Ryan Seacrest will usher in 2013 without one very familiar face nearby Monday, Dec. 31: His beloved mentor and New Year's Rockin' Eve costar Dick Clark.
Monday marks the first broadcast of Clark's long-running New Year's Eve fete from New York City's Times Square since Clark's April 2012 death. Though the millions of revelers outside ABC's studios will be cheering as the clock counts down to midnight, Seacrest tells Good Morning America's Josh Elliott the night will have a somber undertone.
"Surreal is probably the most appropriate word," Seacrest said when asked about hosting the show in Clark's absence. "You think back 40 years ago he started the tradition . . . I not only watched him, I used to watch him and study how he hosted these shows."
To honor the late broadcast veteran -- who died in April at age 82 -- Seacrest and his Rockin' Eve colleagues will host a tribute portion of the special. "He was kind of like my guidance counselor," Seacrest, 38, recalled of Clark. "He'd always make you feel like you were his good friend. He was like that in person as well."
Later during New Year's Rockin' Eve, Fergie will co-anchor the broadcast from Los Angeles, while Jenny McCarthy will lend Seacrest a hand in Times Square. Taylor Swift and Psy are also expected to perform live from New York City.