Doing the right thing! Nikki Bella had a heart-to-heart with fiancé Artem Chigvintsev after his ex-girlfriend and Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba was bullied for her tough scoring style.
“He and I, like, kind of bumped heads on that,” Bella, 36, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting the new season of Total Bellas. “And then I really got in on him and I felt bad.”
After Chigvintsev, 38, and his season 29 partner, Kaitlyn Bristowe, received low scores from Inaba, 52, earlier this month, some fans thought it was personal. Social media users suggested that Inaba was tougher on the pair because she previously dated the Russian dancer, which Bella revealed she was not OK with.
“I was like, and you’ve made it so personal. She’s getting bullied. You need to go make a video on it,” the former wrestler explained. “And poor Artem did this video. And he goes, ‘Should I post it?’ And I was like, ‘No, don’t post it.’ But like, so, we saw things differently.”
The Total Divas alum noted that she saw the judging drama from an athlete’s perspective, saying that it’s “kind of what you sign up for” to be criticized in order to become better.
“I have been raised in such a way, like, don’t cry about injuries. Suck it up,” she told Us. “I think he was so shocked because I was, like, ‘Why are you taking it so personal?’”
Bella took it a step further during the Wednesday, November 18, episode of her and twin sister Brie Bella’s “The Bellas Podcast” podcast, telling her fans that she supported her fiancé in her own way.
“For the women [fans] who thought I should have my man’s back, I would take a bullet for that man,” she said. “I love that man and we both have chosen to be in the reality world, we put our life out there. So when you all said if it isn’t good I shouldn’t talk about it … no. I talk about the good, the bad, the ugly.”
The new mom, who shares 3-month-old son Matteo with Chigvintsev, noted that the couple discussed Inaba’s critiques over his performances with Bristowe, 35, and agreed together that he should apologize for his part.
“Artem has the biggest heart and he was feeling bad for Carrie Ann with all the bad comments she was getting on her Instagram,” Nikki said. “At the end of the day, no one wants to be dragged.”
Earlier this month, the DWTS pro laughed off rumors that Inaba was judging him lower than others due to a personal vendetta.
“Oh, my goodness! It was so long ago,” Chigvintsev told Us after the November 9 episode of his romance with Inaba. “It was, like, 2008, we’re in 2020. That’s 12 years ago!”
The dancer dated the Hawaii native for nearly three years from 2006 to 2009, but Chigvintsev assured his fans that there is no bad blood between the exes.
“I don’t think my previous relationship has anything to do with it, I’ll be honest with you, because she’s been judging me for the past however many seasons I was on the show,” the Strictly Come Dancing alum said. “So there’s no, like, personal agenda whatsoever. I don’t think it has anything to do with it. I think she just really was harsh in the sense that she saw so much more potential than what we’ve been delivering the past two weeks and she finally got things that she’s been wanting to see.”
Chigvintsev and the former Bachelorette earned a perfect score for their Argentine tango during the November 9 episode, despite low scores beforehand. They are also competing in the show’s finale.
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