"A part of the Dancing with the Stars show that I think people get really attached to someone is when they see their growth," Nikki, 36, told her twin sister Brie Bella on a recent episode of their "The Bellas Podcast," according toUs Weekly.
"I truly believe [judge Carrie Ann Inaba] was hard on [Kaitlyn] because she knew there was more and we [finally] saw that."
"That Argentine tango, you were like I didn't even think she could do that and she did that. And so for me, that's how I see things. Like Carrie Ann pushed her in a way that made her even better. Honestly if Kaitlyn and Artem don't win, I'm calling, it's rigged."
Artem previously told Entertainment Tonight it seemed Carrie's Ann's critiques were getting "a little personal" and "discouraging" before the couple received their perfect scores, and Kaitlyn had admitted to crying in the corner and getting her soul "crushed."
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!
At one point in the season, Carrie Ann told Kaitlyn that her "spirit dropped" and it looked like she almost "gave up" during a dance, which Kaitlyn deemed unhelpful when preparing for future performances.
While some fans have accused Carrie Ann of essentially picking on Kaitlyn and Artem, Nikki told Us that the judge was just "doing her job."
"I think because Brie and I have been athletes our whole life, I have been raised in such a way, like, don't cry about injuries. Suck it up. So, Artem and I actually got in this discussion. I think he was so shocked because I was like, 'Why are you taking it so personal?'... [I said], 'She pushes you, you guys did better, and look at the outcome,'" Nikki shared.
Nikki admitted she and Artem "kind of bumped heads" on the issue.
"I really got in on him, and I felt bad. I was like, 'You made it so personal that she's getting bullied! You need to go make a video on [Instagram].' And so pour Artem does this video and he goes, 'Should I post it?' And I was like, 'No, don't post it," Nikki recalled with a laugh.
"We both felt like, 'Okay, maybe that's too much,' right when it all happened. Artem has the biggest heart and he was feeling bad for Carrie Ann with all the bad comments she was getting on her Instagram cause at the end of the day, no one wants to be dragged."