'American Idol' Finale: 'I Deflowered Ryan Seacrest,' Cracks 'Right Here Waiting' Singer
Richard Marx reveals how the unlikely duet came together.
“I deflowered Ryan Seacrest,” joked Richard Marx to reporters following the singer’s surprise duet with American Idol’s vocally challenged host.
Seacrest, who earlier this season let the world know that his first concert was Marx, joined his hero on stage for a hilarious collaboration on Marx’s romantic ballad “Right Here Waiting” on Wednesday night’s results show.
“I think he decided he wanted to sing this season after 13 years of doing it, and I was his first concert back in 1912, whenever it was,” said Marx.
So how did this iconic moment come together? Seacrest masterminded the plot. Said Marx: “He reached out to me a few weeks ago and said, 'I want to sing your song with you. Would you do it?' We only ran through it a couple of days ago.”
The plan was top secret, according to the singer, who said he had specific instructions from the 39-year old host. "You can’t do a red carpet. You can’t tell anybody. It’s got to be a surprise," said Marx. "He was a nervous freaking wreck, and right before we went out there, I said, 'Dude, nobody expects you to be good.' "
The duet was a hit with the audience as well as runner-up Jena Irene, who praised the host's gravitas. "Ryan has some balls," she said.
Marx, who has a new album, Beautiful Goodbye, coming out July 8, said that a show like Idol provides fame, but “nothing replaces paying your dues.”
Of winner Caleb Johnson, Marx added, “it’s great now that he has an audience and hopefully he’ll learn the craft and pay those dues going forward.... There is no shortcut to a career, but there is a shortcut to celebrity,” he continued. “When I came out in the late '80s, if you couldn’t sing live, you were toast. The audience cared about that.”
He did say that American Idol has given some artists, like his friend Chris Daughtry, the chance to prove their mettle after the show is over.
“He [Daughtry] works tirelessly at writing better songs and records and he has taken the gift of millions of people knowing who he is to turn it into an incredible career,” he said.
And would Marx have auditioned for Idol? “I always wanted to be a songwriter and sing my own songs,” he said. “I never sang other people’s songs. I would have been laughed at faster than the joke reel singers.”