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TeeVee Awards '02: Worst Host

Last year, we gave our Worst Actor award to the horrid George Gray, who augured the destruction of the TV series Junkyard Wars, a perennial favorite around the TeeVee headquarters. Gray, an American simp brought in to replace the British Robert Llewellyn, was just the first step in that show's demise, followed by the ridiculous American contestants, the ever-increasing and wince-inducing puns, and finally the departure of series creator Cathy Rogers, who has been replaced by a new contestant gimmick and a former MTV veejay. Yuck.

But Gray was the beginning of the end, and so we took an acting award and gave it to him, the host of a basic cable game show series. Some took umbrage, pointing out that George Gray wasn't worth our wrath (wrong!) and that, more importantly, he wasn't an actor.

Fair enough. So this year, we inaugurate a new award: the George Gray award, or put another way, the Worst Host award.

Last year, we had never heard of Trading Spaces, another Americanized information show on TLC based on a British original. Like its progenitor Changing Rooms, Spaces is about two acquaintances designing a room in one another's houses. Although it can be entertaining, after you've watched a handful of them you realize that most of the designers are incompetent and their limited budgets force them to do shoddy work that likely won't last a week after the show's cameras depart for their next all-too-willing victims.

Okay, we've got some issues with this show, especially since it can't hold a candle to either the British original or its British spin-off, the gardening series Ground Force, both airing on BBC America.

But more than its premise, its stupefyingly stupid designers, and its atrocious and repetitive theme music, the thing we hate about Trading Spaces is Paige Davis. Davis, the show's host, is perky. Really perky. So perky that even Mary Hart would want to take an axe to her.

Worse, Davis brings her robotically creepy smile and attitude to the scenes of various design crimes, from the pointless demolition of an antique mantle in a classic bungalow to the famed fire-code-flouting cover-up of one contestant's beloved fireplace. No matter what the atrocity, Paige is more than happy to smile about it and gleefully detail the carnage.

Make no mistake: we dislike Paige Davis with the fire of a thousand burning suns. So much so, that not only did she remind us of George Gray, she forced us to create an award in his name, just so we could give it to her.

Additional contributions to this article by: Jason Snell.


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