|What to Expect From Oscar Host Ellen DeGeneres|
|By LUCHINA FISHER (@luchina)||Feb 28, 2014, 2:26 PM|
A lot has changed in the seven years since Ellen DeGeneres last hosted the Oscars.
Her daytime talk show, now in its 11th season, leads in the ratings. She's one of the top television personalities on Twitter with 24.4 million followers. And she is happily married to actress Portia de Rossi.
"People want to see her, they are excited to see her," said Yahoo! TV editor Maggie Furlong. "She's a host who people let into their living rooms every day. Her show has been very good training for this."
Her first time hosting the Oscars, DeGeneres was roundly praised. About the only complaint was that there wasn't enough of her.
But DeGeneres, now 56, wasn't exactly eager to take the gig for a second time.
"I really thought, 'Why do I want to add that to my plate?' I've done it before, and it's scary as hell," she told The New York Times in January. "If you do great, the reaction is that you were good. Not great -- good. If you don't do well, they just tear you apart, and they never let you forget it."
"It's a tough audience," she added. "It's people who are jaded. To try to entertain them and make them laugh and make them relax and make them feel good is a challenge."
So why, with everything in her life going so smoothly, host the Oscars now?
"I thought why not challenge myself? I'm comfortable right now and it's never good to be comfortable as a performer," she told People recently. "Hosting the Oscars is pretty much the scariest thing you can do. To me, this is right up there with bungee jumping!"
This time around, DeGeneres is feeling much more confident.
"I used to care so deeply about what people thought of me," she told the Times. "I just wanted to be liked. Now, I care that people get me. I want to be understood."
Furlong believes DeGeneres should have no problem with people "getting her," unlike last year's Seth MacFarlane, who drew mixed reviews.
"She's never been a mean-spirited comedian," Furlong said. "She's very good at toeing the line between being edgy and sweet."
DeGeneres told the Times she thinks the show should be "classy."
"It's the Academy Awards. It's prestigious. It should be sophisticated," she said. "It has lately turned into something that's a little more about the clothes than the performances, and I will comment on that."
And what would the Oscars be without a little song and dance. Expect the latter with DeGeneres, who is known to bust a move on her show.
"We know that she's got the moves," Furlong said. "She also has a lot of very famous friends. She has no shortage of people who will get up on stage with her."