Earlier, I gave my opinions about the six potential new co-hosts for Mahalo Daily. Since then, 3 were eliminated, then another, and now the final winner has been chosen, although who it is will only be announced tomorrow.
In terms of the first elimination, I agree with Jason’s comment that if you don’t turn up you don’t get the job. Unless there was a last minute family emergency or something like that, then you need to demonstrate a fanatical willingness to do the job to get the job in the first place. So, although I thought Nadine was the best choice, and Michelle was good, I agreed that eliminating them was the right thing to do. (From Jason’s comments, it’s obvious that Nadine wouldn’t have got through anyway. Hopefully she’ll turn up in something else that isn’t MySpace).
Dropping Sarah next was surprising – I expected that Kristina would go first, just based on experience (it really did seem like it would take a while for her to get up to the professional quality that Mahalo Daily seems to be aimed at). I ranked Sarah last, so that fit with me – she seems to have got something out of the experience, and if she & Lon do start a film podcast, it’s possible I’ll listen to that as well as Filmspotting.
Kristina was obviously going to go before Leah & Andrea. For all the “dark horse” comments, she clearly was not of the same quality as the others, and while she might well have got there after a while, it doesn’t seem like this is the right place to be learning those skills.
At this point, the “viral video” contest was introduced. I understand the reasoning behind this – the host does need to be able to be creative and imaginative, and hopefully “think outside the box”. Producing episodes that actually do spread would obviously also be great, since at least some viewers would start watching regularly. However, it was certainly a huge challenge – predicting what video will next catch the eye of the Internet masses is basically impossible. At least they didn’t base the winner on the number of YouTube views or something like that (although it would have been better to let the videos spread for a few days I think).
First to appear was Andrea’s Guitar Hero training video:
This was pretty disappointing, since I would have previously chosen Andrea over Leah. Problems:
- Training videos (particularly Rocky-style) have been parodied hundreds of times already. Another training video parody is extremely unlikely to ‘go viral’, no matter how good it is.
- There was too much repetition – some really wacky training scenes might have livened it up somewhat.
- The ending was pretty disappointing. Jason suggested in the comments that having a guest appearance by Veronica Belmont would have been a good ending, and that indeed would have been great (especially if Veronica was gracious enough to record herself getting slammed by the newcomer).
On the good side, it showed off Andrea well (not just her looks, but the style she would bring), and it was well put together. Lon was used well, although not great.
Leah’s video was also, unfortunately, a parody, but of a music video:
This was a good video, and clearly much superior to Andrea’s. There were still problems:
- It’s another parody. Aren’t we all done with parodies now? They are also such an easy choice. I realise there was a pretty limited timeframe, but making an unusual choice would have been great. Something really risky (i.e. it might bomb) since Jason made it clear it wasn’t about how popular it was, but about how creative. If you look at the viral videos that have been successful, many of them are appallingly bad on the surface. Without thinking about it much, I would have liked something like a fake Mahalo Daily blooper real (pick a dozen of Veronica’s shows and make up semi-realistic but very funny bloopers – perhaps a short guest appearance by Veronica herself), or some wacky science thing (like the Cola+Mentos stuff, or blowing things up – find a crazy science guy and you’ll get some good suggestion), or an original song (original lyrics at least), or some crazily dangerous physical stunt (perhaps looking much more dangerous than it actually was), or a completely over-the-top homage to something odd. I’m not the creative one, and yet even I wouldn’t have chosen a parody. The need to feature the contestant themselves (and possibly Lon and Mahalo somehow) did make it more of a challenge.
- The video shows off Lon’s skills as a comedian (comedienne?) more than Leah’s. I would absolutely hire Lon based on this, but not necessarily Leah. There are a few moment where she does shine, but having her a bit more ‘center-stage’ would probably have suited the contest more. Her acting is also pretty weak, but that hardly matters for a hosting job.
- Probably it’s just because it’s a parody, but I can’t imagine recommending watching this to anyone, and I have trouble seeing it have a great deal of ‘viral’ success either.
- Gender-reversal jokes are funny, but they’ve been done to death, and it’s a stretch to take it to two and half minutes.
BTW, I think re-mixing this (is that permissible?) with popup video style additions would make this more humourous.
I think it’s pretty obvious that Leah will win (with a slight chance that both will be hired in some way). I hope that Andrea goes on to host something else I’m interested in, since I think she’d make a good host (although not good enough to watch something uninteresting!).
Overall, my compliments to all of the contestants, especially the final six. Despite the fact that I didn’t like them all as potential hosts, getting that far is clearly a remarkable achievement, and they all clearly have enough talent to succeed with something else.