Tensions were running high on Dancing With the Stars
on Monday night, after two men rushed the stage while Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke
were getting evaluated by judge Carrie Ann Inaba about their first dance.
While the episode was live, there were some scary moments that viewers at home did not see. The two protesters that ran out onto the stage were wearing anti-Lochte T-shirts, but they were not alone. Olympic swimmer Ed Moses was in the audience and took video of the incident, which revealed that there were several women standing in the back of the ballroom, wearing identical T-shirts to the men that charged the stage. "Liar!" the group chanted. DWTS' security team, along with Derek Hough, escorted the hecklers out of the audience.
Footage from the night also shows that security quickly rushed the stage and took both protesters down. LAPD confirmed to ET that the men, ages 25 and 59, did not have valid tickets to the DWTS taping, and were booked for trespassing.
Once the men were apprehended, the crowd went wild for Lochte, giving him a standing ovation and changing "Ryan!"
On Tuesday's Good Morning America, DWTS host Tom Bergeron gave his recount of the frightening encounter, admitting that he didn't know what was going on until he saw Inaba's face. "It's not uncommon for a lot of noise, cheering and jeering when people don't like the judges' comments," he explained. "It wasn't until I saw Carrie Ann's expression change that I got the sense something more was going on."
Bergeron said the audience was in shock. "My main concern was how Ryan and Cheryl were, and to try to get some control of the show," he said. "The mood in the room was definitely Ryan's corner after these guys were escorted out."
He added, "Times of crisis, if you will, certainly bring people together, and in this case that was certainly true."
As for speculation that the incident was staged, Burgeron responded, "There are always skeptics about everything."
Lochte, who is currently serving a 10-month suspension
from USA Swimming following his Rio scandal, spoke to ET about the anti-Lochte protesters. "Honestly, it felt like someone just reached inside, took my heart out and tore it to shreds,” the 32-year-old athlete
confessed. “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.’”