The very first live “Lip Sync Battle” may be all about Michael Jackson — but it’s definitely going to star Chrissy Teigen.
The Queen of Twitter has been hosting the show with LL Cool J since it was first created in 2015, and executive producer Casey Patterson (who is a self-professed “Chrissy superfan”) tells TheWrap that the format of Thursday’s episode, which is being taped in real time at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, is going to be perfect for Teigen. After all, she is “the funniest person” she knows.
“She can just be herself,” Patterson says. “There is no script. She doesn’t rehearse. Her only job is to really enjoy the performances in real time and be surprised by seeing them, and seeing things the way fans see them. She represents the fans on stage.”
Patterson thought of Teigen when she was first developing the series with Jimmy Fallon, while the TV personality was still living in New York City with her husband John Legend.
“We had met socially and I certainly was following how funny and witty and good and charming she was with her fans on Twitter,” Patterson said of Teigen (who has over 9.62 million followers on the platform). “But she hadn’t done a lot of TV at that point. And because the show is meant to be, we know now it’s a great TV show, but it’s just as successful online and virally. And I thought Chrissy would be the perfect person to keep the energy where it is on the show and to stay engaged with the fans.”
“They talk to her in real time, she’s really, really connected to our fans online,” Patterson added. “So just given how important the viral nature of the show is, that was what we were thinking. And she was so funny in the context of Twitter and if you knew her, she is super funny. She really is the funniest person I know.”
“Lip Sync Battle Live: A Michael Jackson Celebration,” a tribute to the King of Pop, will launch the Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV) on Thursday night. Neil Patrick Harris, Taraji P. Henson, Hailee Steinfeld and Laverne Cox are all set to participate in the performance, which Patterson says is full of special effects and stunts, including pyrotechnics and jumping off buildings.
“Lip Sync Battle Live: A Michael Jackson Celebration,” will air on Thursday at 9/8 c on the Paramount Network.