Trevor Noah returns as Grammy host with comfort, nervousness
Trevor Noah is more comfortable hosting the Grammy Awards for the third straight year, but the former The Daily Show host is still a little nervous about officiating the ceremony while big acts like Beyoncé, Adele and Harry Styles watch.
“The nerves come in because you’re not just standing in front of some of the best, you’re in front of some of the greatest artists in the world,” said the Emmy winner. Noah expects his diligent preparation to get him through Sunday’s show.
“Nerves are part of what I do,” said the comedian.
Noah returns for his third hosting stint at the Grammys, which will be broadcast live from the Crypto.com Arena on CBS and Paramount+ Sunday. The ceremony returns to Los Angeles after first moving to Las Vegas due to rising COVID-19 cases and the Omicron variant.
“I was relieved that Trevor came back because it makes my job more enjoyable and easier,” said Ben Winston, executive producer of the series. He called Noah a “complete pro” who he said could gracefully spin at any time on a night celebrating the best of music.
“He calms me down on a stressful night when a set isn’t set up on time and I say in his ear, ‘I’m sorry. You have to walk 90 seconds longer because Lady Gaga’s orchestra isn’t there. “He’ll just flow, joke, get up and sit at someone’s table and chat with them,” Winston said. “It’s a very difficult task that very few people could handle – and definitely not with his comedy and charm that Trevor has.”
Noah said each year hosting the Grammys has offered a different experience due to the logistical challenges arising from the pandemic. But he said the intimate but socially distanced in-person awards show in 2021 helped him bond with music stars — especially when he was telling his jokes.
Last year’s ceremony in Las Vegas was a hybrid model attended by fans.
“Every year I find myself developing a different relationship with the people in the room,” he said. “It opens you up for a few more jokes and a few more conversations in a way that people understand the context in which you’re relating to them. That means you can have a little fun without anyone feeling like you’re dipping on them.”
As a music fan, Noah is looking forward to seeing the popular artists who will take the stage including Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Sam Smith, Lizzo, Steve Lacy and Brandi Carlile.
Beyoncé goes into the awards show with nine leading nominations, including Nicks for the record and Song of the Year for her song “Break My Soul.” Kendrick Lamar has the second most nominations with eight, while Adele and Carlile enter the show with seven nominations.
Styles, Blige, Future, DJ Khaled, The-Dream and mastering engineer Randy Merrill each received six nominations.
“We love Trevor because he’s so damn good at it,” said Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. “He’s so personable, he’s so funny. I don’t know how he does what he does. He never stumbles, he never hesitates. He is always so serious and sincere. He’s also a music guy. You see him when he’s not in front of the camera. He sings, he dances, he raps. I feel like he’s one of us now.”
– Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press