With the American Music Awards coming up on Sunday, Nov. 20, supermodel Gigi Hadid and Saturday Night Live alum Jay Pharoah plan to take their hosting gig to new heights with impressions, musical numbers and plenty of surprises throughout the show.
But before the first-time hosts launched into rehearsals, Hadid sat down with Billboard on Wednesday (Nov. 9) to reveal what she has in store for the show.
What goes through your mind when you think about the fact that you’re going to co-host the American Music Awards?
Being an American Music Awards host — I’m excited, a little nervous, but I think that’s important. If I’m nervous until rehearsal, that’s good, and if I’m nervous after rehearsal, I don’t know if that’s as good. I usually just try and have a good rehearsal and have it be positive and fun, but also get out the kinks that you’re worried about, because then you can just have fun. It also moves so quickly once the show starts that you just have to know what you’re doing.
You previously hosted the Much Music Video Awards in Canada earlier this year, and this is your American awards show host debut. How did hosting the MMVAs help you prepare for the AMAs?
It was the perfect first dance. I got to do it in front of fans, which is the most supportive, warm welcoming, loud crowd you could ever ask for. I think that now being able to do it with Jay, who’s obviously so funny, is so great. Hosting a show obviously isn’t only about doing the things that are scripted, but also being able to pick things up if a little thing goes wrong and be able to really carry the show. To have comedy involved with that aspect of it is always a great thing, and I’m really excited to take Jay’s lead and direction in what he’s writing for us.
Jay Pharaoh is notorious for his impressions, especially his impersonations of President Obama and Jay Z. What’s your best musical impression?
Well, first, I hope that Jay challenges me with impressions, because I would have a lot of fun doing something like that. Second, the ones that I do have under my belt I think I need to keep as a surprise because I don’t know if I will use all of them.
Are there any other surprises in store besides your impressions?
Jay and I might break into a musical little thing, but I can’t promise anything. We’re having our first meeting today and we have a lot of fun ideas.
When it comes to your onstage wardrobe, do you have any style inspirations at the moment to help you decide which outfits to pick?
I’m inspired once I see the clothes. I think it’s very important to go with what makes you excited at first. I think what you’re drawn to is usually what will make you feel good. I don’t want to force any that I don’t like, but I do want to do as many outfits as I can that I think will be a crowd-pleaser.
I don’t know yet, wow. To be the winner’s girlfriend, you don’t want to embarrass them, but you also want to be super excited for them. I’m just going to try and not be the embarrassing girlfriend. That’s my goal.
— Gigi Hadid (@GiGiHadid) October 11, 2016
Do you have any songs lined up that will help get you excited for the AMAs?
I’m planning to listen to all the performers so that I get pumped and know all the words. It’s very important at an awards show to know all the lyrics to the songs.