Time to "dim the lights" one last time tonight on American Idol

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Credit: Jennifer and Kieran Rivera

As American Idol ends their 14 year run on FOX tonight, many dedicated Idol fans have always wondered “Who is Kieran?” 

Kieran Healy is the lighting director that Ryan Seacrest  refers to when he says “Here we go, Kieran dim the lights” as a contestant is going to be eliminated.

Tonight will be the final time that Seacrest will ask Kieran to “dim the lights.”  

Healy has been with American Idol from the very first episode in 2002. Seacrest used to alternate between saying "Dim the lights, Kieran" and "Kieran, dim the lights." In recent years, he has settled on the latter version, with a dramatic pause after Healy's name.  Healy doesn't actually dim the lights; the job falls to board operator Harry Sangmeister. During the live broadcasts, Healy in the control room, right by the director, supervising Sangmeister and an entire crew of lighting staffers via headsets.

My friend of 11 years and American Idol enthusiast, Jennifer Rivera, wrote to Ryan Seacrest on Facebook last month about her experiences watching "Idol" in the hospital hours after giving birth to her son, Kieran.   

Rivera also sent an email to FOX in hopes that someone would read her email and respond. Well, someone at FOX did!

"I sometimes wonder if the reason that name was so ingrained in my head was because I had heard it on American Idol for several years!" Rivera wrote.

Rivera told FOX 5 “It was results night, and Ryan was about to deliver the news. That's when he said, "Kieran...dim the lights!" My husband and I looked at each other and said, "Did he just say Kieran?" We were shocked! So, we waited to watch the credits and see if we heard what we thought we heard....sure enough, it said "Kieran Healy". Spelled exactly like our son, who was only a couple hours old.”

Rivera said she found Healy's biography online.  As this is the last season of American Idol, Rivera would love to get the opportunity to meet the other Kieran in her life, who does lighting for the show. “ I never realized how special Ryan's ‘Kieran, dim the lights’ would be, until I had my son.”

“Now, every time I hear Ryan say those words, ‘Kieran, dim the lights’ I think of the night my son was born and the joy he brings me every day. It would be amazing to be able to meet Kieran before the season ends and share my story. I will miss hearing those words every week and I will truly miss American Idol. “

Rivera tells FOX 5 that her all-time favorite American Idol is Carrie Underwood.