American Idol: Ryan Seacrest Reflects On Charlie Askew – ‘He Was Courageous’

“American Idol” tugged at the heartstrings of its audience earlier this week, following a performance by Charlie Askew, 17, who admitted to going through some tough times, after he was criticized for his competition song.

And on Thursday night, at the “American Idol” Season 12, Top 10 party (Charlie did not make the group), show host Ryan Seacrest, who previously comforted the teen through the on-stage moment, said he was “impressed” by the young man.

“First of all, I was impressed that he was courageous enough [to] talk about it,” Ryan told’s Laura Saltman at the Top 10 event, held in Los Angeles.

“But I could tell when he was singing and when he was standing there and the judges were talking to him… he was going through a tough time,” Ryan added.

On stage earlier in the week, Charlie, who the judges had previously praised for his fun and optimism, admitted he isn’t the person many people think he is.

“A lot of people think that… It’s just that, the message I was really trying to send is a lot of people think I’m a very happy, buoyant person a lot of the time and the only reason I smile so much is because I feel like I have to,” Charlie said at the time.

Ryan, who comforted the young man on stage at that moment, told him, “Listen buddy, you’ve got some friends here, OK? … We appreciate your courage and your honesty and there’s nothing easy about having those feelings inside and then standing up here and having to do that tonight.”

On Thursday, at the party, Ryan reflected on that moment.

“I think something’s going on and I just wanted him to know that we know him, we’ve gotten to know him well. And if he needs a friend… we’re there as a friend,” Ryan told Laura.

“We got mad love for him,” judge Randy Jackson added. “Charlie’s so charismatic and so cool.”

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