We had the finale of Impress These Apes Season 7 last night. It's been a really great season of the show and the finale did not disappoint for spectacle, ninjas, and even some sincerity.
This was a milestone season for me. Like Erica, I've been on a journey with this show. The first season, I was just an encourager to Erica and the show's photographer. Season two, I was a contestant (and Erica, moving into a producer role with the show, did an amazing job of walking the tight-rope of being supportive and encouraging to me, while never ever giving me any sort of back channel information from the judges or about upcoming challenges. She's a cool customer, that one.) Seasons three, four, and five I too came into the production side and became more and more engaged with Blewt's other projects. Season six I became the co-host of the show, which is to say that I was basically an on-stage stagehand, with the opportunity to do some bits of lazzi whenever I thought it wouldn't be too distracting. I found it a really easy role to inhabit, because you really just spend 90% of the show standing around doing nothing. I had plenty of time to think up little bits of business and then discard them because the timing wasn't right. So when I would do something, it was usually something I'd had plenty of time to consider and polish in my head.
This season I became the host. I'm not going to say that the host has the hardest job on the show, since the contestants are the ones who have to actually, you know, perform. But as Nina Metz called out in her review this year, "the bigger issue is pacing, or the lack thereof. Host Fuzzy Gerdes is the one who determines just how fast or slow things will move, and let's hope he embraces the former." I don't even know if the show that she saw had any pacing problems, but I really took those words to heart and saw my role as mainly being a traffic cop. Hopefully a mildly amusing traffic cop, but mainly that. I think I did pretty OK this season, both at being mildly amusing., and at keeping this chaotic show from running too far off the rails. Mostly.