Lip Sync Battle host and producer LL Cool J wants to dedicate an episode to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who died last week at age 76.
The series, which pits celebrities against each to lip sync popular songs, has done multiple tribute episodes in the past for artists like Michael Jackson and Christina Aguilera. Now, a Franklin episode may be on the horizon.
About to wrap its fourth season, “Lip Sync Battle,” anchored by LL and his co-host Chrissy Teigen, has received three consecutive Emmy nominations for structured reality program, including one this year. Throughout its run on Spike, the program has featured several stars, including Anne Hathaway, Zendaya, Tom Holland, John Krasinski, Channing Tatum and Emily Blunt.
Here, LL Cool J chats with Variety about how the producers find talent, his personal highlights from the show, and a potential “Lip Sync Battle” tribute to Franklin.
This marks the third reality series Emmy nomination for “Lip Sync Battle.” What makes it so successful?
Honestly, we’re just having fun. I couldn’t tell you exactly what resonates with it because if I did, that would mean we had some type of formula. We’re just having fun, and it’s just nice that people are responding to what we’re doing, and people are recognizing it and watching it, and that’s a good thing.
What makes Chrissy Teigen a good co-host?
Chrissy is dope because she’s so cool. She tells it like it is. She doesn’t care too much, so that makes it fun.
You’ve had some iconic pairings on the show. How do you choose who to bring on?
I work really closely with [executive producers] Casey Patterson and Jay Peterson, and we talk about different people to bring to the show. If I need to make a call — ask friends if they want to come play with us — I’ll do that. They call people they know. It’s kind of like a family affair. We reach out to people, touch people, see if they want to come play and just have fun. The thing is, we don’t really take it too seriously. The only thing we take seriously is that we just want it to be entertaining, but other than that, we’re just having a good time with it. It’s more about chemistry — it’s like, who’s gonna to be exciting together? Who’s gonna be juicy? It’s like, are we gonna feel something? Are we gonna feel some energy? Are we gonna feel some electricity? Are we blending it? Is it oil and water or is it chocolate milk? In other words, we want something that’s gonna blend sometimes, and then sometimes we may want oil and water, according to who it is and what we’re looking for that week. We switch it up that way. That’s how we do it.
Is there anyone you haven’t had on the show yet that you really want to see do some lip syncing?
There’s quite a few people I’d love to have on there, but I don’t want to reveal it because I don’t want to sound thirsty because then they might say no. For real.