There's no doubt that the atmosphere on "American Idol" is a pressure cooker. But when you add preexisting health problems into the mix, it can get even more difficult for the finalists to make it to the stage twice a week.
According to TMZ, one of the leading contenders on this year's show, acoustic strummer Phillip Phillips, was rushed to a medical facility on Thursday morning for emergency treatment. Sources said Phillips, who suffers from kidney stones, was complaining of intense pain in his abdomen, but it is unclear what ailed him. TMZ claimed that someone close to Phillips suspected it could be gallstones.
Phillips' dad later reportedly told TMZ that his son has had five different procedures to remove kidney stones — including one in January — and that his boy is determined to stay in the competition, putting off any procedure for now. The Dave Matthews-esque footstomper was safely put through on Thursday night, when amiable Jeremy Rosado was sent home.
Phillips isn't the first "Idol" favorite to battle illness on the show. Back in 2010, eventual runner-up Crystal Bowersox rebounded from a hospital stay and thoughts of throwing in the towel, with one of that season's highlights. Bowersox, a diabetic, was told that she would be eliminated from the show if she missed that week's performance.
A number of other contestants, including winner David Cook, Casey Abrams and last year's runner-up (and Thursday's musical guest) Lauren Alaina, have also struggled with health issues during their "Idol" runs.
"Idol" host Ryan Seacrest tweeted about the medical drama before the show aired on Thursday, writing, "In #idol rehearsal now, I can tell u @PPhillipsAI11 is here and doing ok. Expect to see him on ur tv tonight." During Thursday night's show, Seacrest asked Phillips how he was doing and the singer responded, "Nah, I didn't go to the hospital, I went to the doctor ... yeah, I'm good."