For four months out of every year, Ryan Seacrest acts as ringmaster of TV's No. 1-rated program, American Idol. And while he makes the hosting of a twice-weekly live show watched by tens of millions seem easy, make no mistake: There's a method to managing the madness. As the July 16 announcement of Emmy nominations nears — Seacrest scored a nod during last year's debut of the Reality Host category — TVGuide.com invited the Atlanta native to share a look inside his Idol world.
TVGuide.com: What would people be most surprised to know about the job of hosting American Idol?
Ryan Seacrest: That I use my Blackberry during commercial breaks. I've at times been finishing a Tweet, email or text as the blue [show logo] graphic is up on your screen. I've actually almost been caught slipping it into the back pocket of my suit after a commercial break. I can't help it.
TVGuide.com: Eight seasons in, what continues to be the trickiest part of your job?
Seacrest: The results show, because you're dealing with a lot of emotion. Many months of labor, preparation, fatigue, excitement and enthusiasm are all balled up into each individual contestant's DNA. Come Wednesday, they've done all they can do and the vote is in. Sometimes I know how it's going to go, and I have to keep the whole hour balanced and not tip anybody off. I also need to keep the emotion high so that when we reveal the result, you have something that's good for TV.
TVGuide.com: In the name of tightening the show, can you do me a favor and declare a moratorium on booing Simon's critiques? After eight years, I think we get it.
Seacrest: He actually enjoys it because he knows that the camera is on him. The way his brain thinks is: "Oh, there's a single-shot of me. Perfect."
TVGuide.com: To date, Idol hasn't felt much love from the Emmys. Why is that? Because you're "the prettiest girl in school"?
Seacrest: I don't know that were the prettiest girl; we're just the one that draws a lot of attention, good or bad. I haven't really tried to figure out why that is. For us, we have a great situation in the fact that people show up to watch and get involved in the show. You saw with Kris [Allen] and Adam [Lambert] how they get extremely passionate and take sides. That is the beauty of what American Idol does with the audience. It'd be wonderful to have a few Emmys at home, but I think we're happy to be [rated] No. 1 and No. 2, as well.
Relive your favorite American Idol moments with American Idol Rewind, airing Friday evenings on TV Guide Network. (Check TVGuide.com listings for times.)