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Ryan Seacrest was originally asked to be a judge on ‘American Idol’ — here’s how he became its star host instead

 

Ryan Seacrest of “American Idol” fame shares the story of how he first got his gig as the show’s host. Following is a transcript of the video.

Alyson Shontell: Take me back to getting the first “Idol” gig. And that was really your breakthrough moment, it seemed like. How did you audition for it? Walk me through that process of landing that in the first place.

Ryan Seacrest: There was already a host for the show and I auditioned to be the co-host and I remember they were looking for people — around the country they were doing auditions for the host and as I went into one meeting, they actually started the meeting by talking to me about being a judge for the show and I said, “let me audition to be a host.” And I auditioned, and I got the job and then I got asked back. So, and it happened very fast. I remember I auditioned on a Friday and I think I started working on a Saturday. Nothing ever happens as planned.

Well, I mean, Simon — he created the show and he created a show with a certain vision and I think my job has always been and, and is to be someone that that moves something along, but also the key to being a part of it and being a successful part of it is also not putting yourself in front of everything, too.

I mean like I lay back, I stand back, let moments happen. And, I’m not the star of the show. The artist that is competing to win is the star of the show. And once you understand that dynamic then hopefully you get to stick around.

Shontell: One thing I read in The Hollywood Reporter piece was that there was actually some fierce salary negotiations going on. At one point you maybe thought about walking away with removing your name from being in consideration. So, talk me through the salary negotiations and tips you might have for helping others get what they need.

Seacrest: Well, I think the priority in anything is always the product and the quality of the product and that has been at the top of the list ever since we’ve talked about bringing back “Idol” — ever since I said on “Idol” at the end, “for now, goodbye for now.” So that’s been what we’ve been focused on the most and I think that when you, when you have a, a great show, a great product, great storytelling, then it works and that’s what we’re focused on, so.

Shontell: But you didn’t answer my negotiations for salary thing.

Seacrest: I’m negotiating the answer.

Shontell: Okay, fine. I’ll let you skirt around that one just because we are short on time. You’re lucky.