Monday’s premiere of Dancing With the Stars was scary, and not just because of Rick Perry‘s awkward cha cha. For the first time ever, Tom Bergeron found himself in a situation even he couldn’t handle, and in 23 seasons, that’s saying a lot. Ryan Lochte, who was the second-last dancer of the night, finished up his performance with an unpleasant scene: protesters rushing the ballroom floor.
The Olympic swimmer, whose robbery scandal/full-out lies in Rio during the Olympic Games had us all shaking our heads, and pro partner Cheryl Burke were waiting to hear the judges’ critiques when the chaos ensued.
Men wearing anti-Lochte shirts looked like they were going to attack Lochte, but the show’s security team were on them like The Flash and escorted the men — and more audience members in matching tees — out of the studio.
Why does this remind me of a Trump rally 🤔 pic.twitter.com/YKCwT5dirE
— DCHomos (@DCHomos) September 13, 2016
Tom cut to commercial break and upon return, Lochte still looked shaken up but said, “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.”
E! reports that once security cleared the area, Ryan looked “very choked up” after the incident. Aw.
“I’m hurt for Ryan,” Cheryl told Tom after the commercial break. “He’s sweet, he’s kind. He’s working his butt off. I hope people give him a chance.”
E! News confirmed with the LAPD that two individuals were placed under arrest for trespassing at CBS Studios on the set of Dancing with the Stars.
“This is my home and I was just so shocked that people would come here and be so negative,” six-time champ, Derek Hough told People mag. “This is a safe place for people to learn a new skill and seek redemption or start a new chapter in their life and that’s what Ryan is trying to do and I just felt so defensive that someone would try and ruin that for him and for everyone watching, so I took it upon myself to make sure they were escorted out. I wanted to protect my home.”
Is Lochte a knucklehead? For sure, no one can argue that. But does he deserve to get attacked? If security hadn’t gotten to those guys in time, what were they actually going to do to him? Physically assault him? That’s just so extreme. It’s Ryan Lochte. Give him some time and he’ll get himself into trouble. Why create it for him?