'New Year's Rockin' Eve' co-host Lucy Hale says she'll 'roll with the punches' during unprecedented countdown to 2021

NEW YORK -- For a countdown to midnight unlike any other -- amid a pandemic and rainy forecast -- "New Year's Rockin' Eve" co-host Lucy Hale says her job is to roll with the punches and "fangirl."

"What's so fun about live TV is that you can rehearse, rehearse, and then everything sort of changes. This year, there won't be crowds, so we'll have to bring energy in a different way," she said on "Good Morning America" Thursday morning.

This is Hale's fifth year hosting "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021" and second in Times Square. She'll be joined in New York by Seacrest and Billy Porter.

Hale said she's looking forward to seeing one of the "Pose" actor's signature eye-catching outfits. This is Porter's first year in Times Square, and Big Freedia will take over his Central Time Zone hosting spot in New Orleans.

"I'm looking forward to the Billy Porter coat situation that will be happening," Hale said. "I'm sure he will be looking fabulous."

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Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the event will be closed to the public with the exception of a "small" and "mighty" group of frontline workers, Hale said.

"Just being in Times Square, in general, brings a certain kind of energy and being in New York is really special ... We have Jennifer Lopez, so that says enough right there," she said.

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Lopez will be the musical headliner, performing live before the iconic ball drop that will ring in 2021. Other performers in New York include Cyndi Lauper, Porter, Jimmie Allen and Machine Gun Kelly. Lauper and Porter collaborated on the Broadway musical "Kinky Boots" and will join forces for a performance during the TV special.

Ciara will host in Los Angeles, and performers there include Brandy, Doja Cat, Ella Mai, En Vogue, Julia Michaels & JP Saxe, Lewis Capaldi, Maluma, Megan Thee Stallion, Miley Cyrus, Nelly and Saweetie.

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President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden are also scheduled to give "their last interview of the year" with Seacrest in Times Square.
"It's going to look a little different this year, but we're still going to try to kick start the new year with a lot of hope and a lot of positivity," Hale said.

Don't miss "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021" on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. ET | 7 p.m. CT on Thursday, Dec. 31

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