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Gossip & Rumors: Ryan Seacrest Dishes On What He Can't

GOSSIP & RUMORS: Ryan Seacrest dishes on what he can’t do on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

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Ryan Seacrest is well aware of the big shoes he has to fill, taking over “Wheel of Fortune” from Pat Sajak.

“He has made such an impact on this whole country. He’s become a companion, a best friend to a lot of people,” Seacrest told Fox News Digital at the “American Idol” Top 10 Tastemaker Event at the Aster hotel in Hollywood. 

“I have so much respect and admiration for what he’s been able to do. He’s a total pro. No one’s smoother and seamless than Pat.”

Seacrest made it clear that while he’s looking to put his own spin on the classic show, there is one thing he won’t attempt. “No one can replace him. I just want to come in and continue to have fun with those contestants.”

Sajak announced his retirement from “Wheel of Fortune” last year after 43 years and 41 seasons with the show.

“Well, the time has come,” Sajak wrote in June 2023. “I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!).” 

Ryan Seacrest will take over hosting “Wheel of Fortune” next season. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Later that same month, Seacrest was announced as Sajak’s replacement. 

“I’m truly humbled to be stepping into the footsteps of the legendary Pat Sajak,” Seacrest said in a statement at the time obtained by Fox News Digital. “I can say, along with the rest of America, that it’s been a privilege and pure joy to watch Pat and Vanna on our television screens for an unprecedented 40 years, making us smile every night and feel right at home with them.”

“Pat, I love the way you’ve always celebrated the contestants and made viewers at home feel at ease. I look forward to learning everything I can from you during this transition.”

According to Deadline, Sajak taped his final episode earlier this month, with an air date for Friday, June 7, to coincide with the season 41 finale.

Fans got their first look at Seacrest on the set this month when a 10-second clip aired, showing him walking near where the contestants stand, looking around in awe and saying, “Wow!”

His name then appears on the board, with Vanna White telling him, “Looks like you’re ready, Ryan!”

The ad concludes with an announcer stating, “Ryan Seacrest joins Vanna White this fall on ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ New host, same place.”

White recently appeared on an episode of “American Idol,” which was teased on Seacrest’s Instagram as “The TV crossover you didn’t know you needed.”

Pat Sajak will sign off from “Wheel of Fortune” in June after 40 years on the show. Wheel of Fortune / ABC

He also referred to her as “legendary,” adding “catch a glimpse of wheely exciting things to come!”

During the episode, which aired earlier this month, White and Seacrest introduced a finalist together. In a behind-the-scenes clip shared by White on her Instagram, Judge Luke Bryan joked about her working with Seacrest, saying, “Are you ready to tolerate him?”

Fellow judge Lionel Richie noted he and White started out in entertainment together.

“I can vouch for both of you. You’re going to have so much fun,” Richie said.

Seacrest has been hosting “American Idol” since it began in 2002 and has added numerous hosting gigs to his resume over the years, including a stint on “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” hosting “E! News,” and taking over “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”  But he is excited to do something a little different.

“It’s about having fun on stage. The difference with ‘Wheel’ and ‘Idol’ is we’re giving away cash and prizes,” he explained to Fox News Digital. “Here, we’re giving away a future in music. There, it’s cash and prizes. I can’t wait!”

“American Idol” isn’t losing Seacrest at the moment, but judge Katy Perry is moving on from the show at the end of the season.

“She just brought an amazing generosity and love and big heart, that kind of spirit to the show. To whoever comes in, we hope they’ll have that same kind of impact,” Seacrest said.

The “American Idol” judges vouched for Seacrest’s ability. Getty Images

The 49-year-old said he didn’t know who was replacing Perry.

“There are a few people at the top of that short list that could be great,” he said. “We should make that decision soon though, I hope.”

With “Idol” entering the final episodes of the season and the top 10 contestants selected, Seacrest admitted it’s getting harder to see the field of musical hopefuls narrow.

“It’s hard for me to say that because I’ve gotta stand next to them every single week, right? I can’t pick favorites yet,” he said when asked if he saw a frontrunner. 

“But I will say this. It was hard for me to say goodbye to two. The two that were eliminated tonight were great. It’s hard to see how and why that happened, but it has to and here we go.”

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