Ryan Seacrest is taking heat for what some are calling his bizarre behavior on American Idol.
Seacrest made fun of Brian Dunkleman, his former Idol co-host who left the show after season one, saying, "Quick update on next week's Idol Gives Back, Brian Dunkleman will host that part of the show. I'm kidding, that will be Queen Latifah."
Friday's USA Today says Seacrest's remark was a "cruel jab." The paper calls the Idol host "astoundingly obnoxious."
There were other odd Seacrest moments that night causing a stir. Seacrest introduced contestant Tim Urban, calling him "Turban." Then, during Urban's romantic song, Seacrest slow-danced with a guy in the audience.
And he had this strange exchange with former Idol runner-up Adam Lambert, as Lambert talked to him about a singing technique, saying, "You have to get the tongue out."
"Well, my tongue is not nearly as talented as yours," said Seacrest.
Entertainment Weekly said Seacrest "completely lost his ever-loving mind."
The Washington Post calls him the "Seacrest monster," and says he's been "running amok on the show like an unfixed Jack Russell."
His reply? "I was just having fun. Often I will playfully do things to amp up the energy."
Meanwhile, reports that Idol executives want Paula Abdul back to boost ratings seem to be off the mark. Producers now say "there's no truth to that rumor."