Longtime fans of American Idol will remember that before Ryan Seacrest was a one-man band, he was part of a hosting duo on the reality dating competition. Fast forward nearly two decades, and some viewers are now determined to bring Brian Dunkleman back — and they even started a petiionl Amid the sexual misconduct allegations surrounding Ryan, fans want to see Brian make a comeback and replace the longtime host.
“I did see that, and I say that’s so kind and I appreciate it so much,” Brian told HuffPost before the premiere of the American Idol reboot about the petition. “I’m available. The same thing I’ve been telling people for 17 years: I’m available.” However, he did have some thoughts about the accusations made against his former partner.
Ryan and Brian in 2016.
“Listen, seriously, I don’t have any knowledge of what happened with that woman. But if anyone is falsely accused of such reprehensible behavior, then that’s terrible and it’s wrong,” he added. “And if that’s what happened to him, then it’s really awful that he’s going through this. But if it’s true? Well, there’s been a pretty established precedent of the consequences.”
So, why did Brian leave American Idol?
Well, the 46-year-odl actually quit to pursue an acting career but found out a few years ago that he was actually going to be fired by producers shortly after the Season 1 finale. “I talked to three of my old bosses, and they informed me that they had decided that the show would be better served with just one host. And that I was not that host. But I announced I was quitting before they could tell me,” Brian explained before revealing he has no regrets. “I felt a million pounds come off of my shoulders [when I quit]. It’s really been quite life-changing. I can’t tell you the difference in my joy level since that moment. It was a really, really cathartic experience for me.”
Today, Brian is focused on raising his five-year-old son, Jackson, and couldn’t be happier. “You know, every time the show is on, there’s feedback that comes my way, and let me tell you, it’s different this year,” he said. “It’s been overwhelmingly positive, of people saying really kind things on Twitter and online, and I really appreciate it. It’s not been like that for 16 years.”