Jonathan Bennett on MTV’s Copycat, Being the New Carson Daly, and His Broner For Matthew McConaughey — Exclusive
Remember when MTV was all about music? When TRL was the coolest show on TV? The network is looking to get some of their music mojo back with Copycat, a 30-minute singing competition series with a twist. Hosted by Jonathan Bennett — aka our eternal crush Aaron Samuels (yes, from Mean Girls) — Copycat aims to reward fanatics who best embody their musical icon with a $5,000 cash prize.
Wetpaint chatted with Jonathan about the new series, how he plans to become the next Carson Daly, and other important things like kale, chaps, and karaoke.
Wetpaint Entertainment: You used to live in New York, and now you’re an LA guy. What are your thoughts on kale?
Jonathan Bennett: It’s so funny because I’m actually drinking a kale, ginger, beet root, goat piss smoothie as I’m on the phone with you. It’s the new thing. A Kardashian did it, so I now I do it.
That’s a good life motto! OK, so let’s talk about Copycat. This is a really fun show. It doesn’t take itself too seriously like so many singing competition series. Did you have a lot of fun filming it?
The thing I’m most excited about — and I don’t know how old you are — but there’s a lot of people who miss music being on MTV. We are bringing the music back to MTV! Jonathan Bennett is solely responsible for bringing the music back. I’m like a little prophet, really.
So you’re the new Carson Daly?
Move over Carson, there’s a new boy in town. That’s a good quote, right? You know, it’s a fun show. We don’t take ourselves seriously. We’re not here to find the best singers in the world. We’re here to find the biggest super fans and have a good time. That’s what we’re here for.
So which artist would get you out on that stage?
I would go country, I think. I would do Zac Brown or Toby Keith or Kenny Chesney — one of those people. Mainly because I would hope that I’d make it to the elimination round when you get transformed into your idol. Then I could wear a big belt buckle, hat, and boots because any excuse to wear a big belt buckle and cowboy boots, I’m all about it. I want a huge Stetson because you know what they say, the bigger the hat… the bigger the buckle.
And maybe some chaps?
Yes. Right. As long as they were assless, I would 100 percent wear them.
Did you grow up listening to country music?
I love country music. I grew up in Tennessee, and that’s what you listen to when you’re in the south. Literally, that’s all there is.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“Friends in Low Places” hands down, no question! I’m a horrible singer. In fact, you’re never going to hear me sing on the show because I really care about the MTV audience a lot and I don’t want them to bleed out of their ears. So I will never sing on the show. But if I do go to karaoke, I will always sing “Friends in Low Places” because it’s a crowd-pleaser. The trick is, you get all of your friends drunk and then when you start [singing] “blame it all on my roots,” everyone just chimes in with you so no one will realize that you’re not singing because they’re all wasted and singing the song for you. That, and “La Bamba.” That’s also a great karaoke song. But I don’t say the real words. I just sing what I think it sounds like. So I’ll be like, “La la la la La Bamba.” Those are not the real words.
Let’s talk about FOMO because I actually just learned what it was.
I have the worst FOMO! I have the biggest FOMO of anyone I’ve ever met. OK, so my friends will call me and start laughing, and then they’ll catch their breath and say, ‘Oh, what’s up Jonathan?” And I’ll say, “What are you guys laughing about?” And they’re like, “Oh, nothing. Something really funny just happened. You don’t need to worry about it.” And then they won’t tell me what happened! They’ll be laughing about nothing, pretending to have the best time, just because they know I’m not there. Do you know what a broner is?
Broner? I have no idea what that is.
It’s like when you have a boner for one of your bros. That’s the new one I just learned.
Do you get broners often?
Yeah, I get broners all the time. I have a friend who’s in a show, and I saw his face on a bus, and I was like, “I have a broner for you right now.”
Do you have a celebrity broner?
Oh, totally! My celebrity broner would probably be Matthew McConaughey for sure. But which McConaughey do you want? 1981 McConaughey is different than 2007 McConaughey. We’re not talking about Failure to Launch. You know ratchet is a word now, too.
I know ratchet! I know that one very well.
Let me tell you this. So during the show — true behind the scenes story right now — one of the contestants called the other girl a “ratchet bitch.” And the producers heard ratchet not knowing that ratchet was a word people use, and they kept having me re-ask her what she just said to get a clean version of wretched. This went on for five minutes, and then finally, I looked in the camera and said, “Guys, ratchet is a word!” They thought she was trying to say wretched! I was like, no, it’s ratchet. Google it!
OK, so give us a tease for Copycat. Why should we tune in?
You never know what you’re going to see when the lights come up. And watching these super fans fight it out on stage is hysterical.
Catch the premiere of Copycat on Monday, June 2 at 3 p.m. ET on MTV.
Crystal Bell is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident fangirl for all things Pretty Little Liars. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!