“Total Request Live” no more

By now many of you heard that one of television’s most famous acronyms, TRL, is going off the air. The MTV show, known formally as Total Request Live, will have its final countdown in November after a 10-year run.

TRL has been the launching pad for music sensations such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and ’NSync. Today, the show is a must for any artist who wants to even touch the youth demographic. Performers such as Rihanna, Ashlee Simpson and “it” teen Miley Cyrus all make certain they pay TRL a visit when they head out on a promotional tour.

The MTV show was and is the place to go to find out which performer/band is hot. If you are a singer and there isn’t a swarm of teenagers fanatically screaming bloody murder outside the windows of the Time Square studio at your TRL appearance, then your band is just not hot.

One of the unique parts of the show is it let viewers interact. You want to hear “Hit Me Baby One More Time”? No problem. The show allowed viewers to email, text and call in requests. Although chances are that request won’t make it on the airways, but at least you know the spirit of democracy is alive and well at MTV.

TRL also gave us the freedom to communicate with each other through the generously supplied bottom half-inch of our television sets. Viewers at home could “shout out” to their peeps via scrolling text statements like: “Bette I LUV U 2!-Tina” or “K8 last nite wuz GR8!!!!” or “Mom, I’m gay!!” You would never see that on American Bandstand.

To keep the show keep fresh, we have witnessed numerous hosts come and go — some more memorable than others. Here is a look at a few of the women (and a couple of guys) that counted down our videos and suffered through the screaming teens:

Carson Daly

I would be completely remiss were I not to mention the man who started it all. I still miss seeing the black nail polish on his fingers and his tabloid antics with then-girlfriend Tara Reid. Luckily, he had to move on to more lucrative pastures and is now hosting his own late-night talk show.

Ananda Lewis

The girl had the looks, she was funny and she could back it up with smarts. MTV should have held on to this one. Ananda left MTV to pursue her own talk show in 2001, which sadly got canceled.


Oh come on — you remember Jesse Camp, right? Winner of MTV’s contest, “I Wanna Be A VJ”? Ah, yes, I can see the faint glimmer of memory in your eyes. After all, who can forget a head of hair like that? (Definitely not our girl Shane.)

Although his stint on TRL was short, Jesse did go on to pursue his musical aspirations and as far as I know, has never been heard from since. (Call us, Jesse!)

La La

The Brooklyn-born DJ-turned-VJ, La La Vasquez, ushered in some hip-hop cool to the MTV countdown. She has been a regular host of TRL as well as countless other MTV shows and specials.

Vanessa Minnillo

The hostess left TRL to become lady love of Nick Lachey, and has since become an Entertainment Tonight reporter and now an actress. OK, I’m a bit dizzy from all this talk of her career. Next VJ.

Hilarie Burton

The perky VJ found TRL to be a jumping-off point for her acting career, as she eventually landed the starring role of Peyton Sawyer on the CW’s One Tree Hill.

Susie Castillo

Miss USA 2003 (and current Neutrogena spokeswoman), Susie Castillo still manages to find time to be a VJ. With the end of the series upon her, I’m sure that will give her plenty of time to prep for whatever other ventures await her, whether it be acting or perhaps Mrs. USA.

Who were your favorite hosts on TRL? Are you sad to see this show go? Are you glad? Purge your thoughts in the comments below.