This Thursday, the curtain falls on American Idol, the beloved singing competition that set new ratings records and realized (or shattered) the dreams of hundreds of aspiring performers who wanted to be the next big pop star. After the success of the first season, it came as a surprise to many when Ryan Seacrest’s co-host, Brian Dunkleman, decided to call it quits.
Today, Brian admits that leaving Idol may have been one of the biggest mistakes in television history. Nonetheless, he says, he’s confident the show wasn’t for him. “I think I knew I wanted to leave the show on the first day,” Brian says. “There was a stretch of about an hour when kid after kid came out just bawling, and I’d never seen anything like that.”
Here, Brian, an actor and stand-up comedian, opens up about his brief time in the limelight and what he’s been doing with his life since.