After ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ season 23 came up with a dynamic list of multi-talented performers to go on the show, there have been a bit more buzz associated with contenders Ryan Lochte and Laurie Hernandez especially with all the 2016 Rio Olympics hype.
Following their competitions in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the two Olympians were chosen to be contestants for the latest season of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’
After a shocking incident outside of the Olympic village Lochte has now looked forward to more graceful experiences that will allow him redemption. The incident, which involves the 12-time Olympic medalist vandalizing a gas station bathroom during the Games in August, led to his suspension from swimming for 10 months.
During Lochte’s performance with pro dancer Cheryl Burke on DWTS's premier on Sept. 12, two men rushed to the ballroom stage with shirts that were noticeably “anti-Lochte” as Carrie Ann Inaba started to comment on the Olympian’s performance.
The men, identified as Sam Satoodeh and Barzeen Soroudi, were immediately tackled and handcuffed by security while women in the audience who wore similar anti-Lochte T-shirts had also been accompanied out of the studio.
While arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing, Satoodeh and Soroudi claimed that their actions came with an important message.
"Our purpose is to get the message out that Lochte is a coward, a liar and under Brazilian law, a criminal," Satoodeh told ABC News after being released from jail on September 13.
“[Lochte] embarrassed Americans on the world's stage, and this was our form of protesting against that,” Soroudi added.
Lochte, who has apologized for his behavior in Rio, recently opened up about the ‘DWTS’ incident.
"When I was asked to do the show, the one thing that I kept hearing was that it was like joining a big family," Lochte posted on his Instagram account. "After Monday's incident, I now know what that means. I have gotten so much love from everyone on the show, including my partner Cheryl, my fellow competitors, the producers, the security team and its fans."
During the incident, Lochte and Cheryl appeared to be taken aback, but were able to return to being rated and judged for their performance. The duo was awarded with a score of 24 out of 40.
Fellow Olympian Laurie and partner Val Chmerkovskiy followed immediately with their routine, which was expected to be an impressive performance. The pair garnered an overall score of 31, making a tie with contenders James Hinchcliff and Sharna Burgess.
‘Dancing with the Stars’ already released an official statement to Us Magazine on Tuesday, sharing how they are going through security standards after the on-screen ambush.
“The safety and security of our cast, crew and studio audience is of utmost importance,” a spokesperson from BBC Worldwide Productions stated. “A full evaluation of security procedures/protocols is taking place and we will make any changes deemed necessary.”
‘Dancing With the Stars’ season 23 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. You can watch the premiere's recap videos on abc.go.com