“American Idol” fans have been speculating as to why finalist Dexter Roberts suddenly vanished from the summer tour last month, and now the 23-year-old country singer is finally setting the record straight. On Sunday, People reported that Roberts has been diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
The Fayette, Alabama singer took to his Facebook page to explain that after suffering for months with a rash, fever, headache, abdominal issues, and muscle pain, he was finally given the dire diagnosis.
Roberts also revealed that he went on a turkey hunt in Kentucky in May, where he believes he may have contacted the illness, after finding several ticks on his body throughout the four-day expedition. After multiple visits to hospital emergency rooms while on tour with the “Idol” Top 10, Roberts said that another doctor later found a rash on his head from a tick bite. Blood work confirmed he has the sometimes-fatal tick-bourne bacterial illness.
“Shortly after the ‘American Idol’ tour started, I started having serve headaches, chest pains and muscle weakness on my left side, along with tremendous abdominal issues and shortness of breath,” he wrote. “The medical facilities, while on tour, were unable to make a diagnosis.” Roberts is now being treated with medication and has asked fans to pray for his full recovery.
Tick-bourne illnesses are becoming more and more common, and Roberts isn’t the first reality show alum to come forward after contracting one. In 1998, “Real World Seattle” alum Irene McGhee famously revealed her battle with Lyme Disease while on the MTV show, and more recently, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Yolanda Foster detailed her debilitating battle with the same disease. Reality show judge Debbie Gibson (“American Juniors,” Sing Your Face Off”) told Parade that her own battle with Lyme went undiagnosed for a year before she finally treated it with a combination of medication and alternative healing methods.
As for Dexter Roberts, he didn’t get much of a chance to perform on the “American Idol Live!” tour. The summertime tour began June 24 in Binghamton, New York and he left due to his illness on July 1.