If you were a teenager in the late 90s or early 2000s then you more than likely have a memory of rushing home from school to ensure you could catch all of MTV’s afternoon television program Total Request Live (TRL). Five days a week from 1998-2008 the show featured a top ten countdown of the hottest music videos. The show gained fame for its charming and “too cool for school” hosts known as Video Jockeys (VJs). Alongside the music videos, celebrity interviews and musical guests were sprinkled throughout the program. During its decade run, the show employed a wide range of VJs. While Carson Daly and LaLa Vazquez Anthony were handpicked by the network for their notoriety gained from their work in radio, others like Jesse Camp and Hilarie Burton won competitions that gained them a spot on the show. Recently the network has decided to revive the show. It premiered an updated version with new hosts and one major change: no music videos.
Today, some of those VJs are still hosting widely popular television shows, are active journalists, or are even working as transformational coaches. Carson Daly, the original host of TRL, can be found on the Today Show, The Voice, or Last Call with Carson Daly. Others, like Stephen Colletti, who originally got his start on the MTV documentary series, Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, has pulled out of the spotlight only to be seen at weddings. Almost two decades later, here is a look at where those beloved VJs are today.
15. Susie Castillo Now Mainly Works In The Pageant World
A former winner of the Miss USA contest, Susie Castillo joined the TRL team in 2004. In 2003, she won the Miss USA contestants, participating as Miss Massachusetts. She would go on to place 13th overall in the Miss Universe competition. In addition to TRL, she also hosted other shows on MTV like MTV Spring Break, Road Rules, and The Challenge. She left the network to pursue acting full time. She has had a few recurring roles, including one on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. Castillo works to promote several brands like Charlotte Russe, Neutrogena, and Palmolive. In addition, she has continued to host several shows. In 2008 she hosted the reality TV show America’s Prom Queen on ABC Family. She also co-hosted alongside Michael Flatley The Superstars of Dance, an NBC dance competition series. She’s maintained her participation in the pageant world by serving as a Miss USA Correspondent for Entertainment Tonight.
14. Lyndsey Rodrigues Works For Amazon As A TV Host
Lyndsey Rodrigues started hosting TRL in 2007 and stayed for its entire run. She is from Sydney, Australia. After TRL, she continued working for MTV and hosted some of their shows. In 2009 she was featured in a six-page spread for Men’s Style Magazine where she appeared topless. Then, she returned to Australia. There she hosted lifestyle shows, reported on the weather, and served as an on-air radio host. In 2010 she was appointed as the News and Entertainment presenter for BigPond Entertainment, a major player in the Australian media game. Today she works as a model, TV host, and actress out of New York City. Rodrigues is the host of Amazon’s daily fashion show, Style Code Live and for Cosmopolitan’s Sexy vs Skanky. She also serves as the New York correspondent for Axs Live TV and hosts many other live events throughout New York City.
13. Jesse Camp Is Trying To Make It As A Musician And Actor
In 1998, Jesse Camp beat out 5,000 other contestants (including future host Dave Holmes) in MTV’s first ever “Wanna Be a VJ” contest. Although the gig was supposed to only last for two weeks, Jesse Camp became such a hit that MTV kept him on for longer. He and his famous haystack styled hair served as co-host for TRL for a year and a half. He left the show in 1999 to sign a deal with Hollywood Records. The multi-million dollar deal was the biggest in Hollywood Records history at the time. Unfortunately, the album created as a result of this deal was a major flop. Despite his quick rise to fame, Camp’s debut album, Jesse & The 8th Street Kidz, did not even break the Billboard 200. After the album failure, Camp disappeared for a few years and is now back making music and trying out acting.
12. LaLa Vazquez Anthony Is Going Through A Messy Divorce, But Still Acting
LaLa Vazquez Anthony started her career while still in high school. At the age of 15, she hosted a radio show, Future Flavas with rapper and actor Ludacris. In 2001 she became a host for TRL, MTV Fashionably Loud, and Direct Effect. She left MTV in 2003 to start her own production company Krossover Productions. She then decided to try her hand at acting, and starred in the well-known film Think Like A Man, with Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson. In 2010 her own reality show premiered on VHI. La La’s Full Court Wedding chronicled the time leading up to her marriage to NBA player Carmelo Anthony. The follow-up to the series, La La’s Full Court Life, then followed the couple as they navigated the married life. The show ended in July 2014. Unfortunately, in 2017, she filed for separation due to allegations of infidelity. Today she continues to act in film and on TV.
11. Hilarie Burton Is Starring In The USA Network Show White Collar
When Hilarie Burton was a student in college, she won a contest that gave her the opportunity to interview celebrities for TRL on the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards. During the event, celebrities like U2 and Mandy Moore were happy to stop and give her an interview, but for some reason both Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears snubbed her. She handled the situation with such grace and humor that the network signed her on full time with TRL from 2000-2001. Then, Burton left the show to star as Peyton Sawyer in the hit television show One Tree Hill. The show went on for nine seasons but she left after just six. In 2010 she joined the cast of the USA network television series, White Collar. She has continued to act in several TV shows and movies. Recently, Burton has made headlines for an interaction that occurred with Ben Affleck during an episode of TRL. Affleck has since apologized for his inappropriate behavior.
10. John Norris Is Working As A Freelance Journalist
John Norris joined MTV as a writer in 1988. He became the anchor for MTV’s morning show in 2000. He was also a correspondent for a few years on MTV NEWS L.A. He moved to New York in 1998 and was promoted to senior correspondent on MTV News in 2000. From time to time, Norris would appear on TRL, dropping in to host when Carson Daly was out. He covered a bunch of topics on the show, from cultural events to political topics. He left MTV in 2008 but had a quick reappearance in 2009 to report on the death of Michael Jackson. In 2009 he helped to found the music website Noisevox. Since 2013 he has worked at the music channel Fuse as the supervising producer of “Fuse News.” He also works as a journalist, freelance writing for publications such as VICE, Entertainment Weekly, and Refinery 29.
9. SuChin Pak Is Hosting And Narrating For Documentary Films
SuChin Pak was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1976. She and her family immigrated to the United State in 1981. She got her start in television through a random interview with an ABC affiliate as part of their Straight Talk N’Teens series. In 2001, she joined MTV as a correspondent and VJ. She also hosted the MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Movie Awards, and Sundance Film Festival. In addition, she was the narrator the MTV documentary series True Life for five years as well as a few seasons of MTV Cribs. Today she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. Pak is the founder of an outdoor market that promotes artisan foods and crafts called Hester Street Fair in Manhattan. She hosted LifeTimeTV’s election night coverage for the 2016 election. In 2017, she started narrating for the Oxygen crime documentary TV series, Three Days to Live.
8. Quddus Is A “Transformational Coach” And Works With Charities
Benjamin Quddus Philippe, also known as Quddus, served as VJ on TRL from 2001-2006. The Toronto-born host started his career in broadcasting on by co-writing and hosting the Canadian youth show VOX. During his time on TRL, he conducted daily interviews with artists like Britney Spears and Usher. After leaving the network, he hosted Nickelodeon’s Dance on Sunset, served as a correspondent on Access Hollywood, and appeared on CSI: Miami. Another show he hosted was Duets on ABC along with hosts Robin Thicke, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, and Jennifer Nettles. A music lover at heart, he also became an artist and relations representative for Myspace Records. Recently, he has broken into the world of self-help and now spends his time serving as a transformational coach. He also works with the nonprofit, generocity.org, that focuses on poverty-stricken areas of Haiti and helps to provide clean water.
7. Carson Daly Works On The Voice And The Today Show
Growing up in California, Carson Daly was noticed by MTV while working as a radio DJ. The network first recruited him to host a summer program called Motel California. At the end of the summer, Daly relocated to New York for a permanent position hosting MTV Live and Total Request. From these two shows, TRL was born. Daly hosted the show from its premiere in 1998 to 2003 when he left the show to focus on his late night gig. Last Call with Carson Daly premiered in 2002 and still remains on the air today. Daly also hosts and executive produces the singing competition television show The Voice. For his role as producer, he has won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. If he wasn’t keeping busy enough after leaving TRL, Daly joined the cast of The Today Show as a social media reporter and occasional fill-in anchor.
6. Vanessa Minnillo Is On Dancing With The Stars And Married To Nick Lachey
Vanessa Minnillo Lachey was born in the Philippines. Her father was in the Air Force and moved her family around a lot. As a child, she went to eight different schools in the United States in nine years. In 1998 she won Miss Teen USA as a representative from South Carolina. She was also named Miss Congeniality in the South Carolina competition. From 2003 to 2007 she was a host on TRL. During that time she also hosted Miss Teen USA in 2004 and co-hosted Miss Universe in 2007. After leaving MTV, she hosted shows like True Beauty and guest starred on sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother. In 2011 she married ex-boy band star, Nick Lachey. The two now have three children, Camden, Brooklyn, and Phoenix. Recently, it was announced that she will be participating in the 25th season of Dancing with the Stars where she will be competing against her husband.
5. Dave Holmes Came Out As Gay And Has His Own Comedy Quiz Show
Originally the runner-up to winner Jesse Camp in MTV’s 1998 “Wanna be a VJ” contest, Dave Holmes was hired by MTV to conduct celebrity interviews. What truly made him stand out was his breadth of knowledge when it came to music trivia. After TRL, he went on to host other MTV shows like a Real World reunion special and Say What? Karaoke. In 2002 he announced himself a gay man in the magazine Out and contributed to the inspirational video “It Gets Better.” Today he hosts a daily video podcast, A Drink With Dave, and works on air at the television station, FX. He also hosts a comedy quiz show, International Waters, and has recently been in some Ford car commercials as well. In 2016, he published his first book. Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs is a memoir that describes his journey to self-acceptance.
4. Damien Fahey Is A Writer For Family Guy
Starting off as a radio DJ, Damien Fahey worked his way through the ranks on Boston’s top radio station KISS 108 FM before attending a casting call for MTV. The network loved him immediately. In 2002, he became the host of TRL when Carson Daly left the show to host his own late night show on NBC. He hosted the show for four years. After leaving MTV, he briefly was a guest host for CBS’s The Late Show. He has also co-hosted shows like Live With Regis and Kelly and even played with a band. In 2008, the Classic Futures released their debut album featuring Fahey on the drums. A man of many talents, Fahey has also ventured into writing. For MTV, he worked on the project Damien’s Other Show, which was a bi-weekly comedy sketch posted online. Today, he works as a writer for the cartoon Family Guy.
3. Stephen Colletti Has Stayed Out Of The Spotlight
Stephen Colletti got his start with MTV through the reality show, Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. The show followed Colletti and his other wealthy teenage friends around. He was only on the show for two seasons but also participated in its sequel series, The Hills, when he moved back to LA to pursue his acting career. This is when he had a brief stint as a VJ on TRL from 2004 to 2007. Colletti also starred as the love interest in Taylor Swift’s music video for her single “White Horse.” In 2007, he first debuted on One Tree Hill. He would maintain this recurring role for several seasons, until in 2010 he was promoted to be a core cast member for season eight. The series finale of the show debuted in 2012. Since the shows ending, he has remained relatively out of the spotlight only resurfacing at weddings from time to time.
2. Sway Calloway Hosts His Own Morning Show On Eminem’s Radio Channel
Sway Calloway, more commonly known as just Sway, grew up in Oakland, California where he gained local fame for rapping at San Francisco’s famous Pier 39. After high school, he and DJ King Tech teamed up to create an album. This album gained them their own radio show, The Wake Up Show. The duo continued to make music as the radio show, gained national popularity. In 2000, MTV approached Sway about hosting several shows including TRL. This new role brought a move to New York City which included DJ King Tech and the radio show following along as well. He left MTV in 2005 but then signed a contract with them in 2006 that included the ability to bring new projects in and produce programming. Today, he is the host of a morning weekday show Sway in the Morning on Eminem’s Sirius XM radio channel. The show originally launched in 2011.
1. Kurt Loder Has His Own Talkshow
Kurt Loder served as an MTV correspondent since 1987. Previously, he was an editor at Rolling Stone. He pioneered the series Week in Rock, which would transform into MTV News. He was already a network veteran by the time TRL premiered in the late 90s. When Kurt Cobain passed away, Loder was the one to interrupt regular programming to break the news. An MTV icon, he worked with the network until 2005. After MTV, Loder went on to guest star in several television shows like Kenan & Kel, The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, and Portlandia. He continues to be active in television, radio, and journalism. In 2017, he celebrated his 72nd birthday, making him the oldest of the MTV VJ alumni. Since 2016 he has hosted the music-based talkshow, True Stories, on Sirius XM radio. He also writes funny movie reviews for the online publication Reason.com.
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