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EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Lochte Reacts to 'DWTS' Protesters: 'It Felt Like Someone Took My Heart Out and Tore It to Shreds'

by Philiana Ng 9:02 PM PDT, September 12, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Lochte Reacts to 'DWTS' Protesters: 'It Felt Like Someone Took My Heart Out and Tore It to Shreds'

Ryan Lochte is still in shock over what happened on Monday's Dancing With the Stars live show.

During his live judges’ critique, protesters wearing anti-Lochte shirts stormed the DWTS stage while Carrie Ann Inaba was talking to him and his pro partner Cheryl Burke, causing security to intervene. Though viewers at home did not see the ordeal, security could be seen running across the bottom of the screen.

RELATED: Ryan Lochte Protesters Storm 'DWTS' Stage During Live Show

The LAPD tells ET that two men, ages 25 and 59, ran onto the stage, and did not have valid tickets to the ABC show's taping. The men were booked for trespassing, and transported to Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles, California. Bail has been set at $1,000 each.

Moments after the live show ended, ET’s Nischelle Turner spoke to the Olympic swimmer about what had just transpired and his emotions.

“Slowly, slowly been able to breathe,” Lochte told ET.

RELATED: Ryan Lochte Talks 'Heartbreaking' Suspension, Reveals Phelps' Advice

The 32-year-old, who is currently serving a 10-month suspension from USA Swimming following his Rio scandal, was candid about his feelings in the moment and credited Burke for keeping his eye on the prize.

“Honestly, it felt like someone just reached inside, took my heart out and tore it to shreds,” Lochte said. “I was really hurt when I saw that and I was in shock. But I looked at Cheryl and she just smiled and said, ‘You just did what you said you can’t do. You danced in front of millions.’ And I was like, ‘You’re right.’”

The scary moment isn’t going to deter Lochte from competing his heart out for the coveted mirror ball trophy. In fact, it may have helped focus him even more.

MORE: Ryan Lochte Hopes Competing on DWTS Will Give Him a Second Chance With Fans

“So you know what? I’m gonna keep moving forward and put this behind me and I’m gonna better myself every day and just, you know, come here [to do] what I came to do and dance,” he added. “I’m gonna dance.”

ET also spoke to Burke, who said she was “beyond proud” of how Lochte handled the tense situation.

“It’s insane,” the 32-year-old dance pro told ET. “We’ve worked so hard and I just want Ryan to have a positive experience. This is what this show is all about.”

MORE: Ryan Lochte Talks 'Big Mistake' in Rio -- Everyone's 'Blowing This Way Out of Proportion'

Derek Hough, who helped throw out the anti-Lochte protesters, was unbelievably supportive of the Olympic swimmer and his calm demeanor in the midst of those chaotic few minutes.

“I felt the energy in the room change. I’m really sensitive to that, honestly. I got really defensive, not just for Ryan but for the ballroom, for the show,” he told ET.

A BBC Worldwide Productions spokesperson addressed the incident in a statement on Monday night, saying, "Two individuals stormed the dance floor tonight and were immediately subdued and escorted out of the building. The matter is now being handled by the authorities."

For more on Lochte's DWTS journey, watch the video below. 

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