Season 29 of “Dancing with the Stars” was packed with all the usual flashy delights — show-stopping routines, emotional eliminations and, of course, plenty of fake tans and sequins. This year’s line-up definitely didn’t disappoint.
On Monday, Nov. 23, former “Bachelorette” Kaitlyn Bristowe, rapper Nelly, TV host Nev Schulman and actress Justina Machado hit the ballroom with their pro partners for a stunning finale. They each gave it their all, but it was Bristowe and her partner Artem Chigvintsev who lifted the mirrorball trophy at the end of the night, receiving full marks from judges Derek Hough, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.
The show may be over for another season, but we still want to know more about the cast’s personal lives. Who are “Dancing with the Stars” cast and competitors dating or married to?
Backstreet Boys star A.J. McLean and “DWTS” favorite Cheryl Burke were eliminated the week before the semi-finals, which Burke didn’t see coming.
“I already had his other two routines choreographed for the semi-finals,” Burke told ET. “Normally I’m not that confident going in, but I was like, ‘For sure, there’s no way [we’ll get eliminated].'”
A.J. McLean Is Married
McLean married his wife Rochelle in 2011, two years after they met in a bar, and they now have two daughters, Ava and Lyric. His family was a huge support throughout his “DWTS” journey.
“How sweet I walked in from a 16 hour rehearsal day to this amazing display of love and encouragement from my family. Let’s go #teamgetdown,” McLean wrote on Instagram alongside pictures of a room full of handwritten posters and gold, silver and mirrorball balloons.
Burke was the first female professional dancer to win the show (in season two with partner Nick Lachey) and the first professional to win twice and consecutively — she also took the winning spot in season three with football player Emmitt Smith. After she and McLean were eliminated this season, Burke revealed some of her frustrations with the show.
“People are asking if I’m retiring and, for me, it’s not about the show or me getting older as much as it is this frustration AJ has mentioned,” Burke said on her Pretty Messed Up podcast. “Is the show still the show I signed up for? I’m strictly a ballroom dancer. I never went to a performing arts school… I didn’t learn jazz or ballet. I don’t sing. Within the ballroom world, and how the show was for the first decade, it was about ballroom — strictly ballroom.”
Cheryl Burke Is Married To Matthew Lawrence
Burke has been married to “Boy Meets World” star Matthew Lawrence since May 2019, after a year-long engagement. The dancing pro, who has been sober for more than two years, is grateful to have her husband backing her all the way — both on the show and in her sobriety journey.
“He is just my rock,” Burke told “Good Morning America.” “I don’t know where I would be without him.”
Before TV personality Jeannie Mai was forced to withdraw from “DWTS” due to health concerns, she was paired with Brandon Armstrong. The pro dancer posted a message of support for Mai when she made her early exit.
“JEANNIE! I’m so sorry this happened to you!” Armstrong wrote on Instagram. “You don’t deserve it!” Alongside a photo of himself and Mai from a past episode, he continued his message. “Your journey on this show was so special so unique and so inspiring!”
Jeannie Mai Is Engaged To Jeezy
Mai’s fiancé, rapper Jeezy (real name Jay Wayne Jenkins), gave fans an update on her condition after she had emergency surgery for epiglottitis, a potentially life-threatening condition caused when the small cartilage lid that covers the windpipe swells, blocking the flow of air into the lungs.
“She’s at about 180%,” Jeezy told People. “She’s very strong. She’s fearless.”
“I saw how much she put into it, and it was real for her,” he continued. “We had a real talk and I had to tell her, ‘Your life comes first.’ She’s not a quitter — she’s a winner. I’m glad she’s on my team because she does not quit. I’m just happy she’s back in full force and ready to take the world once again.”
During the finale competition, former “Bachelorette” star Kaitlyn Bristowe and her professional dance partner Artem Chigvintsev pulled out all the stops. They performed a repeat of their Argentine tango to “Toxic” by Britney Spears and a freestyle dance to “Sparkling Diamonds” from “Moulin Rouge,” both of which earned top scores of 30/30 from the judges.
“My dream came true,” Bristowe wrote on Instagram alongside photos of the couple reacting to the results. “And all of you were a part of it.”
Kaitlyn Bristowe Is Loved Up With Jason Tartick
In late 2018, Bristowe split from Shawn Booth, whom she met and got engaged to in 2015 during season 11 of “The Bachelorette.” A few months later, Bristowe started dating Jason Tartick, another member of Bachelor Nation, after meeting during an interview for Bristowe’s “Off the Vine” podcast. In June 2020, Bristowe confirmed that the couple had picked out an engagement ring.
After four seasons on “Strictly Come Dancing,” the U.K. version of the show, pro dancer Artem Chigvintsev jumped at an offer from the producers of “Dancing with the Stars.” He moved to Los Angeles in 2014 and quickly became a “DWTS” favorite. His previous show partners include actress Lea Thompson and singer Patti LaBelle.
Artem Chigvintsev Has A Baby With Nikki Bella
Chigvintsev had a few high-profile relationships — including one with actress Kara Tointon, one of his dance partners on “Strictly Come Dancing,” the U.K. version of “DWTS” — before he settled down with Nikki Bella.
Chigvintsev and Bella welcomed their first child together, son Matteo Artemovich Chigvintsev, in July 2020. The couple announced their engagement in January 2020, but have had to put plans on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former NFL star Vernon Davis and pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd said goodbye to “DWTS” after the dance competition’s Top 11 Night, when they performed the cha-cha.
“Life is all about the unexpected. But I had a great journey,” Davis told ET. “I am definitely down. I will shed some tears. Like, I haven’t gotten used to this young lady [Peta] here. Going in [rehearsals] every day with her, we became attached … I feel like I lost somebody else, it is crazy. I feel that emotion inside but I am holding myself together.”
Peta Murgatroyd Is In A Relationship With Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Murgatroyd has been dating fellow dancing pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy on and off since 2012. Today, they live together in Los Angeles with their son, Shai, and it seems they might soon be expanding their family.
“We definitely want to have a baby and it will be very, very soon,” Murgatroyd told Us Weekly in July. “[Shai is] getting older, and I want him to grow up within his childhood with other siblings.”
Actor Jesse Metcalfe was paired with Sharna Burgess for the dancing competition — and the chemistry between them was obvious from the start. Following their elimination after performing the tango on ’80s Night, they both revealed that they weren’t ready to leave.
“I think the journey was cut short a bit but everything that’s meant to be will be and this was the end of the road for me,” Metcalfe told ET. “Overall it was just such an amazing experience. It was very challenging but incredibly rewarding.”
Sharna Burgess Is Single
Unlike her married and coupled-up “DTWS” colleagues, Burgess is happily single … although she’s open to the possibility of finding love. The pro, who’s also a judge on “Dancing with the Stars Australia,” confirmed earlier this year that she was approached to be the next Aussie Bachelorette, but turned it down.
Monica Aldama, the tough cheerleading coach of the Netflix docuseries “Cheer,” was partnered with Val Chmerkovskiy until they were knocked out of the competition after Villains Night. Aldama had nothing but praise for her pro partner.
“He’s incredible, and he’s taught me way more than just dance. I’ll miss him,” she told ET. “It’ll definitely feel a little weird tomorrow when I get up and I won’t be going to meet Val for rehearsals.”
Monica Is Married With Kids
Squad ♥️ pic.twitter.com/US04a859cM
— Monica Aldama (@monicaaldama) July 23, 2020
Aldama has been married to husband Chris, a director of probation at Navarro County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, for about 30 years. They have two children — 24-year-old son Austin and 20-year-old daughter Ally. In July, Aldama shared a sweet family photo on Twitter with the caption “Squad.”
In season 20 — his eighth on the show — Val Chmerkovskiy won the mirrorball trophy with Rumer Willis. He won again in season 23 with Laurie Hernandez, and he has made the finals an impressive seven times. After he and Aldama were eliminated, Chmerkovskiy acknowledged that “it doesn’t always go according to plan.”
“This season’s been a lot of fun, and any time it ends on this type of note it’s gonna sting. But it’s a great thing because we had a great performance,” he told ET.
Val Chmerkovskiy Is Married To Jenna Johnson
Chmerkovskiy tied the knot with fellow dance pro Jenna Johnson in April 2019, after an on-off relationship. They dated briefly in 2015 before going their separate ways, but got back together in 2017. The couple visited their wedding venue on Nov. 1, seven months after their anniversary in April.
“Finally got to go back to our wedding venue and celebrate our ‘1 Year Wedding Anniversary’ a couple (7) months late,” Johnson wrote on Instagram alongside a series of photos. “Standing in the exact spot we said ‘I Do’ gave me butterflies all over again.”
The Oct. 5 episode of “DWTS” made the news for all the wrong reasons, and actress Anne Heche and her pro partner, Keo Motsepe, were at the center of it. Announcing the couples that were up for elimination, host Tyra Banks said Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd were at risk of going home, along with Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe. But Banks later corrected herself and said it would be Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy facing Heche and Motsepe in the dance-off. Ultimately, it was Heche and Motsepe who were sent home.
Revealing how proud he was of Heche, saying she “came out strong” and “delivered” during the dance, Motsepe was philosophical about the elimination error.
“It’s 2020. Happy 2020. Anything can happen,” he told “Good Morning America.” “Still, it’s live television. So, yeah, that’s it. Happy 2020. You never know what’s going to happen any day.”
Anne Heche Is Dating Thomas Jane
Heche’s most high-profile relationship was with Ellen DeGeneres in the late ’90s, but she’s now dating actor Thomas Jane, who also starred alongside her in the HBO series “Hung.” Heche said she didn’t have feelings for Jane during the filming of the show, where they played a divorced couple.
“I actually thought he didn’t like me because he would grumble during the breaks, and we never really spoke outside of shooting our scenes,” Heche told German website Bunte, as reported by People. “Now that I know him, I understand how he works.”
Justina Machado, who is best known for her roles on “Six Feet Under,” “Jane the Virgin” and “One Day at a Time,” said ahead of the finale that she hoped her “authenticity” would help her win alongside her partner, Sasha Farber.
“I think [fans] can see that I’m trying,” she told ET. “I’m not a professional dancer, I’m out of my comfort zone. And also, I am who I am, you know? The authenticity is there. I don’t know how to be anything else. So I think maybe that’s what’s so relatable.”
Justina Machado Is Dating Emanuel Gironi
Racking up on smiles and memories with my honey, @JustinaMachado. pic.twitter.com/BbsChGGGs5
— Emanuel Gironi (@EmanuelGironi1) December 29, 2017
Machado likes to keep her love life under wraps, but she’s believed to be in a relationship with actor/writer/director/producer Emanuel Gironi, who has photos of himself with his “honey” (Machado) on his Twitter account. Gironi has worked on numerous films and TV shows, appearing on the Telemundo telenovelas “Tres Destinos,” “Cadeno Braga” and “Marielena,” in the ’90s. According to Your Tango, he has also guest-starred on “Encounters,” “One Day At A Time,” “Bless This Mess,” “S.W.A.T.” and “Boyle Heights.”
Machado and Farber were lucky to get to the “DTWS” finale — Farber suffered a lower back injury during the semi-finals dress rehearsal and was temporarily out of commission.
“That was a close call. I’ve never done that before and we didn’t do a dress run because I was lying here with my back,” Farber told ET. “But these numbers are the numbers that would get her to the finale, and I wanted to make sure we did it together and the last nine weeks weren’t just for nothing. It was tough, I’m not going to lie, but we got through it.”
Sasha Farber Is Dating Emma Slater
Farber and his girlfriend, fellow pro dancer Emma Slater, had to live apart for the duration of the show to comply with COVID-19 safety rules.
“Everybody needs this right now,” Slater told ET. “It’s such an uplifting show and we’re so incredibly proud to be part of it. But it’s so funny. When our amazing producers told us, ‘OK, so we have some news for you, you’re going to have to be quarantined separately,’ I laughed. I was nervous, so I just started laughing.”
“But it’s really important to do these things and it’s great that producers thought of this,” Farber continued. “There’s lots of things happening — masks, social distancing — and this is one way of making sure that everyone’s safe, strong and the show goes on. Because we need this show!”
Nelly (real name Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.) made it to the finale with “DWTS” newcomer Daniella Karagach, and told ET that the outcome was “bittersweet.”
“Of course you want to win,” he said. “You’ve been doing this for three months, you’ve been putting yourself through training that you’ve never had a day in your life, you’re trying to go against people who basically studied this in college.” He pointed out that Nev Schulman and Kaitlyn Bristowe, two of his competitors in the finale, had previous dance experience.
Nelly’s Longtime Girlfriend Is Shantel Jackson
Nelly has been with girlfriend Shantel Jackson since 2014, after they met through a mutual friend. A model and aspiring actress, Jackson starred on Nelly’s reality TV show “Nellysville” and her own show “The Platinum Life.” She also invented the Shoe Gummi, an outer sole patch to help women wear high heels for long periods of time.
Previously, Karagach was a troupe member in season 28 alongside Keo Motsepe. This season, she took to Instagram to thank her celebrity partner, Nelly.
“It’s been one heck of a journey and I couldn’t have imagined my first season as a pro with anyone else,” Karagach wrote. She also described Nelly as “the most annoying older brother I’ve never had” and revealed that she felt “lucky to have you as part of my family forever.”
Daniella Karagach Is With Pasha Pashkov
My everything 🖤 @pashapashkov86 pic.twitter.com/xOy1c0Gp7J
— Daniella Karagach (@DKaragach) November 12, 2020
Karagach has been with Pasha Pashkov, another pro “DWTS” dancer, since she was a teenager. They were paired together in dance class when Karagach was 15 and Pashkov was 23, and they went on to win the United States 10-Dance Champions and Latin Champions seven times. Karagach recently shared a sweet picture of the couple on Twitter with the caption, “My everything.”
Pro dancer Jenna Johnson was delighted to be paired with Nev Schulman, whom she’d watched as the host of MTV’s “Catfish.”
“He is a full-on character in the best way,” Johnson told Woman’s Day. “The person that you see on ‘Catfish’ is, I think, the most contained and professional Nev that there is because when he walks into the rehearsal room he is just a burst of energy, of light, of creativity.”
Nev Schulman Is Married To Laura Perlongo
Schulman has been married to Laura Perlongo since 2017, following a 14-month-long engagement. The pair has two kids, 4-year-old daughter Cleo James and son Beau Bobby Bruce who will turn 2 in January. When Beau arrived in January 2019, Schulman shared an adorable video on Instagram of himself holding his newborn in his arms while The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” played in the background.
“A little perfect ray of son-shine,” the TV host wrote in the caption. “Beau & Laura are all giggles and snuggles and we couldn’t be happier.”
Chrishell Strause And Gleb Savchenko
Chrishell Strause, star of Netflix’s “Selling Sunset,” was paired with Gleb Savchenko — and this is the couple that has perhaps attracted the most attention out of the ballroom. They’re both recently single, after Strause’s divorce from husband Justin Hartley (Kevin in “This Is Us”) and Savchenko’s split from his wife of 14 years, Elena Samodanova.
Despite chemistry on stage, Strause and Savchenko deny being romantically involved while competing on the show.