Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hostess Musical Chairs

Shanna HiattCourtney FrielSabina GadeckiLayla Kayleigh

Much in the same way Chris Moneymaker fueled the online poker explosion, the World Poker Tour fueled the TV poker scene. Aside from the table action and entertaining commentary the primary reason to watch this program was Shanna Hiatt. Her girl next door looks and charming demeanor won the lustful hearts of many youthful (and dirty old) viewers. It also didn't hurt that Shanna was a former Playboy model with photos easily accessible on the internet. Unfortunately the end of season three also brought the end of Shanna's rein on the WPT.

Cue Courtney Friel. With big shoes to fill Courtney never quite managed to fit in. She was a stiff interviewer and always looked like she was trying too hard. The players as well as the viewers never warmed up to her and after only one season she was gone.

Hopes were high when Sabina Gadecki stepped in for the fifth season. Bringing back the girl next door charm and free spirit she hasn't had enough airtime yet for the fans to make a judgement. Conversely the players had a full season with her and many, if not all, really liked her.

The WPT apparently did not and have replaced her with yet another hostess. Layla Kayleigh brings some television experience to the table via her stints on the G4 network. With knockout looks and a british accent the fanboys should be aplenty. Time will tell if she fits in but I'm thinking she won't. Early interviews seem to point to this just being a stepping stone she can use for exposure. Also having seen her on G4 in the past she has a tendency to let her bitchy side through on occasion.

I don't believe the music has stopped playing so look for a new hostess next year as the game continues.