#55: Brooke Burns
Host: Dog Eat Dog (June 2002 -
*Seidelman Note: This induction was written well before The Chase aired. Her hosting on The Chase was fantastic and she played off of The Beast quite well. It gave a different chemistry than what Bradley Walsh had with the rest of the chasers. You could tell she was more comfortable with this show than she was on the rest of the shows. It goes to show you how when you're around people who care about game shows, you get a quality product. Brooke Burns on this show was truly a quality product.*
I think I said this before in a previous induction. Hosting a game show has to be a really tough job. You have to know almost all the little nuances of the game being played, making the contestants feel at ease in front of all of the bright lights, cameras & the studio audience, granted if there is one, being a conduit and keeping the game moving and being sure that you know what you're doing at all times. It honestly takes more than a pretty face and a smoking hot body to host a game show. Sure, there are some cases where you can have both and be a great host. For example, Eric Nies did a fantastic job on Dance Fever USA and I think that Alison Sweeney from The Biggest Loser is also quite cute. However, sometimes production companies or networks will hire a host or hostess based on looks alone, and they forget all of the other details that make up a good host. More often than not, you'll wind up with someone who looks great, but ends up being stinkier than David Hasselhoff's Knight Rider jacket after a bad cheeseburger binge. One of the more recent examples of this is former Baywatch beauty, Brooke Burns.
Yes, that's her in her trademark Baywatch: Hawaii swimsuit alongside lesser Baywatch people Simmone Jade Mackinnon and Stacy Kamano. She played the role of Jessie Owens from 1998-2001 when the show was put out of its misery after being on the air for 11 years in syndication and NBC, having Baywatch: Nights & changing the title from Baywatch to Baywatch: Hawaii. Now, while she may be a horrid host, she's a damned good actress. Having starred in shows such as Out of the Blue, North Shore, Pepper Dennis and more recently the revival of Melrose Place. Her movie credits aren't bad either as she was in Shallow Hal, and a bunch of Direct to DVD movies that can be found at the bargain bin at your local Walgreens. Around the time of Baywatch's cancellation, NBC had a hit on their hands with the stunt game show, Fear Factor. The network was looking to pair up Fear Factor in the 2002 Summer Season with an import of the UK show, Dog Eat Dog. So, they tapped Brooke Burns to host the show.
And here's where things start to fall apart. For starters, she didn't seem like she was having a good time up on the stage, being thrown into a new environment brand new to her. Although she has had experience being on To Tell The Truth as a panelist & being on a Celebrity episode of Fear Factor with David Hasselhoff, Coolio, Donny Osmond, Joanie "Chyna" Laurer & Kelly Packard, that doesn't equate to being a good host. More often than not, you could actually see her reading the teleprompter or cue cards, whichever one they were using at the time. Not only that, it also sounded like she was bored reading the descriptions of the stunts the contestants had to perform, such as a Pendulum Swing, where they had to swing all the way around before the time expired, or having to answer a bunch of questions while running on a treadmill above ground or other fun things.
Oh yeah, the question reading. She has to be the slowest question reader for any show that I've seen. Yes, that includes Art Donovan on 2 Minute Drill. I swear, it takes her 20 seconds to read a 3 line question, that would take any normal person about 10 to do. Not only that, it takes her about 5 seconds to register a contestants answer into her head and say if they're right nor not. I don't know if she was prompted to do that, but somehow I think it was her. Even at the end game, she sounded like she was bored to death of reading the questions. Not only that, some of her stuff sounded like it was dubbed in, especially during certain stunts and explanations of events. To say that she was nervous at times was an understatement.
I think that's something she didn't like doing on that show, all that reading. Now I'm not ragging on her for being a stereotypical dumb blonde, she just doesn't seem like the one to want to read a bunch of questions or continuously plug Circuit City's big screen of death or whatever product plug she had to do with the clock. Another reason why she sounded burned out is because quite a bit of her audio was done in post, which is an absolute killer when you watch it at home, you could literally tell the difference and not be an expert in audio.
Yet, whenever we get to a game where it involves stripping, she's automatically entertained and ready to go. But then again, she's been around semi-nudity through most of her acting career with Baywatch and Shallow Hal. Even when the females have to take off clothing, she gets excited. Oddly enough, she gets really excited to the point of hearing-impairment screeching when she sends someone off to the dog pound with her trademark, "SEE YA!!!" That sound would make a dog run away in fear for its life. Either that or it was her mating call to Bruce Willis at the time. No, I'm not kidding, she actually was with Bruce Willis in 2003. Anyways, it's pretty much status quo aside from that, bland boring and uninterested.
The show was cancelled in 2003, with a few episodes left unaired. Those episodes would be aired when GSN picked up the reruns of the show and reran the show to death from 2004-2006. Anyways, Brooke would go back to acting until 2008 when FOX had the brilliant idea to make a show based on a 8 minute Japanese comedy show bit called Human Tetris. They called it Hole In The Wall. Apparently, the show spread like wildfire all over the world and had versions in England, Australia, among other places. Our version though, had Mark Thompson doing announcing and the host was Brooke Burns. So, did she learn from her first experience?
Nope. She's still bad. Instead of being overly excited for one bit, she's overly excited for the entire show. But thankfully for the people of FOX, her role was limited to talking to the contestants whereas Mark Thompson did the Play-by-Play and other major stuff. Unfortunately, I have to talk more about Brooke instead of Mark, who did a good job with what he had to work with. Brooke on the other had, couldn't find a normal tone if her life depended on it. It kinda made me miss the old, ill-at-ease, Brooke from Dog Eat Dog, because at least she wasn't so annoying there as she was here.
Not only that, she sounded like the wicked witch of the west when we got to the blind wall. She was taunting the contestants about how they weren't going to be able to see and that they were going to end up in the pool of cold water. You know, that's enough talking about this show. I'll get back to this in the future, along with Dog Eat Dog.
The show got dismal ratings, and during the football season, got bumped sometimes because of games that went into overtime in the east coast. So, in March of 2009, the show died a painless death with a few episodes left unaired. I think FOX Reality aired them, but I can't be sure about that. Brooke continued to do some DVD Movies and TV shows until a few months ago when she got the hosting gig for Oxygen's Hair Battle Spectacular.
Here is a weird twist for Brooke. In the non-audience part of the show, where she is just talking to the contestants about what they have to do, she's passable. She's just a talking head sort of deal, where she tells the contestants what they have to do with hair and how long they need to do it. Also, introducing some guest judges, like for example, B. Scott. I'm guessing B. is a hair stylist for Tyra and other shows of that ilk that do ambush makeovers and other fun stuff to make some down women happy again. Ahhh, the powers of semi-expensive clothing and the salon. So, not much to complain about here, but the show is a mediocre mish-mash of Project Runway and Shear Genius, so there ya go. Show: Explained.
On second thought, when she gets in front of the live audience at the end of the show where the contestants reveal their hairstyles, she's back to the annoying, lousy hosting Brooke Burns. However, this time she has some goofy looking hairstyle that would make B. Scott himself take Sheep Shears and buzz that monstrosity off of her head, leaving her balder than Sinead O'Connor. I can't believe what I just typed out, so I'm just going to give my final take on that hairdo.
Thank you High.
In closing, while Brooke Burns is a fine actress, her hosting has much to be desired. Sure she's hot, but her hosting will leave you colder than the pools on Dog Eat Dog and Hole In The Wall. When she talks in a normal voice without the bright lights, she's decent. But with the big studio and loud audiences, she's horrid. That's pretty much all I got left for this one. I'm sure I'll be getting some info from B. Scott fans in my inbox, but that's because I don't really follow much talk shows or info-tainment shows out there like Extra or Access: Hollywood.
That ends 2010. Hopefully you all have a great holiday season and we'll try to make 2011 a bit better for you all.
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