A New Zealand man died after collapsing while preparing to audition for the Australian version of Simon Cowell's The X Factor last week, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
The 33-year-old man, who has since been identified as Edward Andrews of Wellington, New Zealand, was rehearsing alone in a quiet alcove at Sydney Cricket Ground stadium when he fell to the ground suddenly on the afternoon of January 25. Andrews was treated at the scene by medical personnel and taken to nearby St. Vincent's Hospital, where he died shortly after arriving. An official cause of death has not yet been released, but it's suspected that Andrews died of a heart-related issue.
Eyewitnesses told police that Andrews "didn't look well" just before he collapsed. Steven Murphy, a spokesman for X Factor production company FremantleMedia, called the incident tragic. "He collapsed late yesterday and was treated by medics on site before being transferred by ambulance to St. Vincent's Hospital," Murphy said. As of press time, Murphy has not yet responded to requests for further comment.
Australian X Factor host Luke Jacobz was not present at the auditions, and neither were any of the show's celebrity judges (former Spice Girl Mel B, Ronan Keating, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, and Guy Sebastian). The January 25 Sydney Cricket Ground tryouts were being supervised by the singing competition's producers, who determine which hopefuls go on to the televised auditions. None of the judges have officially confirmed that they'll be returning to the show for its fifth season.
Andrews lived with his partner, Cathy Pearce, and their son, Jaiden. A funeral service for Andrews is scheduled to take place in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday, January 30.