After 16 seasons, fans may think American Idol has lost the ability to surprise, but their latest hopeful is an unexpected one: Kelly Ripa.
Ripa's 'American Idol' Moment
In a video clip shared on YouTube, the Live with Kelly and Ryan host tells her co-host Ryan Seacrest that she has the "voice of an angel." Ripa adds that she's planning to take her talents to reality television to pursue the chance of becoming the 16th American Idol.
Ripa, 47, is less confident behind the scenes with a mug of vodka in her hand, telling Seacrest that she may have exaggerated her skills and she's probably more suited as an angel in a chorus.
Seacrest went ahead to prep judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan, telling them that it's been Ripa's dream to audition for a spot in the show. When the longtime host walks in the room, the hosts let her audition like any other American Idol hopeful — barring the fact that she made Richie hold up her lyrics.
After a brief introduction, Ripa launched into a rendition of "Why Don't You Do Right?" that the surprised judges tactfully described as "unique" and "something they've never seen before." Ultimately, the trio agreed to give the veteran host a golden ticket to Hollywood — one she later realized is expired.
Ripa's audition may not have ended the way she hoped, but a new crop of singers will get the chance to duke it out in the upcoming season of the show.
American Idol Season 16
The return of American Idol is major news as it's the original talent search that launched the careers of a number of the industry's biggest names: Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Carrie Underwood, among others.
For this revival, the show doesn't just offer a new set of contestants, but a new trio of judges as well. Richie, Perry, and Bryan are already "peas in a pod" as Bryan says in the premiere, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Seacrest seconds the sentiment, saying there was instant chemistry among the three judges and himself.
American Idol season 16 returns on Sunday, March 11 on ABC.
One of the controversies surrounding the upcoming American Idol revival is the sexual harassment allegations against its longtime host Seacrest. For their part, the American Idol executives are completely supportive of the host.
ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey says in The Hollywood Reporter that the team stands by the independent investigation that E! commissioned, which cleared the host of the allegations.
"I've known Ryan now for almost 16 years," FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz adds. "I stand by him."
Ripa, who hosts her Live with Kelly and Ryan show with Seacrest, also weighed in on her onscreen partner and expressed her affection for the accused host.