the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

So You Think You Can Host?


Now that I picked up a few new readers searching for “Gilmore Girls,” I’ve decided to suck up to them and write some more about television.

I have so many things to do before I go to New York that I ended up doing none of them tonight. I spent the evening with Sophia, watching the stupidest shows on TV. I literally think I lost 3% of my brain cells tonight.

Can it get any worse that watching Britney Spears being interviewed on Dateline?

Yes, it can. It is the show, “So, You Think You Can Dance?”

“So, You Think You Can Dance?” is presented by the same production company that makes “American Idol.” It is a dance competition, rather than a singing competition.

Now, I’ll tell you right here. I’m not a snob about these types of shows. “American Idol” is one of my favorite shows. I honestly mean that. I love variety shows. They were a staple of my childhood (Donny and Marie, etc.).

But “So, You Think You Can Dance?” is just bad. Even the title is too long. The judges are boring. The format is clunky. And the hosts make Ryan Seacrest seem like a genius.

Last year, the host was Lauren Sanchez. Viewers from Los Angeles already knew her as a friendly, but dim-witted, local news anchor. But, being a politically-correct type of guy, I was glad to see a “Latina” hostess of a prime-time show, even if this Latina had a little too much of “la rinoplastia.”



This year the hostess is Cat Deeley, a British “TV presenter” and a media sex symbol in the U.K.


She is probably the worst TV hostess I’ve ever seen — and I have watched A LOT of television. Whatever happened to the land of Laurence Olivier and Dame Judi Dench? She is as stiff as a board and can hardly read the cue cards. During the middle of the show, Sophia almost choked on the “smoothie” she was drinking.

“Do you see that?” she screamed. “She’s pulling her NAILS! The hostess is pulling her nails on national television!”

Our Tivo cut off the last minute of the show, so we never found out which male dancer was “eliminated.”

“Have no fear,” I told Sophia. “I’m an expert in searching on Google.”

I quickly went onto the show’s website, where they have a fan forum. On the poorly designed forum (c’mon, FOX!), everyone was angry because Stanislav, one of the best dancers, was cut from the show. I told Sophia the bad news.

“This show stinks,” said Sophia.

But what interested me most about the comments was all the hate focused on the host, Cat Deely. People HATED her. They hated everything about her. The way she looked. The way she spoke. The way she had no chemistry with the dancers. Granted, most of the writers on this forum seemed to be fifteen years old girls — but they all seemed to be right on.

I finally found a comment explaining why Lauren Sanchez was absent from the show this year. Apparently, she is pregnant.

Now, I have no idea whether this decision was her own or the producers, but it did get me thinking about pregnancy on TV. Would it really bother viewers to have a pregnant hostess of a dance competition? I mean, it’s not like she’s doing any heavy lifting. She’s standing there reading from cue cards. I would hope we have advanced to the point where if they made “I Love Lucy” today, Lucille Ball wouldn’t have to hide behind the couch. Would it bother you to see a pregnant TV host?



  1. Ash

    There was a whole hue and outcry about a pregnant weathergirl in Switzerland. The Swiss thought it was obscene. Weird huh?

    In the UK Davina McCall was pregnant while she was presenting Big Brother and it didn’t seem to bother people.

  2. rachh

    I love Kat Deeley, but as a television presenter she’s hopeless.
    I like the way you find your woman the answer.
    Never let it be said you’re not resourceful Neil.

  3. The Retropolitan

    It would bother me if Ryan Seacrest were pregnant.

  4. Mike F

    Ha! “la rinoplastia.” Don’t do that while I am drinking coffee.

    It nearly came out of my nose.

    cirugía plástica!

  5. Non-Highlighted Heather

    I didn’t know Dame Judy was Jewish.

  6. The Girl

    Cat Deeley is not a ‘media sex symbol’ here in the UK: we hate her too.

    Well, at least I do.

  7. Serena

    I have this odd obsession with dance movies. Love them. Even with that I can’t bring myself to watch this show.

  8. TE

    Aaaarrrgghhh!!! These shows are like a cluster of fish hooks being ripped out of my ass!!!

    Please bring back “The Carol Burnett Show”. Hell, I’d even take “Sonny and Cher” again!

    Ow! What’s this dart doing sticking in my …………


  9. Mari


  10. justrun

    It would only bother me if the pregnant woman was on television defending her baby daddy and upset that she can’t go to Starbucks. Oh wait, wrong show.

  11. justrun

    By the way, “la rinoplastia” is the funniest thing I’ve heard all day.

  12. Jessica

    Nope….and considering I’m going to be trying to get pregnant in the next few months, I certainly hope it doesn’t threaten my eligibility to host a bad reality television show.

  13. AWE

    It depends on if they film the conception.

  14. ;lkj;lkj

    I actually passed up a night of Law & Order reruns to watch this crap. Their music sux. And they bash all the good dancers. Why would you expect a ballroom dancer to dance to booty music…booty music isn’t really music…they turning something elegant into a palm tree climbing monkey.

  15. Alison

    I have to laugh at Non-Highlighted Heather’s comment.

  16. Neil

    There’s nothing I hate more than someone making a good joke and not getting. I stared at the name of Judy Densch for fifteen minutes until I figured it out.

  17. jackt

    It really sucks when the hosts can’t host. There seem to be plenty of good looking people in the world- can’t they find one who is also respectably composed on tv? Or maybe too much facial symmetry limits brain function.

  18. Margaret

    They should have someone who can actually dance host the show, you know, an expert.

  19. Danny

    Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I never even heard of that show until last night when my sister (who I’m visiting in Chicago) forced me to watch it. Our TiVo also ran out at the end but we of course assumed that the completely talentless and extremely scary Ivan would be tossed to the wolves. Stanislas at least knew how to move. And that host was like some automaton in high heels. This really is the end of our civilization as we know it. What will it take for this genre of TV shows to finally disappear? Does Ivan have to come out next week and wrestle Cat Deeley to the ground with a paring knife?

  20. party girl

    “So You Think You Can Dance,” is one of my guilty pleasures and I am a little embarrased to admit that. I don’t get to watch many of the shows I would like to, because of my schedule and such, but I like the brainlessness of this one. No thinking required.
    The host, yeah. I liked her during the try-outs, but last night was the first I had seen her as the official host.
    Good Lord! The dramatic pause when telling someone they were eliminated. The dramatic pause when told they must dance for their life. The dramatic pause to say, we’ll be back after these messages.
    The dramatic pause to say, please get a new host for next season!

  21. Scarlet

    I didn’t watch last night…I was too enthralled with Britney on Dateline.

  22. amanda

    okay cat deely is a bit tiresome…but i have GOT to say…i LOVE so you think you can dance. i love the talent and the passion and i love the dancing. but i do admit to DVR’ing it so that i can fast forward through the commentary and the nelly furtado performace.

    britney looks like she fired her hair and make-up people. on the today show this morning, she said that she has no qualms about being herself, example: she goes out of the house with her rollers in her hair. it doesn’t even look like you put a brush through that hair!

  23. cruisin-mom

    Neil, apparently you don’t watch as much t.v. as I do…or you would have known that a pregnant Heidi Klum hosted “Project Runway” last year on Bravo.

  24. Think Frustrated

    I actually watched it, too, to placate my wife while I flipped back and forth between the NBA Finals. I thought Cat’s “giraffe dress” was pretty funny, and I immeaditely nominated her to the “itty-bitty-titty-committee.” Then I saw the pic you put up and had second thoughts. Anyhow, the show sucks. How can people like me vote for who I think can dance. All of them dance 100,000 times better than me, so they all win.

  25. Dagny

    It must have been a universal thing of recorders ending too soon. I too had assumed that Ivan would be cut.

    The good thing about recording the program is that you can fast forward whenver Cat is talking. About 15 minutes into the show I started doing just that.

    I had thought of watching the Britney interview out of a twisted sense of curiousity but then I forgot it was on. Maybe it’s for the best.

    Oh, and Heidi Klum looked great on the last season of “Project Runway.”

  26. lizardek

    TV hostesses in Sweden never leave their jobs onscreen just for being pregnant. I can think of 2 recent ones: Agneta Sjödin and Charlotte Perelli and they are by no means alone.

  27. Jenni

    As long as she’s not spread-eagle on the floor pushing out her little bundle of joy, I could give a rats ass.

    However, this show isn’t my cup of tea anyway, so I guess my opinion doesn’t really count…or does it?

  28. bookfraud

    oliver? judi dench? most of england are soccer hooligans and chimney sweeps, not masterpiece theater. biggest white trash nation on earth. cat deely is an offense to bubbleheaded american hostesses; thank you for pointing out this affront to your nation’s reality show pride.

  29. chantel

    I don’t watch much television. I think that could be the reason I eventually quit blogging is because I have no idea what’s popular on main stream television, (except for the Gilmore Girls).
    But, of the little I have seen – it’s stupid, boring and downright insulting to the intelligence of anything with a brain.

    We would be a much more productive society if they got rid of all the damn reality shows.

  30. Bre

    I watch a disgusting amount of TV, and I’d be fine with a pregnant host… as long as they weren’t boring!

  31. kristen

    I like to watch these dance shows for the tacky costumes, cheesy serious facial expressions and the all-out seriousness the contestants present. Come on! As for seeing a pregnant host? Bring it on, as long as she can be entertaining, why not?

  32. schrodinger

    I think pregnancy on TV has changed from hiding behind a couch to disavowing women are any different while pregnant. Hence Alias where the CIA sends her on kick-ass missions at 8 months.

  33. Blonde Vigilante

    Preggos are cute too! No, it only bothers me when they talk about it every five seconds, but since it’s no The View or Live with Regis and Kelly I doubt they would have that problem.

  34. An English soccer hooligan or maybe a chimney sweep

    How strange. I wouldn’t have thought that Deely any more irritating than the rest of the young bimbos on television. I half suspect that some of the ire directed at her is due to the fact that Americans don’t like UK bimbos taking US bimbos’ jobs.

    I’m not surprised by the fact that she’s a sex symbol, though. All a girl needs to be a sex symbol in the UK is blonde hair, a thermonuclear tan and a pair of boobs.

    Fun fact: she probably got the pause thing off Chris Tarrant, the guy who presented the British version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Since then, it seems like 70% of UK TV game show presenters have been speaking like that.


  35. Paris Parfait

    The reason Cat Deeley is hostess of that show is because no one can stand her in the UK! She had bit presenting gigs in a few shows, but failed miserably – hence her bid for fame in the US.

  36. Nelumbo

    The reason you don’t see more pregant TV hosts is not that the average American finds it obscene, but it offends our sensibilities that she’d have increased potential for fantastic cleavage and not be able to show it off, due to stretch marks. (Yes, it’s a painful truth I’ve recently discovered.)

  37. introspectre

    Poor Lucy. And poor women everywhere to hide their lovely tummies. And poor people anywhere who fear them.


  38. Neil

    Interesting perspective from the U.K. bloggers. For years, Americans have had an obsession with the “classy” Shakespearean actors from your country. I guess we’re now envious of your bimbos. (like there’s not enough American-born ones in California already). And since Bookfraud brought it up, how much does a chimney sweep make nowadays?

    Jenni — If I were a producer, I would want her to give birth right in the middle of the show. What ratings!

  39. Leah

    I found myself watching that same show the other night. In spite of the fact that I watch like 45 minutes of tv a month, I was fascinated with the dancing. Granted, the hostess was definitely not a twinkie…and the judges lacked the spunk of Simon Cowell or Judy Schiendlen…but nonetheless I was a sucker for Rumba & West Coast Swing. Aahahhhh…. It’s my 3 years of ballroom dancing speaking at this point. I won’t even mention the fact that last night I watched the movie “Shall We Dance” with Richard Gere and J-Lo, and despite it’s being absolutely horrific (even the dancing was mediocre!), I CRIED. Yes, I CRIED at the end when Gere (otherwise known as Hamster-Lover) made pretty with my favorite actress Susan Sarandon (holy lord, I love that woman. I would consider having sex with her if I was into women.)

    Anyways….did I just ramble on about dancing and lesbian sex for like 350 words? I’m so sorry….This is your forum Neil. Not mine. I’m going back to my corner to obsess over the Foxtrot.

    (And by the way, I even downloaded the song “Sway” by the Pussycat Dolls after the movie was over. I’m SUCH a loser.)

  40. Virenda

    I’ve yet to watch it and I don’t think I will considering all that hat the host is getting. THERE IS NOTHING worse then a bad host.

    As for pregnancy? Um…It doesn’t offend me. I don’t think she should be doing Alias or Fear Factor but a dance show host? Why the hell not?…!

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a pregnant Ryan Seacrest.

  41. better safe than sorry

    i’ve never seen this show but i think dame edna would be a perfect hostess, for any show.

  42. Nancy

    I only saw a snippet of the Britney Spears interview, but was she really CHEWING GUM throughout all of it??

  43. SpiritOfOwl

    Currently in the UK we’ve got a series of Big Brother being hosted by a heavily pregnant Devina McCall, a woman seen as a bit edgy in a not too splinters-in-the-fingers kind of way. Cat Deely, on the other hand, is a nation’s darling figure in that sort of prime time everyone’s gonna wish-she-was-their-daughter kind of way. Pregnancy doesn’t count here, but personally I think the pair of them can take their witless shit-eating fizzogs out to lunch and their, “Oh goodness, what, oh no you really???! Heavens!” can go with them to their well prepared and saddeningly well tended graves.

  44. Lydia

    ok, correct me if I’m wrong – but Heidi Klum hosted Project Runway throughout her entire pregnancy. And of course, she looked great – frickin’ models! 🙂

  45. Fitèna


    “la rinoplastia”= nose job? I guess am right 🙂
    Does she dance? Doesn’t seem like she does, so what if she’s pregnant? Shouldn’t bother me, personnaly, much.
    we had a Tv hostess for a kid show (a version of kid american idol only here it was mauritian idol and called “Timambo” who presented with her huge belly. The kids thought it was funny. Whenever she’d ask them something they’d answer her belly. She was beautiful. When she delivered, her husband and the baby girl came on the show to say hello. It was very nice.


  46. Nick

    Someone needs to put a muzzle over Cat’s mouth, and never put her on TV EVER again!!!

  47. Thomas

    As a musician I can’t watch American Idol – the format strips all unique creativity from the performers – I mean, does anyone REALLY want to see a performer who can do all styles well? Wouldn’t you rather see someone do ONE style AMAZING? I used to think about that in the 1980s when U2 had an album on top of the charts at the same time as Bruce Springsteen. It said a lot about people knowing which they preferred. Wonder Bread vs a good Italian loaf.

    On the other hand, I can, and do, watch SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. I have a 10 year old daughter who has taken 5 years of dance and we got into this show together and cherish our time together watching it. The performances are inspiring, the choreography is fresh and exciting, and the format, though repetitive after a while, is fine enough. Cat Deeley, however, is hard to stomach. You hit on it perfectly – NO CHEMESTRY WITH THE DANCERS!

    I wish Nigel had the guts to admit his mistake and pull her NOW!!! She’s killing the show for us!

  48. sandra

    cat deeley has actually been successful in the UK especially on smtv live…
    i think she is actually a very good presenter though i haven’t seen her on ‘so u think u can dance’

    she started off as a tv presenter

  49. Jamie Shults

    It is so refreshing to hear that someone else is seeing what I’m seeing when I watch “So, you think you can dance”. Horrible wouldn’t even begin to describe the level of professionalism that this hostess contains; she’s a bimbo in every essence of the word. I think it’s sad when the only logical explanation for her being the hostess is that she is obviously sleeping with someone high up. She did not obtain this part because of skill!

  50. Peter

    Thank you for calling out Cat Deeley as the useless cow that she is!

  51. Bronco351

    Kat Deeley is Hot.

  52. Terri

    Some of you are way to cruel. I find Cat Deeley very refreshing and quick on her feet with dialog. She may not be perfect, but few people I know are so please try not to be so critical.

  53. mackenzie

    i love Kat Deeley!! i dont know why people are saying bad things about her. i think she was a great host for So You Think You Can Dance and will be for the next show she host!

  54. halle

    I ask myself this question every time I watch American idol. What purpose does Cat Deeley’s presence serve? Ryan Seacrest seems to have it all under control, so Cat is a total waste of space! I just switch channels when she is on and switch back to itv when the contestants start singing. What other choice do I have as I love the show?!! I pray she isn’t a part of the show. I live in hope.

  55. halle

    I totally agree with Thomas and whoever has this opinion…Cat has no chemistry with the contestants. Add to that, she lacks wit, a sense of humour, ability to exhibit sincere empathy. She comes across as superficial with very little depth. This is a show of heart and talent…she doesnt belong there. Everyone I know wants her off.

  56. rob

    Cat Deely Stinks, she is a deformed freak, she cant talk, she is disturbing, she is brain dead, she is ugly – Hey Cat DElly – I pray to god that i should live long enough to see you die – you are gross – stupid, moronic, disgusting and no man would touch you if you were the last woman left after a nuclear holocaust — oh wait you are a result of too much exposure to uranium – what else could explain that twisted mouth – nose – and face — People please let it be known that she needs to get out of our tvs — i mean there are children watching and they all cry whenever they see her — she is frightening

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