American Idol Finale: Brian Dunkleman and Ryan Seacrest Reunite, Hug It Out

Like a horror-movie villain taking one last lunge at the hero before finally accepting his defeat, former American Idol co-host Brian Dunkleman returned for Thursday’s series finale with a surprising message for Ryan Seacrest.

“Well, well, well, Seacrest, looks like after tonight, you’re going to be out of a job,” Dunkleman began. “And trust me, nobody knows the pain of life without Idol more than me. But don’t worry, buddy. You know what? Being unemployed isn’t that bad.”

Of course, Seacrest was quick to remind his former co-worker that he’s, in fact, quite busy outside of Idol. (He’s got a radio show, I think, and something about the Kardashians. Maybe you’ve heard of ’em.)

“I just wanted to stop by and congratulate the show on struggling along for another 14 seasons without me,” Dunkleman added. “And because, Ryan, there’s something I’ve been waiting to say to you for a very long time now: You’ve done an amazing job hosting this show all these years. I congratulate you on all your success.”

Dunkleman, for those of you too young to recall, co-hosted Idol with Seacrest during the show’s first season. (And when you can get a chance, read his guest column for our sister publication Variety. It’s fascinating.)

Hit PLAY on the video above to watch Seacrest and Dunkleman’s super awkward interaction, then drop a comment below with your thoughts on this long-overdue moment.