Ryan Seacrest Was Initially Invited to Join ‘American Idol’ as a Judge

Ryan Seacrest said that before he became the longtime host of American Idol, he was first thought of as a judge for the show.

Ryan Seacrest, a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, revealed that producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick considered adding him to the panel after hearing him on the radio in Los Angeles.

But Seacrest had more of an interest in trying out for the role of host, and he was ultimately chosen. Since the show’s inception with just three judges to today’s roster of Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie, he has hosted every single one of them.

“I guess Simon Cowell was already on board, and I don’t know who else at that point,” he said. “And I was like, ‘Well, 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. So I’m happy to still have the job.”

Seacrest also talked about how American Idol has changed over the years. He said that now, contestants start training for the auditions when they are young.