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'American Idol' finalists talk about Ryan Seacrest's strange behavior: 'We were worried about Ryan a little'

Ryan-Seacrest

Ryan-SeacrestImage Credit: Frank Micelotta/Getty ImagesAs I’ve already noted in mind-numbing detail in today’s American Idol on-the-scene recap, Ryan Seacrest’s behavior was all kinds of bizarre, both on- and off-camera last night. Well, after the show, I got a chance (along with a few other journalists) to ask some of the Idol contestants about Seacrest’s antics.

We started off with Tim Urban, who perhaps suffered the worst of Seacrest’s weirdness: the Idol host’s decision to start slow dancing with one of Lee DeWyze’s beefy buddies while Urban was performing “I Can’t Help Falling In Love.” “It was a little weird,” Urban said backstage after the show, “because people laughed at [Ryan] dancing in the middle of the song, so I had to zone it out. I could kind of catch it in the corner of my eye that he was dancing. I just tried not to think about it.”

Urban wasn’t completely taken off guard, however; turns out that Seacrest also danced during Urban’s dress rehearsal as well. “What he just did on [the live show] was nothing,” Urban said. “Dress rehearsal was nuts. We were in the back going, ‘All right?’ We did not know what was happening.” Fellow contestant Crystal Bowersox agreed. “We were worried about Ryan a little,” she said. “He was kooky, in a sweet Ryan kind of way.”

Leave it to young Katie Stevens, meanwhile, to sleuth out that sleep deprivation was to blame for Ryan’s tomfoolery. ”I asked him, after dress rehearsal, ‘Ryan, what is up with you?’” said Stevens. “And he goes, ‘You know, I’m really, really tired right now, so I’m trying to fool myself into thinking that I’m awake.’ [He was] over-caffeinated.”

So case closed, Popwatchers. Do you think lack of sleep (and an apparent surfeit of caffeine) excuses Ryan’s behavior? Between his radio shows, E! News hosting duties, reality show production company, and American Idol, should the poor guy simply be finding more time to get some quality shut eye lest his work suffer any further?

Originally posted April 14 2010 — 1:37 PM EDT

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