After taking a "well-deserved day off" on Monday from Live With Kelly and Ryan, Ryan Seacrest returned to the daytime talk show he co-hosts with Kelly Ripa, citing "exhaustion" for the reason he missed the previous day's episode following Sunday night's American Idol finale where he appeared to have a droopy eye and his speech was slightly slurred during a small portion of the show.
"I’m doing well, thank you. I want to thank Mark for filling in yesterday. I appreciate that. He’s so good at it," Seacrest said, referring to Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos, in his brief comments addressing his absence and health. "And also all the very kind well wishes for my exhaustion, working around the clock. I got a day off to relax and here we are once again, at it on Live."
Speculation and concern spread quickly on social media about his health during Sunday night's Idol finale when Seacrest's right eye was suddenly half-closed and he seemed, momentarily, to have slurred speech, leaving many to wonder if something neurologically was wrong. Until that point, near the end of the two-hour show, he appeared normal and expertly navigated the remotely shot and produced episode, which included both pre-recorded and live elements.
"Ryan did not have any kind of stroke last night," Seacrest's representative said in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE on Monday. "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."
His rep continued: “Between Live with Kelly and Ryan, American Idol, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, and the Disney Family Singalong specials, he has been juggling three-four on-air jobs over the last few weeks and he’s in need of rest. So today he took a well-deserved day off.”
Last May, a few weeks before the season finale, EW sat down with Seacrest prior to a live episode and he talked about his work grind and how he wasn't sure he'd be able to make all of his shows work. "Moving to New York was significant because I had lived here in California for almost 20 years," he says of landing the Live cohosting job in May 2017. "And I will tell you, when I sat down and tried to figure out how to do the show, four hours of live radio, and getting back here on Sundays, I kept telling everybody I could do it but I wasn’t quite sure I was going to be able to pull it off. And we’ve got it down to a science. It’s the most I’ve ever worked."