Just Sam won “American Idol” Sunday in the first at-home final due to the coronavirus pandemic ― but some of the buzz focused on the singing competition series’ host.
Ryan Seacrest slurred his speech and his eye drooped in a concerning moment before announcing Just Sam, aka Samantha Diaz, as the champion.
Some viewers on Twitter expressed concern that Seacrest was having a medical issue. But a representative told People on Monday that the host is simply in “need of rest” after “juggling three to four on-air jobs over the last few weeks.”
“Ryan did not have any kind of stroke last night,” the rep said. “Like many people right now, Ryan is adjusting to the new normal and finding work-home balance, with the added stress of having to put on live shows from home.”
Seacrest took the morning off on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” Monday.
He seemed sharper in declaring Just Sam’s victory after his difficulty. The 21-year-old subway singer from Harlem was considered an upset winner over “front-runner” Arthur Gunn, The Washington Post wrote.
Just Sam, who was self-isolating in Los Angeles, celebrated with her grandmother remotely on a tablet.
“Can I thank America now?” the singer said. “My dreams have come true. I would never, never have expected this.”
Here are her performances from Sunday:
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