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Ryan Lochte’s Protesters Get Tackled in Unaired, Unseen Footage

Man down. The season 23 premiere of Dancing With the Stars was more than just the cha-cha on Monday, September 12. Following Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke’s performance, two men rushed the stage to shame the Olympic swimmer for his Rio robbery scandal.


Us Weekly has now obtained unaired, unseen footage of the protesters approaching the judge’s table as the drama unfolded. In the video above, the suspects, L.A. residents Sam Sotoodeh, 48, Barzeen Soroudi, 40, interrupted the show by standing in front of Lochte, Burke and host Tom Bergeron.

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A security guard tackled one of the men to the ground while a second guard grabbed the other by the arms and walked him to the side. Sododeh and Soroudi wore white anti Lochte T-shirts and khaki pants.

The incident went down while Carrie Ann Inaba was trying to give Lochte and Burke, both 32, feedback. “Excuse me, excuse me,” she said as the hecklers walked onto the stage. Fellow judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli looked shocked and uncomfortable while Julianne Hough appeared scared and put her hand up to her face.

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In the original broadcast, ABC producers kept the cameras on Inaba, 48. Additionally, they did not capture the moment when fellow pro dancer Derek Hough came out from backstage and yelled at female protestors in the crowd, who also wore anti Lochte shirts, to leave the studio.

Tom Bergeron, Cheryl Burke and Ryan Lochte Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

As previously reported, Lochte fabricated a story that he was robbed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the 2016 Olympics. Brazilian officials later announced that he and his swimming teammates — Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen — vandalized a bathroom at a gas station. Six gold medal winner Lochte has since lost several endorsement deals and was suspended for 10 months from the sport.

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Late last month, Lochte told USA Today that he hopes his DWTS stint will show America that there’s a different side to him. “It’s just an amazing show, and hopefully when I’m on it, people will watch and enjoy the show and talk about the show,” he said. “Hopefully, it changes everyone’s mind-set and just focuses on something different.”

Watch Us Weekly’s shocking DWTS video above.

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