Pro dancer Artem Chigvintsev finally won his first Mirror Ball Trophy on “Dancing with the Stars” last fall, and now he could follow that with his first Emmy trophy. He just earned a nomination for Best Choreography for Variety/Reality Programming for two of the routines that helped make him the Mirror Ball champion. Check out the 2021 nominations list here.
Chigvintsev won the British version of “DWTS,” “Strictly Come Dancing,” back in 2010, but he had a tougher time when he crossed the Atlantic. In his first eight attempts in the US ballroom — between seasons 19 and 27 — he didn’t finish any better than sixth. But in season 29 in 2020 he was paired with “Bachelorette” alumna Kaitlyn Bristowe. Not only did he make it to the finals for the first time, he won the whole competition.
He’s nominated for two of the routines he choreographed and taught to Bristowe during their partnership: their Argentine tango to Britney Spears‘s “Toxic” on “Icons Night” and their freestyle dance to “Sparkling Diamonds” from “Moulin Rouge” during the finale episode. Both of those routines got perfect 10s from the judges, and he’s hoping the television academy feels the same way. (Watch both routines at the bottom of this post.)
“DWTS” has only won Best Choreography at the Emmys three times before: twice for Derek Hough and once for Mandy Moore. But the rival dance competition that dominated the category 12 times over the last 15 years, “So You Think You Can Dance,” didn’t air last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now might never be back on the air. That could open the door for “DWTS.”
However, Chigvintsev isn’t the only Emmy nominee from the ABC series this year. Aforementioned two-time champ Hough is back in the category as well, and he might have an advantage. Not only is he already established with Emmy voters, he’s nominated for exhibition routines he performed that were more difficult because they weren’t choreographed for an amateur dance partner. That’s one of the reasons “SYTYCD” often got the better of “DWTS” at the Emmys: the “SYTYCD” contestants were already elite dancers who could handle more complex choreography.
However, Hough’s first Emmy win in 2013 included routines he performed with amateur celebrity contestant Shawn Johnson, proving it is possible to win for competitive “DWTS” routines. For that matter, voters may consider it especially impressive for a professional dancer and choreographer to make a relative newcomer to the ballroom look that good on the dance floor.
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