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Ryan Seacrest: TV host again ‘Rockin” in New Year’s
Question of the Day
“There’s a Significant Other in my life who’s very good at it,” he notes. That would be professional dancer Julianne Hough, a two-time champ on “Dancing With the Stars,” in whose proximity “I feel the pressure to be as good as she is. It sounds like a joke, but this is a serious thing for me to accomplish next year.”
So add dancing lessons to the long list of projects that keep Mr. Seacrest famously fast on his feet. His numerous broadcast gigs include roles on E! Entertainment and NBC, a syndicated morning radio show for Clear Channel, as well as “American Idol,” the new season of which starts next month on Fox. Behind the cameras, he has a swiftly expanding production empire that includes the Kardashian portfolio of reality shows.
But as Monday neared, Mr. Seacrest was focused on an annual rite: “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest,” which, with related programming, will blanket ABC from 8 p.m. until past 2 a.m. EST.
Booking musical acts has been in the works for months, Mr. Seacrest says. Performers include Carly Rae Jepsen, Neon Trees, Flo Rida and Pitbull, as well as Taylor Swift, in the headliner position just before midnight.
But Friday afternoon in Manhattan, Mr. Seacrest was soon due at a production meeting “to work out the nitty-gritty of the show — some of which we will stick to, some of which we won’t.”
Already he had appeared on “Good Morning America,” then headed to the rooftop of One Times Square, where the huge crystal ball was poised for its flashy descent, along with a half-dozen TV teams queued up to tape interviews with him.
An hour later, at ABC ‘s Upper West Side headquarters, Seacrest shed his top coat and took a break to reflect on Monday’s extravaganza. This will be his eighth New Year's Eve turn for ABC. But it’s his first since Clark’s death last April at age 82.
“I’d like to say I can imagine how it’s going to feel, but I’m not quite sure,” Mr. Seacrest says. “I looked forward so much to each year that I did the show with him.”
Mr. Seacrest recalled how typically he would be posted outside overlooking Times Square, while Clark, who had suffered a stroke in 2004, made brief appearances from indoors.
“Then, right after midnight, I would run inside and stand next to him, and he always has some funny, clever thing to make fun of me about,” said Mr. Seacrest, unwittingly speaking in the present tense. “I think I will really miss that moment this year.”
The night will begin with a two-hour tribute, “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Celebrates Dick Clark,” hosted by Fergie and Jenny McCarthy.
Then Mr. Seacrest will take over for the countdown show at 10 p.m. EST.
“I definitely will say something about him, and it will be from the heart,” Mr. Seacrest promised. “But the night will be, as he would want, a celebration of what’s to come: Dick was always one to say, ‘The show must go on.’”
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