"We added a wild animal to the panel. There will be a wild animal in one of the seats. I can't tell you which wild animal, but it was one that was on the ark. So that's something that's new. Yes, there's a total animal."
-Radio host and "American Idol" emcee Ryan Seacrest, commenting that one of the three judges sitting behind the judges' table on the new season of "Idol" is completely unhinged (apparently in a feral way). MTV News caught up with Seacrest at KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2010 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday (December 5), a show that featured performances from the likes of Katy Perry, Enrique Iglesias, Selena Gomez, B.o.B and a host of others.
The new season of "American Idol" gets rolling in January, but Seacrest is already quite enthusiastic about the crop of talent that the show has seen thus far. "The contestants that we found — we brought more kids back to Hollywood than ever before, there's like 240 of them," Seacrest explained. "So I think we've got a really good shot to find some fantastic [talent]." In addition to a new batch of contestants looking to change their musical fortunes overnight, the upcoming season of "American Idol" will also feature a new crop of judges (returning veteran Randy Jackson will be joined by triple threat Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler) and a whole bunch of rule and format changes (owing mainly to the departure of Simon Cowell, who was not only a judge but also the show's guiding production hand).
So far, Lopez is certainly enthusiastic. "I love everybody," she said recently of her experience thus far. "It's such a machine. It runs like clockwork. I love [executive producer] Nigel [Lythgoe]. I love Ryan. I love Steven. I love Randy. Everything's great!"