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Why the Two Ryan Lochte Protesters Interrupted 'Dancing with the Stars’ Premiere

Last night, the 23rd season of “Dancing with the Stars” premiered with unexpected surprises!

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ABC

After Olympian Ryan Lochte performed his first dance routine, two protesters, Sam Sododeh, 48, and Barzeen Soroudi, 40, rushed to the dance floor while he was being critiqued by the four judges. “Extra” obtained footage of the two men running to the stage before being tackled by security and put in handcuffs. Watch!

At the end of the video, dancer Derek Hough ran into the audience where three other protesters wearing anti-Lochte T-shirts were sitting. He told security to escort them out, saying, “Get them out of here.”

After being detained, Sododeh spoke to the press about why he decided to rush the dance floor, and what allegedly happened after he was tackled to the ground. Watch!

Lochte’s recent robbery controversy sparked the protest. Sododeh said, “This program, we wrote emails, letters, and made calls indicating that such a liar, such a bad person, should not be publicized as an example to American people.”

He recalled about the protest, “We just came to the stage and we said, ‘Lochte is a liar.’ That’s the truth.” He also put the blame on one of the security guards, adding, “This gentleman here tackled me, hurts me, he has put these handcuffs on me that are hurting right now. I’ve told them, nobody’s taken them off. They are unnecessarily being violent."

It was the first time that the show has ever faced a scare from the crowd.

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