Ryan Seacrest’s Best Moments on ‘American Idol’ Throughout the Years

Jill O'Rourke
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Ryan Seacrest on the 'American Idol' red carpetPhoto by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Ryan Seacrest has been hosting American Idol since its very first season. Although he usually likes to leave the spotlight on the talented contestants, Seacrest has had a few memorable moments on the show throughout the years. Let’s take a look back at some of our favorites.


Ryan Seacrest’s Best ‘American Idol’ Moments

1. When Hulk Hogan Threw Him Off the Stage

During Season 10 of the show, wrestler Hulk Hogan made an appearance while Seacrest was giving results to contestants James Durbin and Paul McDonald. Hogan gave them the news that they were both safe, before pretending to punch Seacrest, who dramatically fell over into the audience.

2. When He Sang a Duet with Richard Marx

During the Season 13 finale, Seacrest’s mother shared that the first concert he attended was from singer Richard Marx. The host showed off his singing voice with a rendition of Marx’s song “Right Here Waiting for You.” He then welcomed Marx himself, and the pair performed the song together. After the duet, Seacrest apologized to the audience.

3. When He Surprised a Young Superfan

In Season 15, the show’s last season on FOX, Seacrest surprised a 7-year-old American Idol superfan named Wyatt with a tour of the backstage area. Wyatt got dressed up, and he joined Seacrest on stage during the show. The host even let him say his signature line, “This is American Idol.”


4. When He Sang “Hello” with Lionel Richie

In Season 16, Seacrest once again sang on the show, this time joining judge Lionel Richie in an impromptu performance of his famous song “Hello.” The other judges, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, danced around as they performed. Contestant Brandon Diaz also joined in on the fun moment.

5. When He Finally Took a Day Off

In Season 17, Seacrest took his very first sick day since he started hosting American Idol in 2002. In-house mentor Bobby Bones filled in as host during Seacrest’s absence. Perry tweeted that it was “proof” that Seacrest was “human after all.” Considering Seacrest also hosts Live with Kelly and Ryan, as well as a radio show, he definitely needed a day off.

6. When He Gave a Singer the Chance to Audition

During Season 18 auditions, Seacrest invited a singer named Courtney Timmons to try out in front of the judges after she missed the deadline. Courtney performed “Rise Up” by Andra Day, impressing the judges. Perry called her the best singer they’d heard all day. They chose to send Courtney to Hollywood, bringing Seacrest to tears in a proud moment.


7. When He Sported His Old Hairstyle

Things came full circle in Season 20, as the show welcomed back past contestants in a reunion special. At one point during the show, Seacrest walked out sporting the frosted tips he had early in the series and welcomed Season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini to the stage. Unfortunately, Guarini didn’t get the memo about the throwback looks.

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