American Idol fans were treated to a bit of scare on Wednesday when the cameras caught Symone Black, 16, stumbling and then falling off the stage during Hollywood Week. The episode ended with executive producer Nigel Lythgoe yelling “Medic please!” while the teen was lying on the ground with her eyes closed. Will she be okay? Is she going home?
Rather than keep viewers in suspense for tonight’s episode, a Fox spokeswoman said today that Black is fine, though she required treatment for dehydration. The talented teen was treated by on-site medics and continued her auditions during Hollywood Week.
The episode prompted a wave of sympathy — and cynicism — from Idol viewers who went from accusing Fox of exploiting the teen to believing Black faked the whole thing to curry support (huh?). A source close to the show insists the fall was real.
As for the way the episode was cut, rule one of TV promotion is this: When life gives you a pratfall, make pratfall lemonade. Had Black sustained serious injuries, it’s unlikely that Fox would have made such a pearl-clutching cliffhanger. (At least, we think).