'Dancing With the Stars': Artem Chigvintsev Weighs in on Elimination Rule Change Following Firing

Former Dancing With The Stars pro Artem Chigvintsev might not be watching the new season, but the dancer has voiced his support for the major rule change announced during last week's episode. Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews revealed last week that the judges will ultimately get to decide who is eliminated but can only choose between the bottom two vote-getters. The Supremes singer Mary Wilson was the first dancer eliminated under the new rule.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Chigvintsev said he supported the change, noting that Strictly Come Dancing already decides who is going home that way.

"When I did Strictly Come Dancing in the U.K. for four years, that's how they do it," Chigvintzev told ET last week. "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."

Fans can still vote on contestants at ABC.com or via text, but the judges will ultimately pick who moves on to the next week. NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis and Wilson were the bottom two vote-getters, forcing judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli to pick between them. They sent Wilson home.

The move appears to be a response to last year's controversial end, when country music radio star Bobby Bones won, despite low scores throughout the season. The plan still did not completely work though, as the dancer with the lowest score after the first two weeks was retired NBA star Lamar Odom, but he remains on the show. Odom had a combined 23/60, lower than Wilson's 32/60 and Lewis' 30/60.

After being eliminated so early, Wilson admitted she was surprised.

"Well, yes!" she told Us Weekly when asked if she was shocked. "[But] everyone on the show ended up really being very good…Someone had to go. Unfortunately, it had to me! But that's OK. I got lots to do."

Wilson later said she was sure she was disqualified because of the vote, not because of her performance.

"I don't think I was disqualified because of what I was doing. I think it was more that people didn't vote. They liked me, but they didn't vote!" Wilson told the magazine. "But dancing is something I really loved. I would have liked to have a little more time to actually learn it well."

Chigvintzev was surprisingly not brought back as a pro dancer this season, a decision he was only told about days before the Season 28 cast was revealed. He previously told ET he has no plans to watch every episode live.

"It's just simply, I think it's going to be a little hard right now. It'd be negative energy and I don't want to feel that; I'm just trying to find like a good place in my life right now, where I can concentrate on the positives," he said.


DWTS airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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