Ryan Seacrest Addresses 'American Idol' Future After Exiting 'Live With Kelly and Ryan'

Ryan Seacrest discussed his American Idol experience after he announced he was leaving Live With Kelly and Ryan. The 48-year-old radio personality confessed to Entertainment Tonight on Thursday, March 2, that he enjoys the live shows a lot while talking about season 21 with Katy PerryLuke Bryan, and Lionel Richie of their show. The host, who has been a part of Idol for a number of years, confirmed that he is still happy to be a part of it. "We're in our sixth season together," he added. "This is more of a statement. How crazy is it to think we've been doing this for six years already, and we're still able to put up with each other? … Everybody enjoys everybody." He said there is a sense of trust between Seacrest, Richie, 73, Perry, 38, and Bryan, 46, concerning the singing competition. Seacrest has been the hosting emcee of the competition since 2002, while Perry, 38, and Bryan, 46, joined in 2018 when the show moved from Fox to ABC.

"We were trying to be a little bit on the edge of polite, but now it's just full-on war," Richie teased regarding the changes in the group's chemistry over the years. "Also, I gotta tell you, just hanging out after the show … I thought I would know everything [about them], and we hang out one more night, I go, 'Oh, I found out one more thing,' and now it's just — I love it." The update comes weeks after Seacrest announced he would exit Live after nearly six years as Kelly Ripa's daytime co-host. The Emmy winner began his tenure on the morning talk show in 2017. "I'm so grateful to have spent the last six years beside my dear friend of too many decades to count and will miss starting my days with Ryan," Ripa, 52, said in a statement released on February 16. "Ryan's energy, passion, and love for entertainment is one-of-a-kind."

In turn, the producer noted that he was delighted to pass the baton to Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos, who will be stepping in as co-host to the show. Still, leaving was both a "bittersweet" and a "tough, tough" decision, Seacrest explained on the show. "Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career," he added in a statement. "There is nobody else like you," Ripa told him on Thursday's show. "There is nobody who can really do what you do. I know you in real life as well as in TV life. I say this about very few people: what you see is what you get. This is not an act, this is a good man. I am so endlessly impressed by you." Despite this, the industry insider said, "It was a collective decision that this was the time for Ryan to leave."