Allow me to explain. While most fans think of former co-host Brian Dunkleman as the "Pete Best" of "Idol"--aka, the guy who came painfully close to being part of a multi-million-dollar entertainment empire, and probably still dreams of what might have been--at least Brian made it onto the air for a few months back in Season 1. It's really a radio personality known as Stryker, who works for KROQ in L.A., who's probably covered with proverbial black-and-blue bruises from kicking himself. See, Stryker was supposed to be "American Idol's" original fourth judge.American Idol: The Untold Story by esteemed "Idol" reporter Richard Rushfield, when casting began in 2001 for Fox's soon-to-be-massive talent program, the original idea was to fill the judges' bench with two music executives (Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson), one performer (Paula Abdul)...and, as was the case with Britain's prototype show "Pop Idol," one media insider, such as a music journalist or radio host. And that fourth slot was supposed to go to a "flamboyant and edgy young DJ," Stryker.
"The deal was ready to go," Rushfield writes, "but at the last minute, Stryker pulled out, citing what he would later term 'image concerns' over appearing on what he no doubt considered a cheesy singing contest that might damage his rock creds." With no time left to recast, the "Idol" powers-that-be decided to just forge ahead with a three-judge format.
Apparently, rock credibility was less of a concern for another Los Angeles DJ, Star 98.7FM's Ryan Seacrest, who took on the role of "Idol's" co-host (alongside the aforementioned Dunkleman) and, as we all know, went on to unimaginable fame and fortune as a result.
Rushfield is not the first to bring up the subject of Stryker's fateful career decision in the media. Back in 2004, when Stryker was hosting the syndicated advice show "Loveline," Randy Jackson mentioned it when he was a guest on the program. Jackson joked that Stryker had worried that being on "Idol" would "blow his cool."
Meanwhile, Seacrest is now blowing his cool millions on mansions and Julianne Hough. It all really makes me wonder if Stryker and Dunkleman have ever commiserated together over a couple of beers in the seasons since they walked away from one of the biggest television shows of all time.
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