Variety Interviews Tom Bergeron and Nigel Lithgow About “Good” Reality Shows

Sorry, I can’t come up with the titles that Vogue can. 🙂 This is a pretty darn good interview – I’ve put an excerpt below, but I recommend reading the whole thing over at Click teh link! Of course, there is a whole lotta IRONY in the very first paragraph… 😉


Variety: What makes for a good reality show?
Lythgoe: Honesty.
Bergeron: I agree. In the case of “Dancing” being a live show, the camera is very unforgiving. If there’s a dishonest emotion attempting to pass itself as sincerity, you’ll be found out. Honesty is what will endear you to and connect you to the viewer.
Lythgoe: And I think the more that stars now are going on to be judges, it’s tougher for them to be as honest as a Simon Cowell, for instance, who really didn’t give a damn if you liked him or not. You weren’t going to buy his records and you weren’t going to go to his concerts. Now I think when some of the celebrities go out there, they’re frightened they’re going to lose fans.
Bergeron: I think that’s true.
Lythgoe: None of your judges are worried about that. Len (Goodman) is always honest.
Bergeron: And Bruno (Tonioli), God knows what he’s on.
Lythgoe: He’s gotten more flamboyant!
Bergeron: I told him one time on the air, you’re about one emotion away from living in Pixar.
Lythgoe: That’s a great line.

Variety: What’s the hardest part of your jobs?
Bergeron: Waiting to do it again between seasons. Seriously. I’m never happier than when I can go on to that stage on a live TV show knowing that anything can happen. An Osmond faints, you go with it. This is going to be terrible for my next contract negotiation, but there’s no real hard part to my job. I love it.
Lythgoe: Being live and not knowing what you’re going to say until you see the kid dancing. And then realize that your mouth is a lot slower than your brain. And then the second hardest thing is sitting next to Mary Murphy. My ears bleed sometimes.
Bergeron: And our hearts for you.