In a corporate synergistic dream, two stars of ABC’s hit dating show have won two consecutive seasons of the network’s hit dance competition show.
Former “Bachelorette” Kaitlyn Bristowe took home the mirror ball trophy with her partner, pro dancer Artem Chigvintsev, on Monday night’s finale of “Dancing With the Stars” Season 29, following in the footsteps of fellow “Bachelorette” star Hannah Brown, who won the competition last season.
With two leads of “The Bachelorette” winning “Dancing With the Stars” consecutively, the powerhouse fanbase of Bachelor Nation was on full display.
“I honestly was like, ‘Are they really going to let two Bachelorettes win?'” Bristowe told Variety moments after the big win.
“It just makes me realize how supportive all of ‘The Bachelor’ fans are,” she adds. Speaking about her partner and his beau, WWE star and reality TV personality Nikki Bella, Bristowe says, “Artem and Nikki have such loyal fans too, and that’s really what gets you through each week — people voting and rooting for you.”
Over the years, Bristowe has claimed that she was set to compete on Season 21 of “Dancing With the Stars,” but alleged she was blocked from participating on the dance show. (An ABC spokesperson declined to comment for this story.)
In 2017, a fan asked Bristowe on Twitter why she never had competed on “DWTS,” and in a tweet, Bristowe wrote, “Actually I was offered it, had the contract & Mike Fliess told me I wasn’t allowed. He said he didn’t want people wanting fame after his show.”
The creator of “The Bachelor” franchise responded, tweeting that Bristowe “has my total support if she wants to appear on DWTS!!!” to which Bristowe sarcastically tweeted back, “Thanks I’ll get right on that opportunity 2 yrs ago. I wonder what changed your mind?”
When Bristowe was asked by “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison to join the show in 2020, she couldn’t believe it. Speaking to Variety while celebrating her win, Bristowe admits she never thought she would be given the opportunity to participate on “Dancing With the Stars” again.
“I thought it was long gone,” Bristowe says. “When you come off a show like ‘The Bachelorette,’ it’s so relevant and people are so invested in what you’re doing, so to be five years removed and having the opportunity and then it not happening, I thought it was something that was never going to happen, which just makes everything so much sweeter.”
At the time, Bristowe was set to be partnered with Chigvintsev, making their win all the more special, years later.
“It was everything and more that I could have asked for because when you work that hard for something and then you get this kind of outcome — and Artem and I were supposed to be partners five years ago — this moment just feels so surreal and this means the world to me,” Bristowe says.
“This just feels like the right timing. It’s crazy how the world works when something is supposed to happen,” Chigvintsev chimes in. “It happens when you least expect it.”
Aside from millions of fans in Bachelor Nation, who showed up in full force for vote for the dancing couple, Bristowe and Chigvintsev made one very famous fan earlier in the season in Lady Gaga, who said the pair’s cha-cha to her song, “Stupid Love,” made her cry.
On last night’s finale, the winning duo danced to Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” but Bristowe has yet to hear from the Princess of Pop.
“Could you imagine?!” Bristowe exclaims when asked if she’s heard from Spears. “No, but I guess I’ll go and check my DM’s to see.”
And as for where the winners will keep their mirror ball trophy?
Bristowe is going to keep her prize in her podcast room, but Artem has a more sentimental idea for the trophy.
“I’m thinking it’s going to be in my son’s room, who is three months old right now,” he says of his newborn that he shares with Bella. “I think he needs a bit more sparkle for his room, so it’s going to be the perfect place for it, and babies like the lights — and then I can always be like, ‘Dad did this for you.'”