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Remember back in school when the bell would ring and the teacher held up a hand to signal “hang on a minute” and the class would collectively groan? That’s sort of what happened at American Idol on Wednesday night when, after the show wrapped and all 13 contestants had each sung their Whitney Houston or Stevie Wonder song, host Ryan Seacrest motioned for the audience of 500-plus to stay seated.
“You know I do a radio show, KIIS-FM, and I host Idol… and I also do birthdays,” he cracked. But seriously, Seacrest continued, explaining that Fox Alternative Programming President Mike Darnell‘s daughter Chelsea is soon turning 13 and will be celebrating her Bat Mitzvah, a Jewish rite of passage that also marks that awkward, I’m-not-a-girl-not-yet-a-woman phase.
So in her honor (spoiler alert, Chelsea and friends!), Seacrest taped an admittedly adorable video package where he commends her Torah reading and teases, in trademark Seacrest form, that friends should tune in for “a very special episode of the E! True Hollywood Story.”
The pièce de résistance? When Seacrest was prompted to end his tribute clip with a “L’chaim” and, in a rare fumble, had to do it twice to get the guttural throat-clearing-sounding consonant just right. Ever the perfectionist, that Seacrest.
In truth, it was a painless and sweet seven minutes at an appropriate setting. As Darnell himself marveled to The Hollywood Reporter last year, he and his wife have watched their daughter grow up right along with the Idol. “She was four years old when we started, and they come to virtually every show,” he boasted.
And with that, we’d like to wish the Darnell family a heartfelt Mazel Tov!
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