Ryan Lochte’s Dancing With the Stars Debut Overshadowed by Protesters in ‘Scary Moment’


Ryan Lochte may not be the most popular person in the world right now. The Olympic gold medalist may have burned a bridge or two last month in Rio de Janeiro, when the embattled swimmer fibbed his way through a well-documented drunken escapade. The result was a loss of endorsements and public shame, the type of which can only be forgotten by competing on Dancing With the Stars.

Last night on the competition show’s debut episode, Lochte finished his opening dance with partner Cheryl Burke moments before two protesters rushed the dance floor. The exchange was never fully shown on television cameras by ABC, by the moment that judge Carrie Ann Inaba began her critique of the duo’s opening number, the commotion can be quite clearly sensed:

The LAPD later confirmed that the two protesters — identified as 48-year-old Sam Sododeh and Barzeen Soroudi, 40, — were detained by security. “LAPD was called to the studio where we took over the investigation and transported the two individuals back to the station for booking and processing,” they said.

Lochte said to host Tom Bergeron after the commercial break, “I’m doing good, so many feelings are going through my head right now. A little hurt. I came out here and I wanted to do something I was completely uncomfortable with, and I did.”

Inaba took to Instagram to issue her thanks to the security detail for the event who quickly sprung into action.

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