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Did 'Idol' give ill Crystal Bowersox special treatment?

Semifininalist Crystal Bowersox performs in front of the

Semifininalist Crystal Bowersox performs in front of the judges on "American Idol" airing March 3, 2010. Credit: Fox

Though the ladies of "American Idol" sang a day late this week, it turned out to be worth the wait, with performances by Crystal Bowersox, Lilly Scott, Siobhan Magnus and Katelyn Epperly that clearly overshadowed anything the guys brought to the table. But the question remains, should the show's producers have shortchanged the guys' rehearsal time by a day because of Bowersox's illness?

Though a press release from Fox only cited "medical issues" as the reason Bowersox couldn't perform Tuesday, numerous online sources speculate those issues were related to complications from juvenile diabetes. On her MySpace page, Bowersox says, "Growing up with Type 1 Diabetes was extremely difficult. I remember in my high school years that I was hospitalized anywhere from six to 12 times a year."

No one is questioning the severity of her illness this week. In fact, despite giving a bravura performance Wednesday, Bowersox appeared wan and tired. What wagging tongues are asking is: Was Bowersox, a front-runner in this year's competition, accorded preferential treatment? In the past, "Idol" contestants ill with the flu, or worse, performed on schedule. On shows such as "Dancing With the Stars" or "So You Think You Can Dance," rehearsal footage has been shown when a contestant has been unable to perform. So one has to wonder if the producers would have similarly rearranged the schedule for a contestant unlikely to win or even make the Top 12.

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