In case you missed it, Ryan Seacrest took his very first sick day from American Idol hosting duties in this Monday’s episode. In-house mentor Bobby Bones filled in for him as the Top 14 was decided.
Considering Ryan has never been absent from the show in its 17 seasons, you might be wondering what viewers thought of the change. TV Line conducted a poll after the show to see if people missed Ryan, and based on the results, the answer is no.
Most People Didn’t Miss Ryan Seacrest
The site tweeted out the results of the poll on Tuesday, but they’ve actually gotten worse for Ryan since then. As of this writing, only 43.94 percent said they missed Ryan and didn’t want him to leave again. The majority of voters either didn’t notice he was gone (32.58 percent) or actually preferred Bones (23.48 percent).
Seeing that a third of viewers didn’t even notice Ryan’s absence seems harsh at first glance, but I understand why people might say that. There were rumors before the ABC reboot kicked off last year that Ryan’s role on the show would be minimized. This followed accusations of sexual harassment against him from a former stylist.
Whether it’s because of the controversy or simply the nature of the show, Ryan does blend into the background a bit. His presence isn’t as memorable as the three judges’, and he doesn’t do much besides cut to commercial and tell us who’s up next. Even Ryan admitted that it can be awkward to stand on stage saying nothing while the judges give feedback.
You could argue that it’s the host’s job to move things along without hogging attention for himself. But in that case, there are a lot of people who could fill that role. Personally, I thought Bobby showed less enthusiasm than Ryan, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the show. At the end of the day, it’s really about the singing.
Will Bobby Bones Replace Ryan Seacrest?
As I mentioned before, Ryan had sexual assault accusations raised against him last year by a former stylist named Suzie Hardy. Ryan denied the claims, and he ultimately kept his jobs with American Idol, E!, and Live with Kelly and Ryan. However, that doesn’t mean people have forgotten about the controversy. It might even make some Idol viewers less likely to tune in.
TV Insider rounded up several tweets from Monday night’s episode praising Bobby’s hosting performance, and even suggesting he have a bigger role on the show or replace Ryan entirely.
Talent Recap speculated earlier this week that perhaps American Idol was testing out Bobby Bones as a potential replacement for Ryan in future seasons. Bobby’s just coming off a Dancing with the Stars win, and his presence could bring in more country fans considering he hosts a country music radio show.
American Idol is also behind The Voice in the ratings, and the NBC show’s new tactics might threaten it even more. This, mixed with fallout from Ryan’s controversy, could push Idol to change things up. It could be Seacrest out — permanently.
Ryan certainly has plenty of jobs to fall back on should he be phased out. In addition to red carpet interviewer and talk show host, he also has his own radio show. Considering how much he works, it’s a wonder that this was the first sick day he’s taken. Maybe he would welcome the break.