After hosting “American Idol” for 12 seasons, very little intimidates Ryan Seacrest. Well, except for one thing … and it isn’t Simon Cowell.
“Keith’s biceps intimidate me,” the 38-year-old dished to omg! at the “Idol Across America” kickoff in New York City on Friday.
Of course the veteran host is talking about newbie judge, Keith Urban, who’s been busy putting his bulging muscles on display during the twice-weekly broadcast by wearing tight-fitting shirts. In fact, Seacrest says this season’s new crop of judges, which includes bickering beauties, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, is the most fashionable panel yet.
“Nicki’s hair: I’ve said to her, ‘I love the straight blonde. You’ve got to keep that.’ And she did for at least one episode this week. Randy, I don’t know how he has so many different pairs of shoes. For 12 seasons, every episode, he’s got a different pair of shoes,” he laughed. “And Mariah literally looks like she’s going to the ball every night.”
Seacrest says he looks forward to seeing them walk out on the stage each night, not only to see what they’re wearing, but to see what they’ll say when the live shows start next week.
“I am giddy with excitement for us to do our live shows because it is what our program is about. It is those moments that are spontaneous, you don’t plan, and are unvarnished and raw,” he says. In other words, look for explosive debates from the diverse judging panel, which already has its fair share of rumored feuds. “I think you’ll see some serious, heated disagreements as the season goes on. I think that happens when you have strong personalities, whose job is to judge and give their perspective.”
Nicki Minaj, who may have the strongest personality of all the judges this year, might be misunderstood according to Seacrest. “She’s very good at speaking her mind and being honest. I think that her heart is in the right place and she’s trying to tell [the contestants] what she believes is the right thing for them to hear to get better or to make it through.”
As for who will score the “Idol” crown, Seacrest confessed that he’s hoping one of the ladies will finally take home the prize. “We haven’t had one in a long time and I think the guys kind of know that, and they feel a little momentum from the girls and the girls had a really good showing this week.”
He also gave us his thoughts on current showstopper Zoanette Johnson’s performance of the “Circle of Life” Wednesday night calling it "full of volume from the hair to the voice. I didn’t forget about it,” he continued. “The more you see of her with the contestants, she’s sort of this den mother.”
Perhaps, she’ll snag “Idol” glory, but only time and America’s votes will tell.
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