Well, no one doubts that actor/entertainment newscaster/beauty pageant emcee Lopez has the polish and experience to do the job. As for E! celebreality star Kardashian, let’s just say she’s got her work cut out for her.
That’s the verdict of at least one reality TV insider. “Mario Lopez will make a great host. He’s a seasoned and polished pro and just a really likeable guy,” veteran primetime reality casting director and author of Me on TV, Sarah Monson, told Celebuzz.
“As for Khloe, is it a publicity stunt? Maybe,” she said of Kardashian’s hiring. “Khloe is super famous, and people will want to watch her to see how she does, good or bad.”
What advice did Monson have for the new co-hosts?
Despite Kardashian’s ease in front of a TV camera, she’ll still have some new job skills to learn. On Keeping Up With the Kardashians and its spinoffs, Monson said, “She isn’t asked to read anything off a prompter, memorize lines, or be anything but herself or do anything she doesn’t feel comfortable doing – like making small talk with Mario to fill time.”
Not that emceeing a live show will be a breeze for either host. “Sure, they’ll have people feeding them lines and have monitors with zippy dialogue,” Monson said. “But if something goes wrong, it’s just the two of them up there that have to keep the flow of the show moving.
Already, less than a day after X Factor impresario Simon Cowell confirmed Lopez and Kardashian’s hiring, the inevitable rumors of an ego feud between his two new employees have begun to spread. But Monson said she thinks the pair will work well together.“Dynamic duos are always fun to watch,” she said. “They add more personality to the overall content of the show; they can play off one another, good-cop/bad-cop style, and offer different levels of support to the singers and chime in with their own opinions. One guy just can’t do all that.”
Of course, last year’s inaugural season of X Factor was supposed to have a male-female co-host pair, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones. But then, Cheryl Cole left the judging panel, Scherzinger took her place, and Jones hosted the show solo. After the season ended, in a casting overhaul, Cowell announced that Jones and judges Scherzinger and Paula Abdul were out.
Before the recent round of Season 2 auditions began, Cowell brought in Britney Spears and Demi Lovato (at no small expense) to be the new judges, but while he promised to have new co-hosts by mid-August, it took until this week to winnow the field and strike deals with Kardashian and Lopez. They’ll make their debut when Season 2′s live shows begin in November.
It’s still not clear how the show will handle so many familiar, assertive stars, or whether there’s actually room in the spotlight for all of them every week. Which brought to Monson’s mind a cautionary tale from Cowell’s previous show, American Idol.“Remember American Idol Season 1? They had two hosts. One was Ryan Seacrest and the other was Brian Dunkleman,” Monson said. The now all-but-forgotten Dunkleman was gone by Season 2, but a decade later, Seacrest’s ongoing Idol gig remains the cornerstone of his multimedia career.
“Advice to Khloe and Mario: You do not want to be the next Brian Dunkleman!”
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