Ryan Seacrest will be alongside Lucy Hale to ring in 2020, but it’s not the first time the two have worked together.
This week, the longtime host of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve took to Twitter to welcome his new co-host, Lucy Hale, with a throwback picture of the first time they worked together — all the way back in 2003. At the time, Hale appeared on the American Idol kids spinoff American Juniors, which Seacrest also hosted.
Hale has been pulling New Year’s Rockin’ Eve hosting duties in New Orleans since 2016, but this will mark her New York City debut while Billy Porter takes over for her in The Big Easy. The Pretty Little Liars actress said that actually hosting alongside Seacrest is beyond her wildest dream.
In an interview with Billboard, Hale said she vividly remembered appearing with Ryan on American Juniors when she was 14-years-old.
“I remember it vividly. It was my first time in LA,” she said.
“It was my first experience doing what I’m doing, and I definitely remember how excited I was to meet Ryan. Never in my wildest dreams did I think 16 years later I’d be hosting this show.”
Lucy got the opportunity to take over thanks to Jenny McCarthy taking a step back this year. Ryan’s longtime co-host said that she felt swamped with her duties on The Masked Singer and got a request from her teenage son to spend more time with the family as the ball dropped.
“We’re shooting Masked Singer 3 in December and January and my son, who is now 17, said, ‘Can we please stay home this year?’ He’s going to be 18, he’s going to want nothing to do with me,” McCarthy said during an appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan.
“We’re so busy that I said, ‘You know what, we’re going to tap out.'”
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) December 31, 2019
Lucy Hale got a lot of attention ahead of her big gig on New Year’s Eve. There was plenty of promotional material featuring her and Ryan, and Hale shared plenty of previews for her fans on Instagram. That included a shot of her doing some on-the-street work in Manhattan and hosting the big show alongside Seacrest.
It’s not clear yet if Hale will be returning to host New Year’s Rockin’ Eve next year or if Jenny McCarthy will return, but fans seemed to enjoy the work of the Pretty Little Liars star. Her name was among the top Twitter trends as she hosted the show on Tuesday night, with plenty of compliments for her hosting duties.