"I was just on the phone with Simon, and we were talking about the auditions," Seacrest. "We taped the auditions a couple of weeks ago."
"We didn't think we would go out and see the extremes that we saw. There is the extremely naive and the extremely good and not a lot in between, which is good," he said.
As readers should know by now: American Idol will resurface on FOX with two-hour editions on Jan. 16 and 17.
When it comes to his show's graduates, Seacrest â€“ who'll also be hosting Dick Clark's New Year's Eve bash on ABC in Times Square â€“ told People that he thinks they're top-notch."Look at Jennifer Hudson," he says of the Dreamgirls breakaway star, who was dismissed early in her Idol attempt. "I think this is an unexpected path of success for her. She's a great singer, but who would have thought she would get the Oscar buzz so quickly after being on Idol?"