webnexttech | Former 'American Idol' Host Reveals He Was Reduced to Tears Over 'Very Cruel' Treatment of Contestants
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Brian Dunkleman, the former American Idol co-host, recently opened up about his experiences on the first season (2002) of the show. He revealed that the audition process was “very, very cruel,” which reduced him to tears often. Dunkleman spent a lot of time with the contestants and their families, as they waited for their turns, getting to know them well. He shared that on one occasion, he witnessed kid after kid coming out bawling, which left him completely puzzled. Eventually, he had to retreat to a corner to compose himself, as it felt similar to his own experiences of auditioning and putting himself out there. One story in particular stuck with him. A dad sold his tools to pay for his daughter’s audition. He shared that she was thrilled before the audition but soon after, her eyes were ‘dead’ as she was ‘shattered’. He argued that the show shouldn’t have set up kids to be humiliated like that. He recalled overhearing the producers saying, “Oh, this girl, she thinks she can actually sing. We’re gonna crush her,” about a 16-year-old contestant. “I just didn’t understand why that was necessary… But it was very, very cruel that first season. And that’s kind of what made the show such a hit, was how mean [Judge Simon Cowell] was. He was hated. He got death threats in England. He comes here, and everybody loves the guy,” Dunkleman opined, as per The Sun. Although he didn’t want to “bad mouth anybody,” Dunkleman asserted that it was uncalled for. Dunkleman however spoke highly of judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, who he ‘adored’ as they were “really, really sweet” guys. He also added that Cowell too was otherwise a “really nice guy” with a “great sense of humor.” Dunkleman clarified that he resigned from the show. “People still think I got fired. I didn’t. I wish I would have. It would have been easier.” Ryan Seacrest continued as the host. He reportedly left show business to raise his son and worked as an Uber driver. However, he’s now stepping back into the entertainment world and recently did a pilot for his own show. “Life is really, really good. I know it could be hard for some people to believe, but, for the first time, I think I’m I’m hitting my stride as a human being. I feel like, this kid has changed my life, stepping away from the business for a while to raise him. And now stepping back. I really feel like I’m doing my best work and I’m knocking on the door and I think it’s just a matter of time…I’m enjoying myself right now,” Dunkleman said, as per People magazine.

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