Ken Tucker
July 25, 2008 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Cat Deeley’s Emmy snub

When Emmy nominations were announced, one name was unaccountably missing in the new category of best reality-show host: Cat Deeley, the bubbly-smart, sexy-silly presenter (as they call ’em in her native England) of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance. Hey, I like Dancing With the Stars‘ affably tart nominee Tom Bergeron, but Cat’s one cool kitten.

Her talent is saucily authentic amid a glitteringly contrived, formatted-down-to-the-last-second show. I don’t know enough about British regional and class accents to parse Deeley’s West Midlands pronunciation, but her trademarks — calling the judges ”jidges” and enthusiastically slurring the show’s title as ”So Ya Thinkyakin Dance!” — are, miraculously, not yet irritating. (Unlike the ever-longer pauses Ryan Seacrest takes uttering ”This…is American Idol!”: verbal tic, or grounds for justifiable manslaughter?)

The 31-year-old ex-model sometimes dresses in elegant hooker chic; other times, she’s decked out like She-Ra, Princess of Power. Either way, Deeley actually listens, banters spontaneously, and permits very sweaty contestants to hug her. She’s TV’s super-trouper.

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