Ryan Seacrest In ... the money; signs big multiyear contract

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 13th 2009 1:01PM
Ryan SeacrestOh Seacrest, how your star has grown. At least now we won't have to worry about you being out of a job; well, one of your jobs.

As if he didn't make a lot of people sick already, Ryan Seacrest's three year $45 million dollar American Idol contract may just do it. That sets him up to be the highest-paid reality show host and leaves the producers ready to try and wrangle the judges back. Personally, I think he's worth it (at least in the sense that anyone in Hollywood is worth the millions they make; it's all relative).

Seacrest's affable style and comfort both in front of the camera and with the judges, as well as his media saturation and saccharine sweet image make him the perfect American face of Idol. Yes, judge Simon Cowell is probably more well known but he spends so much time in Britain. Seacrest is on the radio all over America; our local pop station here runs him now, and on television constantly. And no one looks at him without thinking of the show that made him, so that's free advertising as long as Seacrest is determined to take all the jobs in Tinseltown.

Only So You Think You Can Dance's Cat Deeley rivals him for charm and likability among similar reality competition hosts. Plus, he handles a regular live competition show and manages to keep it moving at a nice clip and, despite the cliché cheesiness built in to things like the results show, he makes it fun. He does it partially by poking fun at the cheese, but also with the fun banter between him and the judges.

I'm still up in the air as to whether any of the Idol four (sorry DioGuardi, you're just too new) could leave and not hurt the tone and success of the show. Of the four, I think Randy Jackson may be the most expendable. They have such a rapport that sometimes its more entertaining to watch them than the singing. And without Seacrest steering the ship, a lot of that would be lost. Simon's too arrogant and Paula's too flaky. Put either one of them in charge and you'd go over time immediately. Randy would just turn it into a jam session with all the big names he drops all over the studio.

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