There’s An Alternate Universe Where Ryan Seacrest Didn’t Host American Idol (And It Has Nothing To Do With Brian Dunkleman)

Ryan Seacrest in suit for American Idol
(Image credit: ABC)

The 21st season of American Idol , which has gone viral thanks to Katy Perry, will be wrapping up in a matter of weeks, meaning that a new champion will soon be crowned. What this also means is that Ryan Seacrest will have also been on the singing competition for 21 full seasons. It's honestly hard to think of anyone else being the host of the show. However, it turns out he almost didn't land the position, and it’s not because of Season 1 co-host Brian Duckleman.

The popular media personality reunited with the first American Idol on her eponymous series, The Kelly Clarkson Show. It was during their chat that Clarkson mentioned that the long-time host was actually considered to be one of the various Idol judges before he took on hosting duties. Seacrest confirmed the surprising bit of news and explained how he got discovered as well as how plans for his initial gig changed:

Originally when the producers, Nigel and Ken, were setting up the show, they had heard me on the radio here in Los Angeles, and they thought I might fit the panel to be up there with whoever else was already on. I guess Simon was already on board, and I don’t know who else at that point. And I was like, 'Wait a minute, I would love to audition to be the host.' And so I auditioned eventually to be the host, and I got the job, and I’m happy to still have the job.

Between his radio show, American Idol, Live! with Kelly and Ryan, E! News and more, Ryan Seacrest has been busy over the years, and he still has big TV goals in mind. With his experience and presence on the radio and on screen, one can understand why the producers would've pegged him as the perfect fit for a judging position. Still, it's hard for me to wrap my head around a reality in which he's not the one holding the mic. I'd say that everything worked out quite well in the end, as he he even arguably outshined Brian Dunklman (who is also a solid presenter). Hosting pretty much seems to be part of Seacrest's DNA at this point, which is why he can't even see himself sitting behind that table:

See, the problem is I’m in like auto-host mode all the time. So I don’t know that I’d be able to sit behind the desk and just give feedback. I’d wanna do that then, 'Toss to commercial. Welcome back. How are you?' It’d be too much.

A big chunk of Seacrest’s career has been spent on American Idol. While the judges have been rotating throughout the years and the show even changed networks following its cancellation at Fox, the TV personality has remained the one constant over the last two decades. He hasn't missed a beat, and it's great to see him still putting in quality work after all this time.

That first season of American Idol was incredibly special because of him and his co-stars -- Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. Another person that made the proceedings stand out is Kelly Clarkson, who the OG judges credit for the program's success. The show just had all of the right ingredients at the right time. I'm thankful that things panned out the way that they did because, otherwise, we wouldn't still have this entertaining show.

Amid Ryan Seacrest's continued involvement with the reality competition show, he  exited Live! with Kelly And Ryan. Don't expect him to slow down when it comes to his other TV gig though, especially since he boldly predicted that Idol could continue in its current form for generations to come. Here's to future seasons with Seacrest still serving as host!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.