She’s in the top 10! Dena Blizzard would bring ‘Jersey attitude’ as Kelly Ripa co-host
Former Miss New Jersey Dena Blizzard is looking for a co-host for her weekly Facebook live show — the one she broadcasts from her kitchen — with her mom. Turns out, syndicated morning-show star Kelly Ripa is also looking for a co-host, but for a slightly larger audience — one with millions of daily viewers.
If the stars align later this week, Blizzard's dream of becoming a national talk show host could be closer to coming true and the two female comedians could share the stage on "Live with Kelly." Blizzard, a New Jersey 101.5 fill-in host, is one of 10 finalists hoping to fill the seat that was vacated this year by former New York Giant Michael Strahan, who had co-hosted the show since 2012.
“It’s crazy. This is a job that I’ve always wanted," said Blizzard.
Blizzard, a New Jersey native, gained national recognition this summer for her viral video "Chardonnay Go!" — a spoof on the "Pokemon Go" craze. Since the summer, the video of the New Jersey mom hunting for glasses of chardonnay in her neighborhood has been viewed more than 23 million times.
Blizzard’s comedy isn’t confined to the Internet, however. She’s also the star of a one-woman, 90-minute off-Broadway show called “One Funny Mother” that highlights the trials and tribulations of motherhood. During the show, Blizzard covers topics ranging from carpools and laundry to bath time, and she describes herself as the self-proclaimed mayor of “crazy town.”
But after 14 years of doing comedy, Blizzard said she's more than ready to make the move out of her kitchen and onto daytime television if she's chosen as Ripa's co-host. She said she's excited by the prospect of bringing her sarcastic, witty brand of humor to "Live."
"I mean, no one is ever gonna walk in my kitchen and be like 'man, I heard you playing the kitchen, you were awesome,'” she jokes.
In her audition video for "Live with Kelly," Blizzard said she'd love to be Ripa's co-host for various reasons, one of which entails avoiding household chores.
"I'd love to be your co-host because then I wouldn't have to do dishes, and I'd shower for you...like, it would be very exciting."
The top 10 finalists were announced Tuesday night from a previous pool of 40 contestants. Blizzard said friends encouraged her to submit a video and she's excited to have made it this far in the audition process. She said she'll feel like she's "made it" even if she makes it no further than the top five.
On Wednesday, Blizzard was scheduled to be interviewed via Skype by the show's staff. The top five will be announced Friday. Those five finalists will head to New York for another interview with Ripa and her guest co-host. They will also take part in various challenges that the public will vote on. The winner will then be announced on Oct. 21.
Blizzard explained that the winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to New York, which is exciting but not much of a trip.
"I'm like, 'You're gonna pay my tolls? Awesome.'"
Kidding aside (sort of), Blizzard's goal is to bring a bit of New Jersey flair to the national talk show. But if her mother has anything to say about it, that's not all she'll be bringing.
"The unique thing that I’ll be bringing is my mom, because my mom thinks she’s also in the running," she said. "A Jersey attitude and an Italian mother, that's what I'll bring with me."
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.