As the host of the new celebrity-real people dating show “The Choice” (Thursday, June 7 at 9/8c) the British-born “So You Think You Can Dance” emcee knows a thing or two about making a love connection. She says she knows when she’s met her match when someone can make her laugh. “Everything else kind of disappears, the face falls off, everything heads south, we all get old, and I think the one thing that you always have is somebody’s personality and their sense of humor,” Deeley told reporters. “That’s the key to everything.”
On the new Fox show, the Critics’ Choice Television Award nominee will shepherd singles one after the other onto the stage, where they will try to woo a panel of celebrity bachelors over the course of 30 seconds using nothing but their speaking voice—kind of like the blind auditions on “The Voice,” only without any discernible talent involved.
Deeley reminded everyone not to think too hard about the show’s premise. “It’s just a really fun, slightly silly, entertaining dating show that doesn’t take itself too seriously,” she said. “It’s hilarious.”
Preview “The Choice”:
Deeley says she was often surprised by the choices the celebs made. “Anybody within the public eye, you have preconceptions of what they’re going to be like and what their personality is going to be, and what types of girls they’ll go for,” she said. “I had the misconception that people like Pauly D and Rob Kardashian would be lotharios and would go for real party girls and wild girls, and actually they went for quite family-oriented girls.”
A future switch-up has Deeley presenting female celebrities with a bevy of male suitors. She said that Carmen Electra seriously hit it off with her pick. “Chemistry was literally palpable. It was like thunderbolt city, it was electric, and I felt like a bit of a gooseberry on the stage.”
Deeley is, of course, also on TV with her other show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” which just kicked off its ninth season. So far this year, she is most impressed with an Atlanta dance team called the Dragon House Crew, and someone else named Glitch. “It’s completely unique, completely different, and they are so impressive.”
Because of her busy schedule, Deeley admits she has to miss out on regular summer fun. “It’s busy, put it like that, very, very busy,” she said. “Most people at this time of year are off having vacations and oiling themselves up on some tropical island and the most difficult decision they have to make is whether to have a pina colada or a margarita with lunch, but I’m hosting two shows, which is pulling double-duty.”
At least, she says, the shows are different enough from one another that she never gets bored. “My role on ‘Dance’ is more cheerleader, a big sister, putting a comforting arm around contestants if the judge are a little bit negative, and on ‘The Choice,’ it’s a little bit more cheeky, a little bit more naughty, there’s a bit of a twinkle in the eye.”
Cheeky, sure, but flirty? Deeley’s linked to Irish comedian Patrick Kielty, but she says if she had to turn her chair around for one bachelor on the show, it would be for Taylor Hicks. In an upcoming episode, when a glitchy chair almost knocked her off the platform, Hicks saved her. “He’s got this Southern charm to him, and he made sure I was okay and sat me down on his lap and he was just a real gentleman,” explained Deeley. “He rescued me. He was my knight in shining armor.”
“The Choice” premieres on Thursday, June 7 at 9/8c on FOX.