It's been almost a week since the Dancing With the Stars Season 28 cast was unveiled, and one pro is still trying to move on.
Artem Chigvintsev was ominously missing from the list of pros taking part.
More upsetting is that he learned about being cut just days ahead of the cast reveal.
“Obviously, it was a massive shock,” the dancer revealed on Nikki and Brie Bella‘s “The Bellas Podcast” on Wednesday, August 28.
“It’s not even a job; it’s a lifestyle if you’ve been doing it for a very long time," he continued.
"There was never a thought in my mind that I’m not going to be doing it. There’s always a chance, as a pro, you might be doing some performances on the show, and there’s still an involvement in some sort.
But getting this call, [hearing] ‘There’s gonna be no involvement in the show from now on,’ it’s like going through a breakup after 10 years.”
Artem has been with the ABC competition series since 2014, so being cut completely is a big thing.
Upon joining the cast in 2014, he was part of the dance troupe, later scoring a promotion to professional dancer.
He said during the podcast that he understood he might be demoted back to the dance troupe, but being let go from the series as a whole was a shock.
He had been texting with producers for two weeks before the announcement, and there was nothing in those messages that suggested he would not be returning.
The cookie crumbled for Artem after a conversation with his brother in which he was asked who he was partnered with.
He contacted producers the Friday before the cast reveal and was told he would get a response by the end of the day.
He did, and that's when he learned about his fate on the show.
“I dedicated 10 years of my life to that company and being let go a few days before the announcement, that’s, like, a punch in the stomach really,” he said. “I can’t let any one decide my fate from now on.”
Nikki, who is now dating Artem, also had some words about the whole scenario.
“They’ve had these dancers on hold since March,” she said.
“They don’t give them compensation for it. They’ve been all unemployed since March. … That made me really upset because how do you put people on hold and then cut them last minute?”
Chigvintsev took to Instagram to reveal that he was "sad" to be left out of this season.
"It's been 10 years since I have joined this absolutely, one of a kind, incredible show! It has given me recognition as a dancer, choreographer and a teacher. I have had so many beautiful memories with all of my celebrity partners! They all have shaped me into the person that I am today," he wrote.
"I want to thank you SO much for supporting me all these years! I simply couldn't have done it without you! Without your love! Without your connection! And most importantly without your support! You all have no idea how much I will miss you all this season! I’m already missing you all so much! Even though this is so hard on me, I will be DWTS #1 fan, cheering you all on every Monday night! Good luck to everyone on Seasons 28! With lots of Love, Artem."
What are your thoughts on all of this?
Will you miss Artem?
Dancing With the Stars Season 28 launches Monday, September 16 at 8/7c on ABC.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.