Ryan Seacrest tried to defend a video that’s gone viral of him messing up his lines and bringing production to a screeching halt on colleague Kelly Ripa‘s new primetime game show, “Generation Gap,” which premiered July 8 on ABC.
The morning of the premiere, on “Live with Kelly & Ryan,” the talk show hosts relived the taping of “Generation Gap’s” premiere episode, on which Seacrest was scheduled as its first secret celebrity guest.
Before sharing footage of Seacrest’s game-changing slip-up, Ripa described the premise of “Generation Gap” to their morning show audience. “It’s grandparents and their grandchildren; it’s a very good idea,” she said. “We ask them questions about each others’ generation, and if the opposite generation doesn’t know the answer, then the younger or older generation can buzz in and steal.”
Ripa then explained there’s also a segment in each episode featuring a secret celebrity. With most guests, she said, only one of the contestants — the grandkid or the grandparent — typically recognizes the featured famous person. But because the “American Idol” host has “crossover appeal” with both generations, Ripa said, they decided to hide him behind a wall for fear both the grandkid and grandparent would recognize him.
Seacrest held up a photograph for the “Live” audience of him wearing a black cloak and mask producers made him wear while walking onto the soundstage, to ensure his identity wasn’t revealed to anyone. Then, from behind a wall on the game show set, Seacrest was supposed to give the contestants a clue about who he was by saying one of his most famous phrases: “This is American Idol.”. The plan, however, was for him to leave off the last word — “Idol” — so one of the contestants could buzz in and fill in the blank.
Seacrest Claims Being a Guest Threw Him For a Loop
In a clip of the show that’s now gone viral, Seacrest stated the entire line instead of giving the contestants the chance to finish it. Ripa started giggling as soon as she heard him recite the full line, but it took a moment for Seacrest to realize what he’d done. Production stopped, a crew of attorneys swooped in, and they had to rewrite the question on the spot.
“It was eerily silent,” Seacrest recalled, “There was, like, no talking on the set because it was such a disaster!”
As he and Ripa rehashed the moment on their morning show, Seacrest had two excuses for the blunder. First, he said, those words just automatically roll off his tongue, so it was hard not to say “Idol” at the end of the sentence. But Ripa reminded him the cue card actually had the words “This is American blank” typed out to keep him from saying the full phrase.
His second excuse, which Ripa agreed with more, was that he was so out of his element as a guest. “The thing I always say, we both say, is we are not good guests,” Seacrest said as Ripa nodded. “If we are a guest on another show, you can be sure we will fail — and I lived up to that! I can only host!”
This is Seacrest’s Second Major On-Air Mishap This Year
Seacrest experienced another on-air mishap during the May 22 “American Idol” live finale. The next morning, while hosting “Live” with Ripa, he revealed he had to change his underwear in the middle of the three-hour show.
“Apparently, America voted and said there was anatomy in the shot,” he said.
Billboard reported that Seacrest’s longtime stylist, Miles Siggins, informed him during a commercial break that his pants were creating a noticeable bulge on-screen and that a quick underwear change was necessary. “There was just panic about it,” he said.
But, Seacrest told Ripa, he didn’t have an extra pair of underwear at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, so Siggins offered his own. The two quickly found a private corner backstage, he explained, where Seacrest took off his pants and underwear and changed into Siggins’ briefs.
“He’s English, so he has shorter, tighter ones,” Seacrest laughed.
Throughout the story, Ripa sat with her arms crossed, shaking her head in disbelief, repeatedly saying “no, no!”
“Anything for the show, right?” Seacrest said. “It’s a family show!”