Being an American Idol judge isn’t considered a particularly dangerous gig, besides the trauma of having to listen to terrible singers, of course. There was one instance, however, when former Idol judge Harry Connick Jr. suffered an injury in the line of duty. During an appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan, Connick recalled when cohost Ryan Seacrest gave him a concussion on the set of Idol.
“It was some exciting moment, and Ryan came up to me on the panel and jumped into my arms, which was thrilling in itself,” Connick said. “But in the commercial break, I started feeling really strange… And I had a major concussion.”
It seems Connick’s and Seacrest’s heads slammed together when the longtime Idol host jumped into Connick’s arms (which appears to be documented in the GIF below), and Connick ended up having to go to the hospital.
“Ryan is very hard-headed, and people don’t realize, he is mostly head,” Seacrest’s Live cohost Kelly Ripa quipped. “I didn’t know I had such force,” Seacrest added.
Connick and Seacrest have actually told this story before, on Connick’s short-lived talk show Harry in 2017. In the video below, Connick recalls his visit to the hospital: “I remember, the doctor says, ‘What do you feel like?’ I said, ‘I feel like throwing up, and my head hurts,’ and he says, ‘You have a concussion.’ And I said, ‘That son of a gun gave me a concussion!’”
In other words, don’t count on Seacrest jumping into Lionel Richie’s arms anytime soon. American Idol returns for its third season on ABC (and 18th overall) in spring 2020.