Accidents on the Red Carpet

Olivia Rodrigo Singing
Olivia Rodrigo was the top winner at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards. Rodrigo won a total of seven awards, including the coveted Top New Artist award. (Photo credit: Invision)

The 2022 Billboard Music Awards were held on Sunday 15 May at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Aside from model Cara Delevingne's awkward interactions with rapper Megan Thee Stallion, the award ceremony passed relatively without incident. However, not all award ceremonies are just as lucky.

To commemorate this year's Billboard Music Awards, we are going to explore some of the accidents that have taken place at recent award ceremonies, and how to identify and manage these accidents from a first aid perspective.

Proper Miguel Leg Drop
Miguel's performance gaffe at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, wherein he landed heavily on two female patrons, is now famously known as the 'Miguel Leg Drop'. (Photo credit: ABC)

Miguel's 'Leg Drop'

While performing the hit song "Adorn" from his Kaleidoscope album, R&B singer Miguel attempted to leap over the mosh pit to get from one part of the stage to another.

Miguel miscalculated the jump, and he ended up landing heavily on two female patrons. His right leg landed on top of one woman's, Cindy Tsai's, head, thereby smashing it against the stage. His left leg, meanwhile, connected with the head and upper right arm of Khyati Shah.

Khyati was ostensibly less worse for wear. After the performance, she emerged backstage alongside Miguel and holding an ice pack against her right arm. Together, they were interviewed by Billboard's editorial director, wherein Miguel claimed that Khatyi was his "new friend".

Cindy, meanwhile, later sued Miguel for an amount in axcess of $10,000 for sustained personal injuries, loss of wages, loss of personal property, and loss of enjoyment of life.

In the event that you are the first aid responder to a head trauma, apply basic wound care and consult a medical professional or your closest emergency department for advice on how to proceed safely. If, at any point, the casualty stops breathing normally, follow DRSABCD and be prepared to perform CPR.

Rami Malek Falls
After receiving the 2019 Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury, Rami Malek fell off the stage in front of shocked onlookers.(Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Variety)

Rami Malek Falls off Oscars Stage

Following the conclusion of the 2019 Academy Awards ceremony, actor Rami Malek fell off the front of the stage and into the audience area.

Malek, who had just won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, was moved to a chair in the front row before being treated by paramedics. Save for a look of surprise on his face, Malek did not seem to be significantly impacted by the fall, and he later emerged in the press room with no signs or mention of injury. His representatives, likewise, declined to comment about the fall.

This is not the first time someone has taken a tumble at the Academy Awards. In 2013, actress Jennifer Lawrence tripped while ascending the front steps of the stage to collect her Best Actress Oscar. The following year, she tripped at the award ceremony again, though this time on a traffic cone on the red carpet. If you are the first aid responder to someone who has taken a nasty fall, and you are not sure what their injuries are, follow DRSABCD and be prepared to perform CPR if they stop breathing normally.

Gemma Collins Falls
While presenting the award for Best TV Show to Love Island at the 2017 Radio 1 Teen Awards, reality TV star Gemma Collins fell through a trapdoor in the stage. (Photo credit: REX)

Gemma Collins Falls down Trapdoor

At the 2017 Radio 1 Teen Awards, while presenting the award for Best TV Show to Love Island, reality TV star Gemma Collins fell through a trapdoor in the stage and narrowly missed 3 members of the Love Island cast.

Collins was subsequently helped to her feet by Love Island's Jamie Jewitt, Amber Davies, and Marcel Somerville before carrying on with presenting the award. Immediately following the fall, Collins was cleared of any breakages and took to Twitter to confirm: "...it’s ok I’m alive I’ve always said I’m like Bridget Jones don’t worry everyone xx best and worst moment of my life".

However, Collins later claimed to be tormented about the serious injuries that could have transpired. She also claimed that the BBC, who host the Radio 1 Teen Awards, had not told her that the award winners would be emerging from beneath the stage. Collins briefly considered suing the BBC, but instead leveraged the incident to secure a podcast deal and a spot on Celebrity Masterchef.

If you are ever the first aid responder to a suspected fracture, support the injured area in a position that is comfortable for the casualty, treat any bleeding wounds, and call 000/112 for an ambulance.

More information about how to treat a broken bone can be found in our Resource Library.

Madonna Falls
Madonna's onstage fall at the 2015 Brit Awards was later voted the 'most embarrassing moment' in the award ceremony's history. (Photo credit: Samir Hussein/Radio X)

Madonna Falls on Stage

At the 2015 Brit Awards, Madonna suffered a wardrobe malfunction and fell backwards down several steps while performing her recently released pop single "Living for Love".

The tumble occurred at the start of Madonna's performance, after she had ascended several steps to a raised platform on the stage. Two of the dancers, who were kneeling on the stage behind Madonna, yanked the end of the latter's matador-style coat to remove it, only to force the singer down the stairs.

Madonna later blamed the incident on the coat, which she said had been tied too tightly to avoid it sliding off. However, Georgio Armani, the designer of the coat, blamed the incident on Madonna, and insisted that the singer had simply been unable to open the coat with her hands.

Though Madonna managed to avoid any breakages, she claimed to have suffered whiplash as a result of the fall. Whiplash is a type of head injury that refers to the sudden movement of the head forward and backward on impact. Whiplash, like all head injuries, should be treated seriously, as it can cause a small bleed in the brain and eventually apply excessive pressure on the brain tissue.

Head to our Resource Library for more details on how to identify and manage head injuries.

Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock
Will Smith's attack on Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards came to be dubbed 'the slap heard around the world'. (Photo credit: Chris Pizzello/Financial Times)

Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock

While presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature at the 94th Academy Awards in March 2022, comedian Chris Rock was slapped across the face by Best Actor nominee Will Smith.

Immediately prior to the slap, Rock had made a joke about Smith's wife's bald head, which he likened to that of G.I. Jane, the pseudonym for a fictitious Navy SEAL named Jordan O'Neil. Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, had begun shaving her head in July 2021 after being diagnosed with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.

Smith originally smiled and laughed at Rock's joke. However, he soon ascended the stage and slapped Rock across the face. He then returned to his seat and demanded that Rock cease discussing Pinkett-Smith. Police subsequently arrived at the scene to arrest Smith on charges of battery. However, Rock repeatedly declined to press charges, and the night continued relatively without incident.

Though Rock ostensibly did not suffer any injuries as a result of the slap, mild blows to the head can cause concussions. A person suffering concussion can experience temporary cognitive symptoms like headache, confusion, and nausea. Our Resource Library provides details on how to identify and treat concussions and other head injuries.

It can be argued that Smith came off worse for wear, as he was later banned from the Oscars and other Academy events for ten years.

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