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September 17, 2014

Ryan Seacrest on 'New Year's Rockin' Eve,' Dick Clark and 'American Idol'

by Jane Boursaw, posted Dec 31st 2009 10:00AM
Ryan SeacrestAs the click ticks down to 2010, many of us look forward to watching that famous ball drop in Times Square. While hundreds of thousands will gather in New York City to see the event first-hand, most of us will be home in our comfy pajamas watching from our living rooms.

'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2010' begins at 10 PM ET on ABC and runs through 2:05 AM. The just-married 'Good Morning America' special correspondent Melissa Rycroft will be chatting with revelers in Times Square, while pop star Fergie will host segments from Las Vegas' new venue, Aria at City Center.Ryan SeacrestAs the click ticks down to 2010, many of us look forward to watching that famous ball drop in Times Square. Hundreds of thousands will gather in New York City to see the event firsthand, but more of us will be home in our comfy pajamas watching from our living rooms.

'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2010' begins at 10PM ET on ABC and runs through 2:05AM. The just-married 'Good Morning America' correspondent Melissa Rycroft will be chatting with revelers in Times Square, while pop star Fergie will host segments from Las Vegas' new venue, Aria at City Center. Jennifer Lopez and Daughtry will perform live in Times Square; other performances in both Las Vegas and Times Square include The Black-Eyed Peas, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Keri Hilson, Colbie Caillat, Orianthi and Robin Thicke.

While Dick Clark will always be linked to New Year's Eve, Ryan Seacrest is the perfect guy to take over the reins of the annual celebration. We caught up with Seacrest to get the scoop on the event.

How is New Year's Rockin' Eve shaping up?
So far so good! Looks like everyone's planning on being here, so that's step one. Dick Clark is in New York City, Jennifer Lopez has arrived, and Daughtry is on his way. So far, everything is going according to plan, and things usually don't happen that way!

Is it a challenge putting together a live event these days, what with all the security issues?
All of the security people you see on New Year's Eve have actually been there for days. So they've had a chance to rehearse everything, and we've had no real concerns over security.

Was Adam Lambert scheduled to perform and then cut from the lineup?

As far as I know, he was not booked to perform on the show.

How long does it take to put the New Year's Eve show together?

Each year around July, we start talking about what we want to do that year, so the planning starts happening pretty far out because we're never sure who's going to be on the charts that year. But it's a pretty decent gig, and most people actually want to be on the show; they want to be a part of this event that's built over so many years. It's fun for me as a host, because it's one of the biggest audiences of the year on television.

And it's a live show, so I imagine by now, you must be really good at just rolling with things as they happen.
I'm actually really glad it's a live show, because it's just a blast to do. You're reacting to the celebration, and you hope that people at home can just kick back and forget about all the crap we've been through this year. It's a chance to celebrate, have a glass of champagne, and just have some fun.

And you've got Melissa Rycroft in Times Square.
Yes, she'll be roaming around Times Square with her wedding band. So she'll be hanging out there, and Dick Clark will be inside -- he just loves to watch me freeze. He gets up that day, has his cereal, and hopes it's really cold for me out there. And then eventually I end up inside with him.

How's Dick Clark doing these days?
His enthusiasm level has never changed. Every year, he loves this night, and he's very excited to be doing the show on New Year's Eve.

How is it for you, working with a legend like Dick Clark? It must be pretty cool.

Well, we can swap suits, because we're about the same size! Like you said, he's a legend, and he's very cool. I've always respected and admired him from afar, and now to have the chance to get to know him and share stories has been amazing.

You guys are a lot alike, because you're involved in so many things, just as he's been over the course of his life.
It's because neither one of us can say no to anything! It's like, yep, we'll take care of that, no problem. He's the original multi-tasking broadcaster. Now it's commonplace, but he was the first one.

How are things going with 'American Idol' so far?
Well, the New Year's Eve show is over on January 1, as we go into the middle of the night, and the first episode of 'American Idol' airs January 12. We're got the auditions first, and then about a month into the series, it goes live. We have a new judge named Ellen DeGeneres, and I can't wait. There are going to be some very, very funny and unpredictable moments.

I think the dynamic between Ellen and the other judges is going to be really fun, because she's kind of like one of us out here -- she's a fan. And you guys are friends, right?
Yeah, she's actually called me to come over to her house and sit down and watch the show, and she'll be like, why did you do it that way, and what happened there? So I think for her, it's really surreal to be involved with the show, and she's got some fun stuff planned. She's already asked to borrow some of my suits.

So anything can happen!

Yeah, it's going to be a lot of fun.

But first we have to ring in the new year.
Yes! We hope people will tune into ABC at 10PM on New Year's Eve. We're gonna be here all night long getting reactions from people in Times Square, and people can participate at home in their pajamas.

It's a great way to start the New Year.
I'm ready!

Watch online as the ball drops live on Times Square

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