“It was my first big break that almost didn’t happen,” Seacrest told Harry Connick Jr.— who is one of the former judges on the show — during an appearance on the daytime program Harry, airing on Friday.
The longtime host, 41, went on to explain that it was actually because he landed another TV opportunity.
“It was like two weeks before I found out about American Idol,” said Seacrest, who first became the host of Idol in 2002.
“The same company that produces it, produces Family Feud, and I auditioned for Family Feud and I tested well in the audition,” continued Seacrest, “And I got a call saying, ‘Look we think that we are going to make a deal for you to be the host, but there might be something else in the pipeline, but let’s try to make a deal for Family Feud unless you want to do this other thing.’ ”
When Seacrest asked, ” ‘Well, what is the other thing?’ ” he was met with: ” ‘Well, we can’t tell you what it is, but if you want to do Feud, we’ll do Feud. If you want to hold out maybe this other thing will work out, but we can’t promise it to you,’ ” shared Seacrest.
Ultimately, Seacrest passed on Feud and ended up co-hosting the first season of Idol with Brian Dunkleman before flying solo the next 14 years.
“Something in the back of my mind,” Seacrest told Connick Jr. of his career choice. “I thought that Feud would be the big break. I was not doing big TV. I was psyched, anyways, so it turned out that I waited and Idol was the show.”
And although the show finished its 15th (and final) farewell season earlier this year, it hasn’t hit the reality TV host yet.
“People keep saying to me … ‘Well what are you going to do? How do you feel that it’s not on the air?’ ” said Seacrest. “It hasn’t sunk into me totally yet because it goes on in January every year.”
Added Seacrest: “I’ll be very depressed come January.”
For more on Harry, check your local listings or visit HarryTV.com for details.