Nikki Bella is opening up about the connection she made with Artem Chigvintsev when she first met her now-fiancé on Dancing With the Stars. The Total Bellas star admitted it wasn't initially a love connection, especially because she was engaged to ex John Cena when she took to the ballroom in Season 25, while talking about the ABC reality show with fellow DWTS alum Lisa Vanderpump on the latest episode of The Bellas Podcast.
While getting close to pro Gleb Savchenko on her season in 2013 was "the best part" of the show for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Bella said she was "uncomfortable" with some of the steps. "I remember the one thing that was awkward for me — I don’t know if you remember in some dance moves — when their leg had to be in between your leg," the former WWE wrestler recalled. "I remember … it was the first time a man’s leg, other than my fiancé’s was in between mine and I was like, ‘Whoa!’ It was weird."
Cena and Bella were engaged to be married during her season, having been dating for five years before Cena popped the question. In April 2018, Cena and Bella announced they had called off their wedding, which was planned for the next month. Wednesday, TMZ reported that Cena and girlfriend Shay Shariatzadeh had tied the knot, filing for a wedding license, while Bella and Chigvintsev postponed their wedding planning due to the coronavirus pandemic after going public with their relationship in January 2019. The couple welcomed their first child, son Matteo, in July.
Bella added that while she bonded with Chigvintsev emotionally during her season, there was no physical attraction for her during their time on the show. "You definitely get an emotional bond with them because it is so scary … I’ve never been that nervous before," she said. "That’s the crazy thing being with him now is there were none of those feelings at all."
"It was the first time I was ever vulnerable, even with a man, because I was always such a strong, independent woman,” the new mom added of her time with her future husband in the ballroom. "I wish I could do it again because I couldn’t take in the moment of the dance being beautiful because I was thinking of my steps the whole time. I wish I could’ve taken in those moments but then where I got the bond was just having to depend on him. And I had never had to depend on a man before."