'American Idol' Gears Up for New Season & Ryan Seacrest Reveals: "I Can't Imagine a Life Without 'American Idol!' "


Jan. 9 2012, Published 1:57 p.m. ET

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As American Idol gets ready to launch its 11th season on January 18th, the judges and hosts convened to talk to the press about an exciting upcoming season!

When Ryan Seacrest was asked how he juggles a lot of responsibilities, he quipped, "I like to juggle balls." Laughing, he specifically added, "Career. Career balls. These are my jobs. I enjoy balancing all of it, and hopefully that keeps me better at my job."  As Ryan balances the contestants, the judges, the audience and "a rhythm, a cadence to the program," Jennifer Lopez called him a "master of ceremonies" while Randy Jackson called him a "circus master." As friendly banter turned to the headlines that Ryan may take over Matt Lauer's post on Today, he mentioned, "Well, I can tell that, regarding American Idol, I love this television show and I've been a part of it for so many years." He added, "I can't imagine life without American Idol. I have a deal with NBC Universal that we are in negotiations, discussing in terms of what I'll do at NBC, but I already worked there." Maybe he'll inevitably work on The Voice? Ryan told reporters, "At this point, honestly, I only see myself as hosting American Idol. I'm focused on that for this season." OK! NEWS: MARC ANTHONY TO JENNIFER LOPEZ'S BOY TOY CASPER SMART — HANDS OFF MY KIDS! How about that other music competition, aka The Voice? While J.Lo gears up for the next season and says she's "a little more comfortable" going into the emotions that go along with being a judge, it sounds like they're not really concerned about the other shows on the air. Considering the very first Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, will join The Voice as a mentor, Randy pointed out, "Yeah, it's great that we can invent some talent for The Voice. They don't have the depth and their audition is not an open call like this. You know what I'm saying. It's a whole different kind of show." As for the X Factor, no worries regarding that show, too. "I think that Idol is still the best TV show of its kind anywhere. We are the original." He added, "Simon has done well with his show, probably not the expectations that he wanted, but you know we wish him well and we've gone on with this and done well." When the new season kicks into full effect next week, J.Lo mentioned mentoring is a matter of giving advice as they would want it to "be given to us." Wanting to do it in a way for contestants to hear them, she added, "At the same time, you know, there's nothing wrong with a little tough love." No matter what the judges say to them, she told reporters, "At the end of the day, we are trying to get them through to be the winner." OK! NEWS: STEVEN TYLER IS ENGAGED TO ERIN BRADY! ALL THE DETAILS ABOUT THE RING! Speaking of winners, will Idol crown another woman as the winner after men have won the singing competition the past four seasons? "This is not a show that we are saying a girl has to win or a guy," Randy noted. "This is not some, like, sexist kind of whatever thing. May the best talent win. If it's another boy this year and that's the most talented person in my eyes, from the profession that I've been doing for 30 years at the top of the game, that's who should win. It's not like, 'Oh my God. A girl didn't win.' " Summing it up, Ryan added, "At the top of the game, yo." Be sure to tune in to see who's on top of their game during auditions next Wednesday night on Fox! Reporting by Gena Oppenheim

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