Newsmaker News has learned that alt-country icon Jay Farrar will host the 2009 season of NBC's answer to American Idol, America's Got Talent.
Sources close to Farrar, the prime mover behind the seminal alt-country bands Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt, say he is excited about the opportunity. "I've got talent," said Farrar, "so it's a natural fit."
Farrar will replace current host Jerry Springer, who is stepping down to run for mayor of Cleveland. How Farrar will gel with the show's judges, especially the famously outspoken Sharon Osbourne and the cantankerous Piers Morgan, remains to be seen. Judge David Hasselhoff, however, will perhaps offer more rapport. "I'm a huge Gob Iron fan," said The Hoff.
Farrar, shown at left with pal Jeff Tweedy in 1989, is moving to Los Angeles to make himself completely available to the show's producers. As of post time, it was unclear if Farrar will sell his St. Louis-area farm, or rent it.
America's Got Talent executive producer Simon Cowell expects Farrar to make an immediate impact. "We expect ratings to go through the roof," Cowell said in a press conference introducing Jay to the media and everyone else in Los Angeles. "Whether we open every show with a couple acoustic numbers, or what, I don't know. Or maybe we rock out some." Cowell nudged Farrar and added, "Could be 'Whiskey Bottle' Jay? Ah? Ah?" Farrar said he would be honored.
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