Last episode was a success that came from something that should have been a failure. Tonight’s is something that, on all accounts, looks like an absolutely classic episode. Josh Groban, NMTB musician panelist king, is Guest Hosting. The panel is filled with three panelists that have ruled this show in the past- KT Tunstall, who, along with Lauren Laverne and Phill gave one of the best panels of the Simon era; Michael Ball, who combined his Turnblad power with Phill to create a truly unforgettable duo; and Tinchy ‘DE KNICKAZ’ Strider, who had a nice time being screwed with about his height. Also here is Charlie Baker, apparently an Austin Powers lookalike, bringing back the ‘requisite unknown comic’ trope of old. I’m excited. Let’s go.
Josh is already reading the autocue like a pro, and is really happy and loose, right off the bat. This might be a good one.
Also, I already know the answer to the Kings of Leon question- they were shat on by birds, and it was absolutely hysterical.
After Tinchy says he’s afraid of bears, and would stop a gig if he saw one in the audience
Phill: “Where’s your next gig?”
Tinchy: “Shepherd’s Bush”
Phill: “There’s a kind of bear you might get in Shepherd’s Bush…”
Noel: “you know for a FACT that I’m coming to Shepherd’s Bush dressed as a bear, now…”
Tinchy talks about the time where he got double-vision before a gig and carried on anyway.
Phill: “You went out there and pretended that you were playing to twice as many people…”MAN, I AM *CRUSHING* this gig, look at ’em all!”
Noel & KT: “TWO BEARS!!!”
Josh: “You do have a new album coming out called Third Reich.”
Tinchy: “Third Strike, yeah.”
Josh: [confusedly shifts cards back]
Josh mentions Beliebers for the first time on NMTB
Phill: “You got any fans?”
Josh: “I do have some fans called Grobanites”
[LOUD WAILING FROM THE BACK OF THE AUDIENCE]
Charlie: “…are there any in?”
KT, on Bieber: “This is what happened to Aled Jones. Angel child, everyone loved him. Balls dropped.”
Michael, changing tone: “Walking in the AAAAAAAIIIIR…”
Phill: ‘I’d love to have been at that gig…”
Charlie says that Josh would make an excellent rapper.
Tinchy: “Why J-Gro?”
Josh: “Because- I dunno if you caught at the beginning- My name is Josh Groban.”
Josh complains he doesn’t feel cool enough tonight.
Phill: “Look, Josh. Some artists are cool, and make people feel rock’n’roll, and some artists make ladies ovulate. Somebody has to do that ninja thing you do with your hand, look into the camera and make their ovaries twitch…”
Josh: “…oh, gosh…”
Phill: “He just reversed my vasectomy, ladies and gentlemen…”
Phill and a Hooded Tinchy doing Metallica’s Enter Sandman is a pretty nice intro, even though Phill had to do most of the heavy lifting.
Michael, in giving KT a hint, seems to think that ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ was by Foreigner…and Noel has to say ‘…no, that’s the wrong band…’. Michael has to have this sort of embarrassed realization, too.
KT doesn’t know the song, but says to Josh: “You be the voice of reason.”
Josh: “…I be the voice of REASON?”
Noel: “Could everybody just stop talking in riddles! I’m having a panic attack!”
Josh: “Michael, that was really, really spectacular!”
Michael: “Yeah, well it’s what I do…”
Noel: “Uh, hello, can you see me? I mean, am I invisible to you? I’ve got a red top hat on, and a fur coat on!”
Tinchy: “…that’s in loads of songs, man…”
Josh: “Suddenly I see”
KT, melodically: “That this is whaaaat I WAAAAANT TO BEEEE…”
Josh: “Aw, you Grobanated that one…”
This is great- the whole show, whenever Josh tries to sing, Phill basically says “HEY- HOST NOW, SING LATER”, and he keeps this going.
At the very end of the show, Josh gets up and asks to sing ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ with Michael Ball, as a huge fan of Ball’s. He agrees.
Josh: “Great. Phill? Fuck off!”
The actual finale, with Josh and Michael singing in front of a gospel choir while Phill dramatically reacts in the background, is something to be beheld, and is pretty chill-inducing. Plus, it’s a great moment for both Josh and Michael as NMTB veterans.
Overall: I may not have written a lot down, but this episode was something pretty special, on the account of the entire panel, the regulars, AND Josh all giving grade-A material, and it just being a fun, “truly moving” episode. I think the strongest guest was Michael Ball, though Tinchy was great bouncing off of people, KT, as usual, was a great character and personality, and Charlie had some nice lines. Josh, as promised, was an absolute professional as guest host, giving the show energy, charisma, and tons of great moments.
Guest Host Rating: 10/10. Encore!
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Michael
Best Runner: The ovary exploding hand.