A scary moment on the dance floor. Tom Bergeron opened up about the “unnerving” protest against Ryan Lochte on the September 12 season 23 premiere of Dancing With the Stars during an appearance on Good Morning America Tuesday, September 13. Watch what he said in the video above!
As Us Weekly previously reported, the Olympic athlete and his pro partner, Cheryl Burke, both 32, were receiving feedback on their fox-trot from judge Carrie Ann Inaba when two protesters wearing anti-Lochte shirts ran onto the dance floor and caused a commotion during the live broadcast. The men were promptly removed from the premises after being tackled by security guards.
“It’s not uncommon for there to be a lot of noise here, a lot of cheering, a lot of jeering when people don’t like the judges’ comments,” Bergeron, 61, said on GMA Tuesday morning. “It wasn’t really until I saw Carrie Ann’s expression change that I got the sense something more was going on, and I turned and honestly, by the time I saw the two guys coming with their T-shirts, our security team had them sucking the floor. So it all happened very quickly.”
The DWTS host continued, “My main concern was how Ryan and Cheryl were and to try to get some control of the show so we could move forward once I knew that that had been taken care of.”
As for the audience, which included several former DWTS cast members, such as Leah Remini and Peta Murgatroyd, Bergeron says everyone was surprised by the commotion.
“We were shocked, and we have a very good security system here,” he explained. “There are metal detectors, bags are checked. … The mood in the room was definitely in Ryan’s corner after these guys were escorted out.”
Protesters Barzeen Soroudi and Sam Sotoodeh were charged with misdemeanor trespassing, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to ABC News. The men stated that they were protesting Lochte because he lied about being robbed at a gas station in Rio de Janeiro, during the 2016 Summer Olympics.
“It wasn’t a bit,” Bergeron added. “It was really unnerving and, again, I applaud our security team for making it very short.”
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