It isn’t unusual to have some amount of drama during these stressful reality competition shows. But it isn’t likely anyone was expecting what would happen when Makayla Brownlee (17) stepped on stage to perform for judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie for Hollywood’s Solo Rounds of Season 18 of American Idol.
Like most of the contestants, Makayla said she was nervous before she took the stage, but once she got in front of the band, it seemed that her nerves had gone to the next level. As the music began, she almost seemed disoriented, holding her hand up toward the openly concerned judges as she walked off stage to them asking, “Is she okay?”
It turns out, she wasn’t. Makayla suffers from vasovagal syncope, a condition triggered by extreme stress that results in a drop in both heart rate and blood pressure.
By the time Luke made it backstage to check on the young singer, she was on the ground and medical personnel was diagnosing her condition as she began to seize. Unfortunately, Makayla was sent to the hospital before she had a chance to perform Kacey Musgraves’ “Rainbow.”
Although her return was uncertain at first, Makayla did return to the stage before the Solo Round was over. And even though she still seemed nervous, as most were, she delivered a sweet, ethereal rendition of the hopeful song that brought Katy to tears.
And even though she was concerned that the incident may have been a black mark on her day, her performance earned her one of 40 seats on the plane to Hawaii where she’ll compete in the showcases that will determine who goes on to the live finals when they return.
American Idol is currently suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Check out Makayla’s audition in week 1 of American Idol.