Ryan Seacrest‘s representative is speaking out after fans expressed concern over his behavior during the live American Idol finale on Sunday night. After an apparent on-air struggle during the final episode of the TV talent competition, he skipped his usual co-hosting gig on Live! With Kelly and Ryan on Monday morning.
During the Season 18 finale of American Idol, Seacrest, 45, appeared from home — as did the final contestants due to the lockdown in California — due to the coronavirus pandemic. While he looked and acted normal for most of the live ABC broadcast, near the end of the show, he appeared to struggle with his prompts. In addition, out of nowhere, the longtime Idol host’s right eye appeared to be swollen and half shut.
In comments on Twitter and Instagram, fans expressed their concern over Seacrest’s sudden behavior change.
“[Ryan Seacrest] you okay?? Very concerned about your eye and speech…” one fan wrote on Instagram.
“I thought the same thing,” another added. “He never stumbles over his words like that and then his eye….it was just so unlike him…. He also had his hands in front of his face, there were long pauses and a lack of excitement in his voice announcing the winner. I hope he’s ok and it was just weird editing and lighting!”
“They always end with a performance and then Ryan Seacrest thanks everyone. At the end, it was a black screen with producers’ names. There was something off,” a third viewer wrote.
While a few fans speculated that the American Idol host fell asleep during the commercials, with some even questioning if the seasoned TV star was drinking, others were more concerned by the fact that Seacrest skipped his morning show job alongside Kelly Ripa on Monday. During the pandemic, he is working from home in California, so he doesn’t even have to fly to New York to join Kelly the way he has in the past.
“He’s not on Kelly and Ryan saying he worked late,” one fan wrote. “Please. He took the red-eye every Sunday to New York without fail. I’m praying he’s ok!“
— drak31221 (@drak31221) May 18, 2020
On Monday, Kelly Ripa’s husband, Mark Consuelos, filled in as her co-host on Live, with the explanation that Seacrest was up late working on the American Idol finale.
While some viewers feared that Seacrest had a stroke or some other type of medical emergency and begged him to seek medical attention, a rep told People that the American Idol star is adjusting to “the new normal” as he tries to find work-home balance, with the added stress of “having to put on live shows from home.”
“Ryan did not have any kind of stroke last night,” they told People.
In the statement, the rep added that Seacrest is juggling multiple shows right now. In addition to Live with Kelly and Ryan and American Idol, the On-Air With Ryan Seacrest podcast host is involved in the production of the Disney Family Singalongs and is “in need of rest.” As such, he took a “well-deserved day off” following his late-night gig on his in-home Idol set.