While American Idol crowned Samantha “Just Sam” Diaz as the season’s winner during the show’s live remote finale on Sunday, May 17, the show’s host Ryan Seacrest also found himself sharing some of the spotlight.
Towards the end of the American Idol finale, which had seen Seacrest juggle on-air hosting duties, the host briefly went off-screen: his words seemed slightly slurred and his right eye appeared larger than his left. This sudden moment caused a storm of Twitter comments from fans who were concerned the 45-year-old host was not well, or had suffered some kind of neurological episode.
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However, fans need not worry, as a rep for Seacrest said, “Ryan did not have any kind of stroke last night. Like many people right now, Ryan is adjusting to the new normal and finding work-home balance, with the added stress of having to put on live shows from home.”
“Between Live with Kelly and Ryan, American Idol, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, and the Disney Family Singalong specials, he has been juggling three to four on-air jobs over the last few weeks and he’s in need of rest,” added the rep. “So today he took a well-deserved day off.”
Before he came one of the busiest stars in show business, Seacrest told PEOPLE earlier this month how challenging it has been to broadcast remotely amid the ongoing global health situation.
“We put the show together earlier in the week because there are so many factors to it,” Seacrest told the outlet of the complicated part-live, part-taped hybrid approach. “Every once in a while we have to be careful not to step on each other while we’re talking because there’s that delay that we’ve all experienced talking to our families at home on different Zooms and things like that.”
Despite the awkward pauses and live-stream imperfections, Seacrest navigated it extremely well.
Seacrest, who was absent from Monday’s episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, is expected to return to the show this week.