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American Idol contestant Funke Lagoke is reaching out to her fans after millions saw her scary fall on Monday night.
During the Hollywood Week stage of the ABC competition show, judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie paired Funke up with fellow contestant Ronda Felton to sing Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand's "Tell Him." After the duo concluded, the judges gathered around their desk to debate whether Ronda and Funke deserved to move onto the next round.
Moments later, Lionel started delivering his honest feedback to the pair, where he called their performance a "train wreck." At first, he told Ronda that while she started off strong, she "crashed and burned" at the end. He then turned to Funke, but before he could share his thoughts, the singer fell forward onto the stage.
Immediately, Luke, Lionel, Ronda, and American Idol producers rushed to Funke's aid and started helping her until the paramedics arrived. After seeing Funke being carted off by paramedics, Lionel then walked over to Ronda to tell them that despite their hiccups both artists were advancing to the next round.
After Monday's episode aired, Funke hopped on Instagram Live to talk to her followers directly about what had unfolded. As she explained, last night was the first night she had been showcased on American Idol, despite earning three "yes" votes from the judges during her San Diego audition and making it through Hollywood Week's genre challenge. Even though she felt her genre round was the strongest, she isn't happy that producers chose to showcase her fall.
While holding back tears, Funke explained:
"As a performer, you want to be highlighted in the best way possible. And every time I was reminded that I was going to get showcased for this fall, the line I keep telling myself is, 'I am so much more than my fall. I am so much more than my fall.' I come with so much more, those that know me know that, and I pray that America and whoever saw this saw that even when we fall in life we're gonna get back up again, and we're going to fight for another day. Because that was not how I wanted to be presented the first time ... But it's okay because I know God has something I can't see right now. I wanted to be highlighted so much for my voice, I did. And they did show something, but I'm so much more than that ..."
Funke went on to say that she is grateful her fall resulted only in three stitches and nothing more serious. Nonetheless, the experience was "traumatizing" and she felt "embarrassed" by the incident. Minutes later, Funke let Ronda join in on the Instagram Live to share her thoughts on the matter.
"Image is a very important thing ... it's the one thing that we hold. It's the one thing that we control, " Ronda explained. "And so for someone to take that away from you, for someone to choose the image for you is a very big deal, which is why it's very upsetting ... I prayed that they wouldn't show that because it was very heart-wrenching for me to see."
"What was shown on TV today was not okay. I don't care who you are," Ronda added.
On Twitter, it looks like some American Idol viewers agree with Ronda and Funke. "Um why did you show that poor girl faint??!!" one fan tweeted. "I'm thinking that was something that could have NOT been aired! That was scary, glad she's okay!!" another said. "Agreed... it’s sad that they have to resort to this kind of sensationalism...just one more step towards the demise of what was once a great show," a different fan concluded.
Next week, American Idol will continue with the advancing artists — including both Ronda and Funke — competing in the showstopper round. Hopefully, we'll get to see the two shine on stage really soon.
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