American Idol stage manager Debbie needed 50+ stitches after 20-foot fall

American Idol 8 stage manager Debbie Williams needed more than 50 stitches after falling off of the upper level of the show’s set yesterday. She’s recovering; last night, Ryan Seacrest wrote on Twitter, “our stage manager debbie is doing much better.”

Debbie went to the hospital after falling because she had a “very deep gash down to the bone,” a member of the crew told People. The Los Angeles Times says Debbie “had somehow cut her thigh open in the fall and required more than 50 stitches.” Entertainment Weekly details how the accident happened:

“At the start of dress rehearsal, beloved stage manager Debbie Williams stood at the top of the massive glowing staircase. The first three steps are fixed, but the rest roll out from under the band deck; as she followed Seacrest down the stairs, she was caught in the gap when they began to prematurely retract. Observers told me she slipped, then grabbed onto the railing and dangled for a moment before falling the 20 or so feet to the ground.”

As to the other event last night–the spinning logo globe exploded/collapsed during the dress rehearsal, showering the stage with glass–there have been few details as to why that happened, but an MJ’s Big Blog commenter who was in the mosh pit when it collapsed details the event. She writes:

“When the big arm started to fall (I was standing in the pit underneath it), Ryan and others on stage yelled at the crowd in the pit to ‘move, move. Get away.’ The only place to move was the lower stage in front of the judges’ table. Well, there are stairs there, so the people in the pit were tripping up the stairs. Several people fell or were pushed. It was kind of a mad-house. There were at least 6 or 7 people laying on the stairs or the lower stage as a result of the crowd surging in that direction. There were several children who were in the pit.”

Chaotic Scene Unfolds at American Idol [People]
Chaos in the Idoldome, chaos in the competition [Los Angeles Times]
On the scene for Top 4 performance night…and chaos [Entertainment Weekly]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.