David Cook Weighs in on Whether 'American Idol' Host Ryan Seacrest Would Return for Season 4 on ABC (Exclusive)

This past May, it was announced American Idol would sing another song for ABC after the network renewed the series for a fourth season. But while news of an anticipated return did not reveal whether the three judges or even host, Ryan Seacrest would return, Season 7 winner David Cook weighed in exclusively with PopCulture.com admitting it would probably come down to a contract review.

"I don't talk to Ryan, so I don't know. But I would think the money would have to be right. That probably means a pay increase. […] He works constantly. Even back in Season 7, he was probably pulling 20 hours a day, every day and seemed fine," he said during a sit-down for our series, PopCulture @ Home, joking how Seacrest's strength comes from "one hell of a multivitamin."

Sharing how he doesn't believe the "work would keep him away," Cook adds that it would probably boil down to a fresh "dollar figure." With the judges — Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richiepossibly up in the air for a return, especially with Perry set to give birth to her first-born in just a few short weeks, Cook goes on to share how he's unsure who he would like to see take up their spots. But admits it's a "loaded question" when it comes to drawing comparisons in the effectiveness between the three ABC judges to Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.

"I am biased toward Simon, Paula and Randy, so I'm going to say no — and that's not a slight to the current judges," he said. "I think, I would find it hard in that, to have a current viable career, and feel like I could unabashedly give my opinion of other performers — only because, anybody who's a fan of that performer, is automatically going to look at you as the enemy. [...] Maybe I'm thinking of it the wrong way. But I kind of appreciated that I felt whatever advice or criticism or praise I was getting from the judges' panel when I was on, was unfiltered because this was what they were doing."

Cook went on to share he has not talked to a judge since the FOX finale in 2016 ("the last time I talked to any of them was Paula") but keeps in touch with many of his Idol alumni. Especially since quite a few of the former contestants now live in Nashville, where the Texas-born, Missouri-raised native currently resides.

"It's weird. Most of us just kind of congregated, here," the singer-songwriter laughed. "I do talk to Archie [David Archuleta] — it's been a minute. […] I talk to Brooke White over Instagram, every now and again, just touching base; Ramiele [Maluaby], once in a blue moon. But everybody's, we're all grown up now, and we don't talk as much as I wish we would. But I talk to Kris Allen, fairly regularly. I talk to Daughtry, [he] lives out here now, too."


Cook adds how Melina Doolittle is another contestant he talks to a lot. "I'm sure there are people I'm forgetting, [who] are going to be mad at me, that I'm forgetting them," he laughed. "Yeah, it's this weird, kind of fraternity."

For more information on Cook and the latest on his upcoming tour dates, check out his official website. Cook's single, "Reds Turn Blue" is now available at all digital retailers, including iTunes and Amazon, and is available to stream via Spotify. Keep it locked to PopCulture.com for more with the singer-songwriter and all your favorite musicians!