Ryan Seacrest Films Talented Singer on NYC Subway: 'I Wish I Had Tickets to Hollywood to Give Away!'
On Tuesday, Ryan Seacrest gushed to Kelly Ripa on Live with Kelly and Ryan about a singer he encountered on the NYC subway
Ryan Seacrest has only been living in New York City a few weeks now, having filled Kelly Ripa’s co-host spot on Live with Kelly! in May. So excuse him if he’s a little new to the talented buskers who perform on the Big Apple’s subway system.
On Tuesday, the 42-year-old gushed on the syndicated morning show about a singer he encountered on an evening trip downtown.
“Maybe this happens all of the time — it was the first encounter of this type of a performance for me,” he told Ripa, 46. “And I’ve traveled the country listening to people sing. And I enjoy it. Especially hearing people sing a capella. But I was in my seat for two minutes, and then this happened!”
Seacrest then showed a video he took of the man, who was serenading commuters with Ben E. King’s 1962 tune “Stand by Me.” He later posted the video to Instagram, writing, “Sometimes the best shows in NY are on the subway.”
Coming out of the clip, Ripa was curious whether the singer knew the former American Idol host was in the car. “Did he know you were Ryan Seacrest? Was that his American Idol audition? It felt like he was turning to you specifically and giving you a lot of face time!”
But Seacrest swore he was incognito. “No one is looking at him!” he explained. “I was the only one making eye contact with him! If you look, there was no one on the train even looking up at him. So I felt bad no one was looking.”
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The eye contact allowed the man to remind Seacrest, who was traveling with girlfriend Shana Wall, to make a donation. “He said ‘Don’t forget the bag,’ because [he wanted money]. And I said, ‘Shana where’s our cash? Because she carries everything and I don’t want to have bulges in my pockets.’ But he was not bad! I wish I had tickets to Hollywood to give away!”
Of course, as longtime New Yorkers know, the MTA warns against giving money to panhandlers. “Ladies and gentlemen: Soliciting money in the subway is illegal,” an announcement frequently drones through the rumbling of the train cars. “We ask you not to give. Please help us to maintain an orderly subway.”
Ripa still found the performance “exciting,” telling her co-host, “That’s what I love about the subway!”
Live with Kelly and Ryan air weekdays in syndication.