'American Idol' 2014 Season 13: Ryan Seacrest Confirms Return, Talks Nicki Minaj, Wish For Simon Cowell Return VIDEO)
Ryan Seacrest confirmed that he will return for American Idol season 13 when it airs in July, and discussed his desire to have Simon Cowell and Nicki Minaj return for the first live show of season 12.
Seacrest addressed all things Idol on Access Hollywood. After he confirmed he would return to season 13 this fall, he revealed his desire to work with Cowell once again.
"To have a chance to spar with him again, on live national television, would be heaven. I would love it," Seacrest said. "He really is a great guy. He's the best at that job. He is the best at the judging job."
He also discussed Minaj's late arrival to the season's first live show on March 13. The show's host famously sat in the rapper's chair at the judges' table, to fill in until she arrived.
"It was the first time that had ever happened, where we didn't have a judge for the first singer!" Seacrest exclaimed. "After the show, I said, 'Is everything okay?' And she said, 'Yeah. I've got to move!' I said, 'Well, where do you live?' She said, 'Malibu, and do you know how long it takes to get in to where we tape the show in middle of the day?' And I said, 'Yeah, well you've got to calculate that.' So she felt bad about it."
Following the announcement that original judge Randy Jackson along with Mariah Carey and Minaj would not return, Seacrest said he thinks Idol should go back to its original format of three judges at the table instead of four.
"I mean look, when we had four it was fine. My opinion would be three. It makes for a faster moving show," Seacrest told Access Hollywood. "Of course, they don't really care what I think, but I think three would make for faster moving show."
E! News reported on May 24 that former Idol alum Jennifer Hudson has signed on to be a judge for season 13 of Idol. According to the insider, the show is considering a return to the three-judge format and they are also flirting with the idea of recruiting other successful Idol alumns to judge the competition. The second seat is likely reserved for Kelly Clarkson and the third seat will go to either Adam Lambert or Clay Aiken.
Billboard reported that Fox has also recruited a new executive producer Swede Per Blankens, of Swedish Idol fame, to replace the fired Nigel Lythgoe. Lythgoe shared the news on Twitter on June 8 after multiple reports revealed that season 12 of Idol produced the show's lowest ratings in its history. The reality show's viewership was down more than 40 percent; and lost more than 10 million viewers in the last two years, according to the magazine.
Watch Seacrest's interview with Access Hollywood here.