"Ryan is the GOAT of hosts," Bobby Bones says of longtime American Idol host Ryan Seacrest

By Christina Dugan
April 24, 2020 07:20 PM
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As American Idol prepares to make history with its first-ever live (remote!) show this weekend, in-house mentor Bobby Bones says there’s only one man who can get the job done right: Ryan Seacrest.

Speaking with PEOPLE Now’s Jeremy Parsons, Bones opened up about the new and unusual circumstances — and why the longtime Idol host is the best man for the job.

“Ryan’s the greatest of all time at what he does,” Bones, 40, said. “I don’t think Ryan ever gets nervous — he’s the GOAT of hosts. I don’t really consider myself a host as much as someone who can be funny and hopefully help people. Ryan is the greatest — I talk to Ryan almost every day at this point and he’s just like, ‘Okay, we’ve got A, B … he’s just so good at what he does. Ryan’s not worried. If he is, I can’t tell. I’m over here like, ‘Can you hear this guitar?’ And Ryan’s just like, ‘Let’s go, let’s go.’ He’s good, I’m not.”

This weekend’s live episode will be a first for the show, as contestants and judges broadcast in remotely amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Bobby Bones, Ryan Seacrest
Jon Kopaloff/Getty; Amy Sussman/Getty

“It’s been really wild because no one ever attempted what we’re doing, which is coming from 40 places at once,” he said. “Just walking through rehearsals, it’s been pretty wild. We have 20 contestants, in 20 different cities. We have Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Ryan Seacrest and myself in five different places. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen. I’m nervous about how it’s all going to come together on Sunday.”

While the circumstances are new for everyone, Bones said the contestants are pulling through and handling it as best as they can.

“In life it’s not if adversity is going to hit, it’s when is it going to hit and how are you going to react when it happened,” he said. “I talked to them and said, ‘Hey, this is just something that happens.’ Maybe not this specifically, but there are always going to be things in your life and/or career that sideswipe you. You have two options: lay down or get up and keep going. Once they decide, ‘Okay, this is uncomfortable,’ they’ve had to set up their own studios. It’s equal eyes. It is clunky at times for them because they have to do things they’ve never done, but we’re all rocking it together.

On Tuesday, Seacrest surprised fans and revealed that he has saved the original series’ desk, which was once used by O.G. judges, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. Seacrest said he has stored the iconic set piece for more than three years, and will now use it for his at-home segments of upcoming social distancing episodes of the singing show.

“Hey, guys. So we’re rehearsing for American Idol … and this desk is the original desk that Randy, Paula and Simon had,” said the TV personality, proudly showing off the shiny silver desk with its neon blue accents. “… I never thought we’d quite use it again, but it’s coming in handy for this Sunday.”

In 2016, Seacrest reflected on landing the emceeing gig on the popular singing show, which first premiered in 2002, revealing that he nearly didn’t secure the job.

“It was my first big break that almost didn’t happen,” Seacrest told Harry Connick Jr. during an appearance on the daytime program Harry at the time.

Seacrest — who now also co-hosts the daytime talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan alongside pal Kelly Ripa — said he could not be more grateful.

“Something in the back of my mind,” Seacrest said 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.”

American Idol will air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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