“American Idol” contestant David Cook was reportedly rushed to a Los Angeles hospital following Tuesday night’s show after experiencing heart palpitations and high blood pressure.
TMZ reported that Cook had not been feeling well all day, and his condition got worse after his performance. Show medics examined him on set and decided that his blood pressure was “far too high,” according to the site. He was encouraged to go to the hospital during the show, but chose to stick around until the Dolly Parton-themed hour was over.
(He’s hardly the first reality-show star to require medical attention — check out our list of all-time greats in the Newsroom blog!)
Cook, who reportedly suffers from high blood pressure to begin with, was driven to the hospital by car, treated and released a few hours later after receiving medication to bring his blood pressure down. An unnamed “Idol” executive reportedly told TMZ that Cook has been under extra stress this week because his brother, who is battling cancer, recently had a setback. People reported that Cook was “doing fine” following the episode, which came on the same night that judges praised his slightly roughed-up take on Parton’s “Little Sparrow.”
Though Cook seemed in fine spirits during the show, smiling shyly as judge Paula Abdul praised his new haircut, People reported that he was noticeably absent when contestants made their way to the bleachers to sit with fans and watch a live performance by 2007 winner Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown of their current single, “No Air,” which will air in a later broadcast.
TMZ also reported that this isn’t the first time Cook has had trouble on the set, referring to a show earlier in the season when, just before his performance, he collapsed and said he could not go on, but then got it together in time to sing onstage.
A spokesperson for “Idol” declined to comment on Cook’s hospitalization.