artem and Nikki met in 2017 when the two were competing on season 25 of the dance competition show. The two placed seventh, but Nikki believes they may have had better luck had this new voting system been in place.
"I like it," she said of the voting change. "I think we would have lasted longer if we had that option. I think Carrie Ann [Inaba] totally would have saved us. And not because you guys dated... but she really liked my technique!"
Seemingly caught off guard, Artem turned beet red and started laughing, holding a paper up to his face.
"Speaking of hot seat today, what?" he replied. "C'mon!"
Longtime fans of the show may recall that Artem and Carrie began dating in 2006 after meeting on the set of So You Think You Can Dance. After two and a half years together, they parted ways in 2009.
"I feel like I'm better now," he shared. "The best way to describe [the feeling] is, having this relationship for 10 years that you've completely invested in, and all of a sudden, it's just like it's not there anymore. So, it's tough, but I wish the best of luck to the show."
"They ask me back, maybe I'll be back," he continued. "Who knows!"
Artem and Nikki revealed that fans will actually get to see just how emotional the dancer got when he received that heartbreaking call from ABC.
"You will see some of that on Total Bellas," teased Artem, who is officially a part of the season five cast and was filming that day.
"I think that was the hardest," Nikki added. "For a while I was kind of stern towards them, a little angry and I think I let my emotions take over a little bit. But it's because I care about this man so much and love him, and seeing him so hurt really affected me. I felt like a bulldog. I was like, 'That's my Puss in Boots, I gotta guard him!'"