The protesters rushed the stage after the first performance of Ryan Lochte in “Dancing with the Stars,” interrupted the show live Monday night. The incident occurred when Lochte was receiving one of the criticism that the judge of his dance routine.
“Two individuals stormed the dance floor tonight and were immediately subdued and taken outside the building,” a spokesman for the company that produces “Dancing with the Stars”, BBC Worldwide Productions, told CNN.
ABC News reported that two men got out on the dance ballroom and at least four others shouted slogans anti-Lochte.
Although the show was live, the actual incident is not shown on camera by ABC.
Throughout the brief incident, the camera focused on Judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who shouted “Excuse me!” several times as clamor rose in the audience and the stage.
“Off! Off!” he shouted, gesturing intruders to get off the stage.
The network went to a commercial break, but the camera briefly showed Lochte and his dance partner, Cheryl Burke, as both appeared nervous and surprised.
“It Dancing with the Stars” host Tom Bergeron went to the interruption after the commercial break.
“We had to go to break because we had a little incident,” he said, but did not say more. Bergeron thanked the security team in the program.
Lochte also asked how it was after the interruption.
“So many feelings going through my head right now,” said Olympic swimmer. “I’m a little hurt.”
After the show, Lochte told CNN he was sad about what happened.
“You know, at that time, I was really heartbroken,” he said. “My heart sank it. It felt like someone ripped it apart.”
But Lochte added that “had to brush.”
“Completely surprised” but “beyond” proud of him
“I had to realize that I came here in front of millions did something I did not know how to do it. – I do not know how to dance,” he said. “And I gave my all and I’m glad I made and I’m glad I’m here.”
His dance partner, Burke said he was “totally shocked” but “beyond” proud of him.
CNN crews captured two suspected protesters outside the event was handcuffed. Both wore T-shirts containing a red circle with a slash passing the word Lochte. A man named “liar” Lochte.
A spokesman for the company that produces “Dancing with the Stars,” he told CNN that “the matter is being handled by the authorities.”
Official statement from BBC Worldwide Productions spokesperson re: Lochte protestors on #DWTS pic.twitter.com/7ret4u4ds5
Lochte joined the 23 season of “Dancing With The Stars” after a series of negative publicity received by admitting that “exaggerated” claims that he and his fellow swimmers were robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.
Professional dancer Witney Carson, which this year is paired with Robert Van Winkle, better known as Vanilla Ice, said he had never seen anything like the incident during his time in the program.
“I think it was just sad and disappointing, mostly because it is a very positive show and we are all about putting people in a positive light,” he said. “For someone who wants to ruin Ryan is very, very hard.”
“He is a hero and a great guy above that”
“He won the gold medal in this country, people. Get more of the story of the bull, whatever. It does not matter,” he said. “He’s a hero and he’s a great guy on top of that.”
Former NFL player Calvin Johnson, Jr. told CNN that the “unfortunate” undoubtedly event put a “brake” on the debut of Lochte, but said he gave his dance partner of a conversation between backstage.
“You know, you have to keep pushing, to have another great week next week,” he said. “It aims to have someone like that in the crowd do that sort of thing. Nobody’s perfect. Everybody makes mistakes.”
“It Dancing with the Stars” airs Mondays on ABC.