Forget Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart.
My girl crush is "So You Think You Can Dance" host Cat Deeley.
Why, you ask? It’s certainly not that she’s tall, blond, model-thin and gorgeous. As girl crushes go, those attributes are enough usually to make me run in the other direction.
It’s not just because she could score me a night on the town with Twitch, drinks with Pasha, or a front row seat for a contemporary routine choreographed by Travis Wall.
No. It’s because it’s obvious from her effortless interviews, her encouraging tone, and sweetly genuine humor that she’d be the perfect bestie!
I'm also truly in awe of how amazing she is at her job. Once, I had to walk around with a microphone and camcorder, interviewing college students for a bicentennial celebration. It was hell. Coaxing coherent words or meaningful exchanges from people you hardly know? Impossible.
But Cat does it with a kind of ease that makes me think she was born for the SYTYCD stage. One glimpse of the preliminary auditions, with the wacky dressed-as-bird would-be dancer to the unstable-but-obviously talented formerly dissed dancer, would make most people shudder at the idea of interviewing them (or the odds of doing so successfully).
Not our Cat. She does it with warmth I wish I had with my actual friends, let alone strangers.
I haven’t had a lot of girl crushes in my time. (Does Tina Fey count? Because everyone seems to have a crush on her, so I think that cancels it out.) Mindy Kaling and Drew Barrymore do come to mind.
But with Cat, it’s different. I was thrilled when she was finally nominated for an Emmy, after being passed over every year from 2005 to 2010. As excited as I'd be if a close friend won. It wasn’t until 2011 that the sun-kissed actress and presenter was recognized for her onscreen charm and smooth, casual interviews. An injustice if there ever was one, especially since she makes it all look like nothing at all.
Other reasons to love Cat Deeley:
- She can rock a silver sequined romper. No one can do that.
- She is unafraid to be photographed eating. Holds up a fork over a massive filet mignon as if to say, “watch me.”
- That accent!
So here's my dream Girl-Day with Cat Deeley:
We’d start by scouring the boutiques at Portobello Road (did I mention we’re in London?) drinking tea and eating scones with our fingers along the way. Then, we’d head over to TopShop, because there are only, like, four of them in the U.S. and it’s the best store ever. There, she’d pull outfits she thinks would look “just divine!” on me, and drop them over the door of my dressing room. She’d give me sideways smile-frowns on the nays, and cheery thumbs ups on the yeas.
She buys bags full of clothing but, of course, tries on nothing, because anything and everything looks good on her. But, that’s okay. I’m not jealous. I’m happy for her, because we are such good friends!
Then, we’d go back to her flat and watch the Katee and Twitch door routine on video, and she’d give me the REAL scoop on what went down with Mia Michaels the season she was a judge.
Then, we go out for pizza and gelato, where Cat would dive into the meal with as much gusto as I. I forgive her for bemoaning how hard it is to “keep up” her weight because of her freakishly fast metabolism. “It’s been a problem since grammar school,” she sighs. “I had to drink milkshakes just to keep from fainting.”
In researching a bit about Cat (read: internet stalking) I find out another reason she is so cool: she was in band. You heard me, right. Cat Deeley was a band geek!
This surely accounts for part of her down-to-earthness. I’m just not sure she would be the same ol’ Cat if she had spent her youth on the cheerleading squad (sorry cheerleaders. But band geeks rule).
I like to imagine us as fourth graders, walking to band practice together. Her, knock-kneed, with clarinet case in hand. Me, pudgy, hoofing it with my trumpet in tow.
Just before this week’s episode of SYTYCD, as usual, at exactly 7:59pm, I go to the freezer and remove the frozen yogurt purchased earlier in the day, just for this moment.
I hear the “doo doo doo doo” and prepare myself, spoon in hand, for the ritual perfection that is SYTYCD viewed with a frozen treat.
And, there she is. Cat Deeley. Looking smashing in a short lemon yellow dress I could never pull off. But, she does, and instead of being jealous, I’m happy for her as I down another spoonful of frozen yogurt.
Maybe that’s the whole idea behind a girl crush, anyway: someone you look up to or admire, but could see yourself being friends, not enemies, with.