Katy Perry Comforts 'American Idol' Contestant After Stressful Emergency Health Scare
By Zach Seemayer
As Hollywood Week came to a close on American Idol, and the show narrowed down its field of hopefuls to their Top 40, tensions ran high and the stress led to an unusually scary moment for one contestant.
During Monday's new episode, singer Makayla Brownlee took the stage for her solo performance in front of the show's trio of judges -- Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan -- and it was clear something was wrong from the start.
Brownlee seemed disoriented as she spoke to the judges and presented the song she planned on singing, and then abruptly walked off stage and fell to the ground backstage.
Perry, Bryan and Richie ran over to see what was going on, at which point on-site medical personnel were attending to Brownlee, and ambulances were called as she began to have a seizure.
As it turns out, Brownlee's frightening health scare was the result of a long-term ailment that she's been dealing with for years.
"In seventh grade, I was diagnosed with vasovagal syncope," Brownlee explained in an interview shot after the incident. "It's a heart condition that causes me to react to stress differently than other people, and it could cause a seizure."
"She can't control it," Brownlee's father told the Idol cameras after his daughter had been looked after by EMTs. "She's embarrassed, but physically, she's 100% all right."
"This opportunity is so important for her. I'd hate to see it inhibited in any way because she's such a good singer," he added. "She works so hard at it."
For a while, it was unclear whether or not Brownlee would be able to return to perform. After several other contestants hit the stage to sing their solos, Brownlee made her triumphant return, much to the excitement of the judges.
“Let’s try this again," a noticeably calmer Brownlee told the judges with a smile.
"You got this," Perry replied, supportively.
Brownlee went on to wow the judges with a powerful performance of Kacey Musgraves' "Rainbow," which went on to bring Katy Perry to tears.
"That was so sweet. Oh, my God," Perry said, explaining that Brownlee's condition really puts things in perspective when it comes to being stressed out or tired.
Perry also took to Twitter as the episode aired to again voice her support and appreciation for the young singer.
"Nothing to be embarrassed about, #MakaylaBrownlee. We all handle stress differently," Perry wrote, later adding, "That was the sweetest performance of ‘Rainbow’ #MakalylaBrownlee. So thrilled you were able to come back and sing for us and give us that perspective we need to be reminded of sometimes."