Carson Daly, hosting Total Request Live from outside of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, and 98 Degrees bumped up the excitement level.
By PAMELA DAVIS
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 28, 2001
TAMPA -- Cue the applause. Cue the screams. Cue the Carson Daly.
Daly, host of MTV's hugely popular Total Request Live, was the centerpiece of the TV show's live broadcast from the NFL Experience Saturday.
Only musical guests 98 Degrees drew louder screams than Daly, who was wearing a New York Giants jersey.
About 2,000 locals, hand-picked by MTV, made up the show's audience. They shook their MTV-supplied pompoms, proudly raised their homemade signs and screamed their heads off. Bloomingdale High School cheerleaders were on hand to flank a pathway for guests making their way to the stage.
Private parties throughout the city were the hot spots of the evening, but on Saturday afternoon, the TRL broadcast was the place to be.
Unlike a regular TRL show, which counts down the top 10 videos based on viewer votes, Saturday's videos were chosen with a football throw.
For the show's second video, the MTV staff pulled 18-year-old University of South Florida student Shawnte James out of the audience to make the toss. James wore a bright yellow T-shirt with "Carson's #1 fan" handwritten on the back and a homemade sign that read: "Forget videos, I request Carson."
An ultimate TRL fan who scheduled her college courses around the show's 4 p.m. airtime, James said she watches TRL every day. Being next to him on stage was a dream come true.
"Oh my gosh, it was so awesome. Carson made me feel so comfortable. He was soooo cool about everything. I love Carson Daly."
Tampa residents Juan Daniel de la Guardia, 20, and Matt Carter, 18, also were whisked on stage for their chance at hitting the video wall with a football. Carter's first throw earned him an autographed football jersey when he hit the prize category.
Actor Jerry O'Connell (Jerry Maguire) and singer Eve were two of Saturday's guests, but it was boy group 98 Degrees who were the highlight of the show with a live performance of their song My Everything.
"We've been here a few other times. This is a beautiful city," 98 Degrees member Jeff Timmons said. "The people here are great and it's a lot of fun."