“Wayne Brady was such a great host. He’s a triple threat – he sings, he dances, he does improv. He goes onstage in Las Vegas with no material and does 90 minutes, and kills,” gushes the amiable Sugar Ray frontman. “But then they told me they were going to strip the show down to a half hour and what they needed was sort of a gatekeeper with enthusiasm. That I could do.”
In fact, McGrath proved his encyclopedic memory for lyrics as a three-time winner on “Rock ‘n’ Roll Jeopardy” on VH1, and he served as a lifeline on Brady’s old hour-long incarnation of “Don’t Forget the Lyrics.” And, as “Extra” viewers and Sugar Ray fans are well aware, he has charm to spare. Still, he says, “They took a leap of faith with me” for the show that premieres five days a week in syndication and on VH1 starting next Monday (9/20).
McGrath, who calls the competition “karaoke with consequences,” tells us, “The most surprising thing to me has been the caliber of contestants…I’m blown away by their talent.”
The rocker is keeping super busy at home these days as well, with his and fiancée Carin Kingsland’s four-month-old twins. They’re already very distinct little personalities, according to Dad. “One’s a little more needy, on the verge of being whiny – my boy, Lydon. He needs to eat first.” He laughs. And daughter Hartley, “She is just the sweetest thing, a happy little baby. She wakes up with a smile, goes to sleep with a smile – and when she’s dreaming she smiles.”