The past few months have been a game-changer for Scott Evans.
The former local TV news reporter was recently promoted to full-time hosting duties on NBC-produced Access Live, and tonight he made his debut as host of the network’s reality competition series, World of Dance.
Evans sat down with Urban Hollywood 411 at the Access studios in Universal City, Calif., for an exclusive interview on how he landed the World of Dance hosting gig.
Dancing has always been in Evans’ blood. He tried out for So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Next Dance Crew after college, and later dreamed of a role on World of Dance.
“It was a dream of mine to work on this show when it was first announced a few years ago, when it was just Jennifer Lopez attached,” he said.
With several years of reporting and anchoring experience under his belt, he tried out for a chance to host World of Dance, or serve as a social media correspondent on the show. Things didn’t work out back then. Fast forward to the American Music Awards in October 2018, and everything changed.
“The only reason I got a ticket into the American Music Awards was because I was asked to co-host the pre-show on YouTube for Dick Clark productions,” he said.
Fortunately, that ticket came with a prime seating assignment near Jennifer Lopez’s vocal coach, Stevie Mackey, and World of Dance executive producers Benny Medina and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.
Evans said he was showing off his vocal skills to Mackey and horsing around, when he caught Medina’s attention.
“I was just having a ball, excited about where I was in my life, experiencing something I had never experienced and sharing my excitement,” he said.
The following Monday, he got a call saying someone from World of Dance wanted to meet with him.
After impressing Medina, Goldsmith-Thomas, and two other NBC executives in the meeting, Evans was hired to replace Jenna Dewan, who hosted the series the first two seasons.
“I found myself in the right place, at the right time when they said they were not going to move on with a host, and Jenna Dewan was going to come back as a mentor, because her schedule was becoming too demanding to do the full hosting gig,” Evans recalled.
He admits he was nervous that first day on set. But Lopez — who serves as a judge with Derek Hough and Ne-Yo, and co-executive produces the show — broke the ice by handing him a bedazzled microphone.
“She walks over me and said ‘this is something shiny for you, because we’ve been waiting for you. We all have a light to shine on this show. We’re expecting yours to be bright,” Evans said Lopez told him.
Now he’s seizing the chance to shine in primetime.