“I just can’t wait to get back,” he said. “And I want to dedicate this season to my little boy.”
The morning show teased the dancer’s comeback on Friday, August 21, giving clues as to who the additional pro would be. “He just had a baby with the love of his life, and she knows how to kick some ass,” the show said, pointing to the new father, who is engaged to former WWE Superstar Nikki Bella.
“Obviously, it was a massive shock,” Chigvintsev said on “The Bellas Podcast” in August 2019. “It’s not even a job, it’s a lifestyle if you’ve been doing it for a very long time. There was never a thought in my mind that I’m not going to be doing it.”
Chigvintsev explained that he found out he wasn’t being asked back just five days before the announcement was shared with the world.
“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,” he said at the time. “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.”
A year later, the reality star was again left off the list of pros competing for the Mirrorball Trophy when ABC announced its cast on August 18.
Now, however, Chigvinstev will get another shot at taking home the coveted trophy, as will his former castmate Sharna Burgess, who was cut ahead of season 28 as well.
Burgess, 35, who won season 27 of the series, will return to the ballroom when the show premieres in September alongside veteran dancers Peta Murgatroyd, Sasha Farber, Val Chmerkovskiy and more. New pro dancers Britt Stewart and Daniella Karagach will also have a lot to prove once they take the stage for the first time this fall.
When the show kicks off, Tyra Banks will be at the helm as the solo host. The former America’s Next Top Model host was announced as the replacement for original host Tom Bergeron and his longtime cohost Erin Andrews earlier this summer — and has had a mixed reception.
Season 19 champion Alfonso Ribeiro told Us Weekly in July that “Tom and Erin are the backbone of the show.” Burgess, on the other hand, told Us that she thinks “it’s exciting that [they’re] changing it up,” noting that it was “shocking” to hear that Bergeron was ousted.
Dancing With the Stars returns to ABC Monday, September 14, at 8 p.m. ET.