Here’s an idea for the “worldwide leader” in sports: don’t ever, ever, EVER book Justin Timberlake to host your ESPY Awards show again. Do it, and you’re doomed to be the laughingstock of cable, get verbally blasted by nerdy bloggers like myself, and possibly lose your entire viewing audience all together.
Because what’s worse than having a whiny R&B singin’ teeny boppin’ tenor host a major sports awards show? How about having a whiny R&B singin’ teeny boppin’ tenor host a major sports awards show while trying way too hard.
Look, personally, I have nothing against Justin Timberlake. I like some of his music. Love the Madonna duet. Laughed my tail off with the D**k in a Box song. All was well in Timberlake Town… until he took this gig hosting the ESPY Awards and broke new ground on being unbearably weird.
Forcing lines, being noticeably uncomfortable, reading scripted jokes without any knack of timing, being extremely awkward… and this was just in the first five minutes. I hung in there hoping, praying that he would reconcile his obvious out-of-touchness with sports in general by being genuinely charming or, god forbid, humble in his deliveries.
But no. Instead, he sang an 8 minute over-the-top song (that su<ked by the way) entitled “I Love Sports” which was supposed to show us everyday sport-lovin’ joes that indeed, Mr. Timberlake does love sports.
He really does. He sang a song about it! Did you see that? Justin Timberlake loves sports! And just like they kept saying during the show, Justin’s from Memphis… whoo hoo! Memphis! And… uh… yeah, they love sports in Memphis.
Poor, poor Memphis. Memphis was wronged.
And so were we US Americans who ordinarily enjoy watching this made-for-TV sports award show. Timberlake’s lack of subtlety and obvious blanket ignorance of the sporting world destroyed his on-air — ahem — performance. And why was there an R&B singer hosting this show in the first place? Was there a comedian shortage in Los Angeles? Give me Jimmy Kimmel. Bring back Jamie Foxx. Mathew Perry? Where was Lance Armstrong? At least he’s an athlete!
What will be next? Will Michael Jackson host the Heisman Trophy Award ceremony? Honestly, it couldn’t be much worse than what Timberlake did. At least we all know and expect Michael Jackson to be weird.
So all you Timberlake lovers out there, go back, watch the tape, and you’ll know why you shouldn’t hate me: ‘cuz I’m right.