Mischa Barton and her "Dancing with the Stars" partner Artem Chigvintsev appear to have become close since getting eliminated from the dancing reality show. The pair was spotted out on a date at The Little Door, a French restaurant in Los Angeles, on Wednesday night, sparking speculation they are romantically involved.
Apparently, an Entertainment Tonight source even confirmed that Barton and Chigvintsev were dating, calling their outing the couple's first official date.
"They've been in touch after the show and care about each other but this is the first proper date," the source told ET, adding that the pair are "transitioning into more than friends." "He is the reason she's looking happier recently. She has become giddy when talking about him and quite smitten with him."
According to the source, Chigvintsev was the one who took the first step. "He's pursued her for a while, and she's coming around." However, a representative for the professional dancer told ET that Barton and Chigvintsev are just friends. "Mischa and Artem are not dating. The experience of Dancing with the Stars has a tendency to really bond partners and pros. They have remained friends since the show."
Barton did not last long on the ABC dancing reality show. She was the second contestant to be eliminated after judges were left unimpressed with her lackluster performance. At the time it was reported that the other contestants were happy to see her go, as she didn't come across as friendly. But it looks like Chigvinstsev was able to bring out the best in her.
Following her elimination, Barton said she was happy to have tried something different. She also vowed to keep on dancing, saying it was addictive.
"It was definitely, maybe more than I had bargained for in a lot of ways," Barton told ET at the time. "But I'm so happy I tried something that's that foreign to me, and you know, had this experience with these guys."
Chigvintsev added: "I think that's why it's tough to go home because I feel like we've been through so much in these past five weeks, [more] than people get in years."