There was a conspicuous absence on Thursday night's "American Idol" elimination show, long before Ashthon Jones got booted out of the top 13. That didn't happen until the end of the show. It was judges' darling and bushy-bearded budding sex symbol Casey Abrams.
After another impressive performance on Wednesday night, when he took on Joe Cocker's version of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends," the 19-year-old film-camp counselor was nowhere to be seen on the stage. Host Ryan Seacrest announced at the top of the show that Abrams was hospitalized for the second time this season and would not be joining his pals for the results broadcast.
"You'll notice that Casey is missing from the group. He is unfortunately sick and in the hospital right now," Seacrest announced. "Wave to him. ... We know you're watching buddy, feel better — shout-out to the nurses. Get back here soon, OK?"
While a spokesperson for "Idol" told MTV News that no further details were available on Abrams' illness on Thursday night, the bass-playing singer tweeted about the situation after the show, writing "Hey guys, thanks for the well wishes, I got some nice fresh blood in me and feeling better. People at Idol & Cedars are treatin me real good."
An unnamed "Idol" insider reportedly told the Hollywood Reporter that Abrams received two blood transfusions while in the hospital to treat a condition called ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory condition that affects the lining of the large intestine.
Earlier this season, on February 23, Abrams was rushed to the ER after complaining about stomach pains and almost missed the subsequent taping of the top-12 men's performances, which potentially would have eliminated him from the competition before the finals.
Abrams was in no danger of going home on Thursday night's show, but if his condition continues and he is unable to perform next week, he could be sent home. Last season, eventual runner-up Crystal Bowersox nearly missed out on her chance to stay on the show when she was rushed to the hospital, necessitating a rare lineup shuffle that forced the men to perform a night earlier than scheduled. Had Bowersox not recovered in time, producers said that she was in danger of being eliminated from the show.
Don't miss "Idol Party Live" every Thursday on MTV.com, following the "American Idol" results show, for analysis, celebrity guests and even some karaoke — get in the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #idolparty! In the meantime, get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' "American Idol" page, where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.