American Idol‘s season 11 Hollywood Week started with a jolt Wednesday, when 16-year-old contestant Symone Black fell off stage and hit her head immediately after her rousing performance.
Belting out “(Sittin On’) the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding for judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, the California teen appeared to fall onto a cameraman positioned just below her.
Prior to her fall, Black was responding to Jackson’s question about her song choice. “I wanted to reach out to an older audience,” Black said before rubbing her head, stumbling a bit and seemingly taking a deep audible breath.
“F-k man! She hit her head!” Tyler said as the trio of judges looked on in horror, having just spoken to Black seconds before.
As a medic and Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe rushed to Black’s aid, her father and other contestants were visibly shocked.
“The cameraman, bless him, tries to dive to catch her because he’s on the floor on his knees, and he doesn’t get there and knocks his camera that falls on top of him,” Lythgoe told reporters of the incident. “So it’s a complete, ‘Oh, my God, this is terrible’. I’m shouting for medics and it’s scary, to be frank.”
Lythgoe posted on his Twitter page that Black was one of five contestants who collapsed on stage during Hollywood Week.
The circumstances surrounding her shocking fall are expected to be addressed on Thursday’s episode of Idol.