But now, with Paula gone, host Ryan Seacrest seems to have stepped into that buffoon role, exhibiting increasingly bizarre behavior all season long. Until this week, his oddest antics had occurred when sparring with Simon Cowell (seriously, the two of them have practically come to blows during their "witty" banter). But on Tuesday's Elvis Night episode, Ryan took his cray-cray shenanigans to a whole new level--or more specifically, a new low--thus setting the blogosphere and Twitterverse ablaze.
For instance, while Tim Urban (suddenly nicknamed "Turban" by Ryan) was performing "Can't Help Falling in Love," Ryan started slow-dancing in the aisles with a stocky male audience member, nearly throwing Tim off-track. The cameras never shot a close-up of this same-sex dancing duo, but Ryan later claimed that his partner had been Season 8 finalist Michael Sarver--a revelation that was met with a smattering of amused applause.
However, the next morning, a confused Michael Sarver tweeted that he hadn't actually attended the taping. (It turned out the beefy gentleman was a friend of contestant Lee Dewyze.) Reports from the scene later revealed that Ryan also danced a solo jig during Andrew Garcia's "Hound Dog" number and played air guitar to Lee's "A Little Less Conversation" performance on Tuesday.