Is Ryan Seacrest Done With ‘American Idol’?

Over the past fifteen years, Ryan Seacrest has carved out a place for himself in pop culture history as one of the mavens of reality TV. Best known as the host of the singing competition show American Idol, Seacrest has also served as a producer and creative force behind such shows as Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and Married to Jonas.

These days, Seacrest hosts the popular morning show Live with Kelly and Ryan, but he hasn’t left behind his American Idol roots. Still, recent reports suggest that Seacrest could be ready to close that chapter of his life for good. 

How did Ryan Seacrest start with ‘American Idol’?

Ryan Seacrest
Ryan Seacrest | David Becker/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

In 2002, Seacrest was an established presence in radio but still new to the world of television when he accepted a job as one of the hosts of American Idol. Originally, Seacrest shared hosting duties with comedian Brian Dunkleman, but Dunkleman’s job on the show was shortlived: By 2003, he had departed the show and Seacrest was the sole host. Viewers soon started to recognize Seacrest’s frosted tips and wide smile, and the show became a springboard to the next phase of his career.

Ever since, Seacrest has been closely affiliated with American Idol. Even though he has moved on to other projects, he has always retained his connection to the popular reality show. He has been the most consistent face of the show, and while the judging panel has gone through multiple changes over the fifteen-year plus period that the show has been on the air, Seacrest has stuck around. In 2009, he became the highest-paid reality television host of all time, which might have had something to do with his decision to stay.

Is Ryan Seacrest ready to quit ‘American Idol’?

Season eighteen of American Idol is just around the corner, and while judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan are all set to return, Seacrest was not specifically mentioned in the new season announcement. An August 5th news story hinted that Seacrest might actually be distancing himself from the show since Seacrest took his first-ever sick day from American Idol during season 17. During Seacrest’s absence, Bobby Bones, a popular radio DJ who also serves as an in-house mentor to contestants on the show, took over the hosting duties. 

What would fans think of ‘American Idol’ without Ryan Seacrest?

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Trying out the rugged look. Wish me luck!

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While fans first met Seacrest as the host of American Idol, they could be ready to accept the show without him. The TVLine report states that 23 percent of viewers actually liked Bones as host of the show over Seacrest, while a staggering thirty-three percent of viewers didn’t even notice a difference between the way that Bones hosted the show or the way Seacrest hosted the show. Could Bones be ready to take over full-time hosting duties from Seacrest?

It definitely seems as though fans are ready to accept a new look and feel for American Idol — and it might even be necessary in order to introduce the show to a new audience and to keep things relevant and fresh. After all, Seacrest has a very busy schedule apart from Idol, including, of course, his popular daytime talk show: Live with Kelly and Ryan.

Seacrest himself hasn’t opened up about the rumors that he won’t be returning for season eighteen. However, some rumors are swirling that Seacrest could be waiting for the ink to dry on a new deal with Disney before announcing anything permanent about his Idol plans.