College of Charleston senior Shaun Kraisman is looking forward to more than just graduation – he can’t wait for the “American Idol” season 11 finale. Kraisman, a communication major, is a doppleganger for the Fox show’s host Ryan Seacrest and earned national airtime during the season premiere. Now he’s hoping for an encore during the show’s finale. Watch a video.
Kraisman, who actually aspires to be a TV host, went to the show’s tryouts in Charleston dressed in a black suit, much like what Seacrest wears. His plan was to sing his way to Hollywood, but it might be his looks and impersonations that get him there.
People in line started telling him how much he looked like Seacrest and he did a few impersonations. Soon, hundreds of people thought Seacrest was actually in line with them and the commotion drew the attention of Fox producers.
Before he knew it, the producers had Kraisman posing as Seacrest in front of crowds and press – and in front of the celebrity judges in Savannah. Kraisman was featured in a four-minute segment on the show’s premiere as he does his impressions for both Seacrest and the celebrity judges (global icon Jennifer Lopez, rock legend Steven Tyler and Grammy-award winning music producer Randy Jackson).
A USA Today blog says, “Ryan [Seacrest] probably didn’t expect to meet up with Shaun Kraisman, who’s got Ryan’s wardrobe, mannerisms and speech patterns down pat. He wows the judges, especially since he can run Ryan’s lines on cue.”
A poll on RyanSeacrest.com shows that 63% of respondents think Kraisman looks like Seacrest.
Since the show aired, Kraisman has spoke to dozens of radio stations and accepted hundreds of Facebook friend requests.
“Beyond the recognition, this is the opportunity of a lifetime because hosting a TV show is my ultimate goal, and I got to meet my ultimate hero,” Kraisman says. “Since I was 12 years old I’ve been writing TV shows and hosting events locally. When you’re going after something, you have to have someone you look up to, someone you aspire to, and in broadcasting that is Ryan. Not only did I get to meet him, but he gave me advice and I got to ‘try out’ my dream job.”
Kraisman could also achieve his dream of appearing on the “American Idol” season finale. Each year they bring back a memorable person and Kraisman is hoping he is the one for this season.