Inaba has been dating dancer Artem Chigvintsev for about eight months, she tells PEOPLE

By Monica Rizzo
Updated October 12, 2006 09:25 AM
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There’s a love match going on at Dancing With The Stars, PEOPLE has learned exclusively.

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba, 38, tells PEOPLE that she is in love with 24-year-old Russian ballroom dancer Artem Chigvintsev.

“He’s my ballroom champ,” says the Honolulu-born Inaba. The couple have been dating for about eight months.

Chigvintsev starred on season one of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance. He also served as a choreographer on that show’s second season.

Inaba and Chigvintsev were spotted cuddling following the Oct. 11 results show, in which Jerry Springer and partner Kym Johnson successfully pleaded to be spared, while Willa Ford and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were eliminated.

Meanwhile, show partners Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff have shown plenty of chemistry of their own, although last week they shot down rumors that they’re a couple (“a couple of nuts!” Lopez joked to PEOPLE).

Added Smirnoff: “He stepped on my hand, sat on my head. How do you put that together? I am crazy and weird, but not that weird!”