PureDWTS Season 28: Artem Talks About His Dismissal from DWTS on the Bellas Podcast

Up until now, we’ve really only gotten to hear Bobby and E! weigh in on Sharna’s dismissal from the show, and have only a few existential Instagram posts from Nikki Bella (and maybe a few subtweets) to tell the story of Artem’s dismissal.  So as we had previously heard, Artem was indeed a guest on girlfriend Nikki and her twin sister Brie Bella’s podcast this week, and a good portion of the episode was dedicated to Artem telling his side of the story – you can listen to the Bellas podcast on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, etc., but I’ve linked to this specific episode on Apple.  No transcript today, kids – the segment is long: it starts at the 4:29 mark and ends at the 19:25 mark. It’s a good listen, though…

There’s two key things that got mentioned that I want to talk about. First, Nikki pointed out that all of the pros have basically been unemployed (with a few side projects, of course) since March, when the tour wrapped – and as we know from our research about how the pros’ contracts work, the pros only get paid if they actually get cast on a season. So while the pros on DWTS do get paid relatively well, I could see how being suddenly let go (after not working for nearly 6 months!) could create some definite stress, and I feel for Artem, Sharna, and the troupe in that respect – my office is currently operating amidst whispers of layoffs due to money mismanagement higher up in the company, and we’re all trying to sock as much money away as possible, lest we fall victim. Imagine getting laid off and NOT seeing it coming – or worse, turning down other work on the assumption that you are returning to the show, and then getting cut 😯  I’m sure there’s a clause in their contracts that spells out that they aren’t guaranteed a position from season to season, but if I were Artem or Sharna (Sharna in particular, since she just recently renegotiated her contract), I would at the very least have a lawyer take a glance at their contract to see if they might have grounds to sue for estoppel – particularly if they turned down other work on the assumption that they’d be returning to the show. Then again, if they hope to keep the door open to return in a future season, they best just quietly accept their fate.  That’s the worst thing about all of this: no matter how you dice it, DWTS holds all the cards. They have first dibs on the pros, regardless of whether they’re going to use them or not, and they can string them along for as long as they like and then have no obligation to pay them if they opt not to use them – and oftentimes, they still have the legal right to prevent those same pros from accepting other work, if they choose to.  And if the pros complain? Buh-bye, kiddo – no more DWTS for you ever again.

Second key point: Artem wistfully mentions that dance is all he’s done for the past ~20 years, and now he’s having serious doubts about his skills…and wondering if he needs to reinvent himself and pursue a different career. This clip just breaks my heart:

And Artem, I feel you on the reinvention part – I’m currently in the midst of a reinvention of sorts myself, and I find myself questioning my worth almost daily. Luckily, it seems like both Artem and I have strong support systems in place to remind us that just because others don’t always see our worth, doesn’t mean we aren’t extremely valuable 🙂

Other quick note: the Bellas actually asked Sharna to appear on the podcast as well to talk about her dismissal, but she is currently unavailable at Burning Man 😎 Can’t say I blame her – nothing like a week in the desert with no phone service, no money, no societal expectations, and a lot of drugs to clear your head and give you perspective 😉