Before we talk about TV and my poll topic for today, “TV hosts”, a quick word on movies. I just saw of all things a killer documentary about hip hop music, specifically, about the band A Tribe Called Quest. Went to an LA Film Festival screening and – pow! – it was tremendous. I didn’t know anything about the band, but BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE is must-see stuff. Seriously. Nor is it just for people who like hip hop, or New York, or anything like that – it’s for anyone who likes music, and for anyone who likes stories because it goes from when these guys were kids growing up in Queens in the late 80’s/ early 90’s through to the present day. And it’s fabulous. I mention it because the movie opens nationwide in a few weeks and you might want to watch out for it.
Now, back to TV – I know the business part of selling people and products in Tinseltown is well-known, but it’s still kind of stunning.
For example, everyone knows celebrities rarely go on talk shows “just because they were in the neighborhood” unless of course they’re bff’s with the host. Publicists go into overdrive when one of their clients’ “projects” is underway and it’s that person’s job to make sure that client gets seen – a lot – and in just the right light. That last part isn’t always easy. Which, in the case of certain celebs, explains why some publicists get paid so much money. Everything in Hollywood is ultimately on a schedule. Which coincides with appearances that may seem random, but are typically on behalf of when your movie/TV show/ record comes out. Is it an accident that Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera released the (woefully titled) “Moves Like Jagger” at the exact moment when both were enjoying massive Coach Spotlight on The Voice? It is not. Meanwhile, the folks behind Cee Lo’s latest single probably said “You can tour for another year, or you can sing for two and a half minutes on national TV – take your pick – either will yield the same amount of attention”. That’s the power of live TV.
Or, will the Gym Class Heroes – that band who “happened” to be rehearsing when Team Adam “happened” to be rehearsing so everyone sang together get tons of buzz because of their exposure on The Voice? You bet they will. It’s no different from me looking up the purse Pippa Middleton (sister of Duchess Kate) was carrying in a recent paparazzi photo – and discovering that about 10,000 other women had the very same idea. In fact, the bag’s now been officially renamed “the Pippa Bag” and it’s backordered about five years. At the risk of getting all nothing-is-what-it-seems, the good news is that the songs and bands are still good and the purse is still very snappy indeed.
By the way, who enjoyed last night’s unsurprising Voice Results Show? Best moment for me was when cameras and mic caught Adam hugging and reassuring Casey Weston about her future the second she lost. That was a classy move and not all coaches fussed like he did. Plus, it was super courteous that he told Casey she had more time than Javier – hence her lesser score. I am nearly positive that neither he nor anyone in America bought this, but it was nice to hear. And maybe it comforted Casey’s family – who probably knew no one was going to outdo the show’s vocal juggernaut. Especially not when he removed his hat. It occurs to me that these boy singers can cry and quaver and whisper all they want, but nothing is as genuinely revealing as a man who removes his hat. I watch these shows and I get really caught up in it all; it’s a struggle though: there’s a part of me that applauds the way they do everything so seamlessly, and then there’s a part of me that wants to pay attention to that man behind the curtain. Do you watch with a certain amount of cynicism? I try, but then invariably burst into tears along the way.
So today, I’d like you to vote in on the people who aren’t the judges, who aren’t the contestants, and who aren’t even the coaches. Rather, they’re the people who help make so many of these programs the huge hits they are – who lead us smoothly from one moment to the next: the hosts. Ideally, if they’re really good we notice them only sporadically, if at all. They’ve also, over the last decade or so, become huge celebrities. With publicists of their own. Without any further ado, let’s look at some of our favorite hosts.
1) Tom Bergeron
2) Carson Daly
3) Howie Mandel
4) Ryan Seacrest
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