Pop concerts these days are known for their jarring pyrotechnics, attention-grabbing choreography, and overall unpredictability — but few spectators could anticipate what they witnessed in Rio de Janeiro last week.
Australian rapper/singer/songwriter Iggy Azalea was in the midst of performing the song “Black Widow,” when one of her backup dancers began suffering from what appeared to be a seizure onstage.
The songstress did not break stride, attempting to finish the song in its entirety to the astonishment of onlookers.
A truly frightening scene
Iggy Azalea, a.k.a. Amethyst Amelia Kelly, was going about the business of delighting her fans at Maracana Stadium with a rendition of one of her most popular tunes when about halfway through the song, a backup dancer with whom she was sharing the stage suddenly collapsed in what appeared to many audience members to be a seizure.
Onlookers were horrified as the backup dancer was convulsing on the ground, and other members of the dance troupe rushed to offer assistance.
Upon noticing what had transpired, the 28-year-old superstar asked for a medic to come forward and render aid.
Shockingly, however, Azalea herself pushed on, performing for at least another 20 seconds before the music was ultimately stopped for a period of time.
Not surprisingly, it did not take long for the Twitterverse to pounce on what was widely perceived as the performer’s unfeeling indifference to the urgency of the medical situation at hand.
One particularly opinionated observer assailed Azalea for looking “dead at someone who clearly needs serious medical attention” and continuing with her performance, asserting that such behavior was the hallmark of “a gross person.”
Another asked whether Azalea is “a psychpath [sic]” for witnessing a life-threatening scenario onstage only to “continue RAPPING (horribly) OVER THEIR BODY.”
In the wake of such scathing commentary, the “Fancy” starlet took to Instagram to defend herself, stating that she decided to continue her performance because she believed that the dancer had simply twisted an ankle.
She went on to assure fans that the dancer’s condition had improved markedly and that her seizure was the result of exposure to heat and light onstage.
Azalea later claimed that the strongly negative fan response to her actions during the concert left her feeling “worn down” and “exhausted by the world,” and lamented that her conduct is always under so much scrutiny that anything she does provides the masses a chance to declare her “horrible.”
While it is surely quite difficult to live each and every moment in the public sphere, perhaps Iggy Azalea will take some time to reflect and realize that heeding the old adage “the show must go on” may not always be the wisest course of action.