“I auditioned for American Idol as a contestant as a prank for our show,” Ripa, 46, reveals in the latest issue of PEOPLE.
“I was so fascinated by him. He had the hardest job because he was dealing with these people whose dreams were being crushed, and he did it so seamlessly and with such a sweet sense of humor. Even though I was the worst singer.”
Seacrest, 42, held down hosting duties on Idol for 15 seasons before the show aired its final episode in 2016.
“She really was the worst singer we’ve ever had,” he jokes.
- For more on Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now
Years before Ripa named Seacrest as Live‘s newest co-host on Monday, the pair also worked together on the Walt Disney Christmas Parade for a decade and a half.
“It was easy for me to say I wanted to work with Kelly, but the complicated part was that I have a job — and jobs — on the West Coast,” says Seacrest of his new gig.
- Watch People Features: Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, available now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN or download the PEN app on your favorite device.
“This show is obviously live from the East Coast everyday. So we had to figure out if this would really work. What are the logistics? That was really the biggest issue.”
Seacrest will travel back and forth between New York and Los Angeles to handle his many obligations. “You’re going to have platinum status with the airlines,” says Ripa.
“It’s true,” adds Seacrest. “I am probably going to be able to check an extra bag.”
Live with Kelly and Ryan airs weekdays (check local listings).