(NEW YORK) — In the 40 years of countdowns and party favors, much has changed in how we celebrate New Year’s Eve.
In the beginning, the iconic ball that dropped in Times Square boasted 100 25-watt bulbs, a street light compared to today’s ball: 22,000 LED lights embedded in Waterford Crystal.
When Dick Clark launched his first New Years Rockin’ Eve in 1972, the band Blood Sweat and Tears was the headliner. The show was created to be a hipper answer to CBS’s annual broadcast of Guy Lombardo’s live orchestra performing from the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
Clark’s show soon became an established tradition, and on Saturday night, it will be another snapshot of popular sound and fashion as 2011 turns over to 2012. Rockin’ Eve co-host Ryan Seacrest granted Nightline a sneak preview of what’s to come, and said that Clark would make an appearance again this year.
“I looked forward to seeing him every year and I was always impressed with how he could make you feel so comfortable,” Seacrest told Nightline anchor Bill Weir. “You’d watch at home and you’d feel like you were part of the party and he was just talking to you. That’s one of his amazing talents.”
Seacrest was brought onto the program after Clark, 82, suffered a stroke seven years ago that impaired his speech and changed his beloved broadcast.
Seacrest said this year’s show includes rapper PitBull, Justin Bieber, guitar master Carlos Santana and the final mega act — Lady Gaga. Seacrest claimed they didn’t know much about what the Pop princess, known for her outrageous costumes and bizarre entrances, will do.
As for who Seacrest will kiss when the clock strikes midnight, he said his girlfriend, 22-year-old professional dancer and actress Julianne Hough.
“I won’t get to kiss her until about 12:04 or :05 because I do it during commercial break,” he said.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
Eric Levenson, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN