He's been saying goodbye to contestants for seven seasons, but Ryan says it's not easy. When he sees tears well up in young singers' eyes, he says he feels terrible in that moment.
"In your head, you're trying to figure out how to say the right thing to her, [but] you've also got to move the show along, so you don't want to be insensitive," he says. "But those are always real human moments that I don't know what the right thing to say is sometimes. They're tough."
Ryan thinks the best way to handle the situation is to look contestants in the eyes and tell them how proud they should be. "It's incredible to think of a 16-year-old or 17-year-old kid...to stand up on that stage in front of 30 million people and have the poise and determination to pull that off," he says. "I'm impressed by that every week."