Carrie Underwood is the most successful American Idol contestant ever – according to Ryan Seacrest, that is.
During an appearance on The Today Show on Jan. 5, Seacrest, who’s hosted the Fox talent show since it first began in 2002, made it pretty clear that Underwood is his number one out of the hundreds of past contestants who have found success on the series.
Telling Seacrest not to be diplomatic, host Matt Lauer asked the TV mogul live on the air on the morning show, “who is the biggest star to come out of [American Idol]?” to which Seacrest unequivocally answered “Carrie Underwood.”
Co-host Natalie Morales then added Kelly Clarkson’s (who won the very first season of the show) name to the list, to which Seacrest added; “Kelly too, but I was just on [Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve] with Carrie and she’s just a superstar, she really is… so I take Carrie.”
The KIIS FM radio host’s admission comes just months after he revealed that a number of American Idol’s most notable former contestants, including Underwood and her fellow Idol country stars like Kellie Pickler and Scotty McCreery, will more than likely return for the show’s final season.
Speaking to Billboard in September, Seacrest admitted that the big plan for the final season is to bring “back big artists who have been on the show, bring back the stars from the show, the casts on the show and some of the most successful Idols.”
The 15th and final season of American Idol is set to premiere on Fox on Jan. 6.