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Brian Dunkleman Returns to 'American Idol' for Finale!

Brian Dunkleman surprises the crowd on stage at the opening of the American Idol series finale on Thursday (April 7) at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

The 44-year-old former host of the show was invited by longtime host Ryan Seacrest to introduce the judges at the top of the show.

Brian also joked about how Ryan should get prepared to be unemployed after tonight and how he knows how it feels. He was let go from the series right after the first season.

“I want to congratulate the show on struggling along another 14 seasons without me,” he joked.

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Former 'American Idol' Host Brian Dunkleman Finally Speaks!

Brian Dunkleman, who co-hosted American Idol alongside Ryan Seacrest in the show’s first season, has finally spoken up about his life after Idol.

The 44-year-old recently told CNN that his decision to leave the show to pursue acting just before Ryan shot into superstardom left him feeling “very upset about it for a long, long time.”

“I don’t even know who I would be if I was still on that show… I knew that if I had stayed, I wouldn’t have had a chance (to pursue acting),” Brian said. “Of course, when it comes to the financial aspect, of course there are regrets. I wouldn’t be human if I said no.”

Brian said he has chosen to let it go, stating, “You got to make up your mind that either you are going to be that angry guy for the rest of your life, or you gotta move on. It’s taken me a long time to get there.”

Brian Dunkleman Has Best Reaction to 'Idol' Cancellation

If you didn’t watch the first season of American Idol back in 2002, there’s a good chance that you are not familiar with the show’s original co-host Brian Dunkleman.

The 43-year-old television personality shared the hosting duties for the show’s first season with Ryan Seacrest before being let go for season two.

“I knew American Idol would never last without me #CANCELLED,” Brian tweeted after hearing news of the show ending after next season.

Most recently, Brian has been performing stand up at the Laugh Factory and frequently appears as the host of Family Feud Live in Atlantic City and Las Vegas.

Make sure to read the statement that Ryan released about the end of the Idol era.