By Emma Simonoff
Here is a list of reality competition hosts and their role in their show’s hypothetical family.
Jeff Probst: The rich uncle
“Survivor” host Jeff Probst is that combination of down-to-earth and detached person who says, “We’re family but we’re not friends.” He’s on the family vacation, but he’s staying at a nicer hotel and he’ll only drop in every three days or so to start a fight and leave again. Probst makes fun of everyone. He gives contestants a lot of flack for falling off a totem pole in the middle of the ocean or not being able to eat a cup of blended sardines, but they wouldn’t dare dish it back to Probst. He’s extremely wealthy, but you wouldn’t know that from just looking at him. He’s worn the same three button-downs for the past 40 seasons — and no one will have anything to say about it.
Heidi Klum: The stepmother
Even though Heidi Klum, former host of “Project Runway,” is your dad’s second wife, if you ever call her “mom” she will make sure you’re written out of the will. She’ll tell you that you suck and you must be blind because your dress made of garbage looks like trash, but she’ll do it with German-supermodel-step-mom charm. Being judged by her is an honor.
Laura Whitmore: Your brother’s hot girlfriend
Laura Whitmore, host of “Love Island,” is that aloof, beautiful girlfriend you barely know and desperately want to impress. Over the 36 episodes of “Love Island” season six, Whitmore stepped into the Villa approximately four times, hair blowing in the fake wind, to dump some poor saps from the island. Whitmore will grace a family holiday party with her presence once or twice a year, act like you’re best friends and then pretend you don’t exist until next Thanksgiving.
Padma Lakshmi: The cool young aunt
Padma Lakshmi, the host of “Top Chef,” is your mom’s cooler, more successful younger sister. Lakshmi was tougher in the early days of “Top Chef” — like Klum but meaner. She loosened up over the seasons, cooking with the contestants, making blindfold jokes, drinking champagne. She’s that glamorous aunt you wait all year to visit because she takes you shopping and lets you try her martini. The highest compliment is for her to sound even a little sad when she tells you to “please pack your knives and go.”
Tyra Banks: The sister/mom
As the host of “America’s Next Top Model,” Tyra Banks is the Lorelai Gilmore of reality competition hosts. Every model on ANTM is her daughter and also her best friend. She’s perfected the tough-love sandwich. She’ll tell you you’re the best model in the entire world, then say you have a freak neck and then hug you so hard you forget all about the neck thing.
The hosts of “The Great British Baking Show”: The supportive parents
Probably the closest to their contestants, the various hosts of “The Great British Baking Show” all seem to genuinely enjoy hanging out with the bakers and want them all to win. The GBBS hosts never pick a favorite contestant — though they probably have one. They’re always there for a shoulder to cry on, an inspiring pep talk and some friendly razzing. And, of course, so, so many puns.