‘Dancing With the Stars’ Pro Calls Out Judges: ‘Not Fair’


ABC "Dancing With the Stars" season 31

“Dancing With the Stars” season 31 is over, and a new Mirrorball Champion has been crowned. Charli D’Amelio and her partner, Mark Ballas, took home the title at the end of the season after competing against her mother, Heidi D’Amelio, earlier in the season.

Heidi was partnered with Artem Chigvintsev, who is a long-time professional dancer and two-time Mirrorball Champion. He wasn’t always happy with the judges, however, calling them out for what he called was “unfair” behavior and comments during a new episode of “The Bellas Podcast.”

Heidi and Chigvintsev were eliminated during the first double elimination of the season at the end of the ’90s night-themed episode on Monday, November 7.

Chigvintsev Thinks the Judges Are Unfair to Certain Performers

Chigvintsev shared that he was “disappointed” after his elimination from the show.

“First of all, double elimination, I feel, it’s tough, just because two people going home, and one of those couples have completely no say. It’s just the lowest score, the lowest vote, you get eliminated. It just comes down to, the only thing I could do is try to get the best score possible because obviously, I can’t control the vote,” he shared. 

Chigvintsev recalled that the night he and D’Amelio were eliminated, they danced their contemporary routine and then danced in the dance-off against Wayne Brady, who he called an “incredible performer” who understands entertainment. 

“Performance is a huge part of television, but I feel like if you want to see people grow, if you want people to overcome certain challenges, then I feel like that should be applied on, not just do one or two or three people because it’s an easy target to do, an easy thing to ask for,” he said. 

The dancer added, “But I also feel like, people who do well need to be also challenged with other little things that they’re missing, and if the judges are willing to criticize them to the point, like, saying, it’s the semi-final, you have to do better, then I think you have to stick to it all the way through on the dance floor.” 

He shared that he believes it’s “not fair” to task only some contestants with growth throughout the season, and he called out the judges specifically for not giving constructive criticism to some of the other performers.

“Because, at the end of the day, if you want the growth, and you want the people to see this person overcoming something, then it’s amazing, and I think that’s the journey that people can relate to, but if you kind of close your eyes and just say, ‘This was a great performance,’ …,” he told the Bella sisters. “You’re also a judge, you’re not the audience, that’s why we have scores, and that’s why we have votes, so you have to do that job. That’s what the judges have to do. And I think that’s very important.” 

The professional dancer added, “I do feel like sometimes we’re missing that, we’re lacking that.” 

Chigvintsev Shaded the Judges When He Was Eliminated

The dancer spoke with Page Six after the show, joking that he was “afraid to speak because I might say something you don’t want to hear.”

“I’m definitely disappointed,” he told the outlet and other reporters. “I think what’s hard is, this show becomes your life. For the past 10 weeks, this has been every second of [our] day … I mean, you just breathe, and sleep, and even dream of this, of what’s happening on the floor, right?”

He and D’Amelio received a score of 35 out of 40 after receiving three 9s and an 8 from Len Goodman after he told the couple that he didn’t think the dance suited D’Amelio’s personality.

Chigvintsev added, “The emotional part, it’s more challenging than learning the steps – especially for a person who is not a performer. There’s a lot of people on the show how perform for a living … [Heidi] doesn’t, that’s not her job.”

He said that going through the motions to overcome that and then “kind of getting, like, ‘Bye, see ya,’ it does make you feel a little bit like, ‘Ah, well this sucks.’”

Carrie Ann Inaba later defended her comments and applauded Chigvintsev and Heidi for their hard work.

“Dancing With the Stars” is set to return for season 32 in the fall of 2023.

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