American Idol nearing its starting to affect its longtime host Ryan Seacrest emotionally. 

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Seacrest has served as the host of American Idol since the show debuted back in 2002. Now, almost 15 years later, the franchise is coming to an end and its live grand finale is set to air Thursday night from 8-10PM ET/PT on Fox.

"It's surreal," Seacrest told People less than 24 hours before he bids farewell from the Dolby Theatre.

That's when Seacrest received a goodbye note from a crew member he's worked with since the start of American Idol.

"It's starting to sink in," the host admitted. "But I don't think it will really hit me until I say, 'Goodnight, America,' that one last time."

Just a few weeks earlier, Seacrest celebrated Idol's end with the whole crew of approximately 300 people.

"I took them out as a thank you," Seacrest told People. "It was great."

But Seacrest is not ready to let go completely. He's apparently going to find some small way to take Idol home with him.

"I have plans to raid our storage garage for some signs and mementos," confessed the radio show host, TV producer and suit designer. "I want things I can keep in my basement forever."

Season 15's finale of American Idol tonight will crown Trent Harmon or La'Porsha Renae the winner and also feature performances from all former winners and many standout contestants. There will likely be some surprises throughout the night as well.