Press release from CBS, Jan. 23, 2018:
CBS announced today the celebrity judges and mentor for MVP: MOST VALUABLE PERFORMER, a new, live, one-hour interactive talent show hosted by LL COOL J. SCORPION actress and recording artist Katharine McPhee, SUPERIOR DONUTS actor and comedian Maz Jobrani, and New York Giants wide receiver and INSIDE THE NFL on SHOWTIME analyst Brandon Marshall will judge the special on Thursday, Jan. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. THE TALK host Sharon Osbourne will mentor the NFL players to ensure the transition from pro athlete to star performer goes off without a hitch.
During the special, NFL players will showcase their off-the-field talents, such as singing, playing instruments, dancing and more, live from the Avalon Hollywood. Then, the three judges will draw upon their unique backgrounds in musical theater, acting, hosting and sports to evaluate their performances and each choose one player to advance to the final three. During the broadcast viewers can vote from the final three at www.cbs.com/shows/most-valuable-performer with the MVP: MOST VALUABLE PERFORMER winner revealed live.
Katharine McPhee – Judge
Katharine McPhee is an accomplished actress and singer. She first burst onto the scene in 2005 on season five of “American Idol.” McPhee boasts many television and film credits, including starring as Paige Dineen in the CBS drama SCORPION. McPhee has recorded five studio albums, including her self-titled debut album, which landed at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2007. Her most recent album, I Fall In Love Too Easily, on Nov. 17, 2017, went to #1 on the iTunes jazz charts and has been in the top 10 since its release. In her Café Carlyle debut, she sold out all five nights and received standing ovations and much fan praise.
Maz Jobrani – Judge
Maz Jobrani is a comedian, actor and author who currently stars at Fawz in the CBS comedy SUPERIOR DONUTS. Jobrani performs stand-up live around the world, including the Middle East where he performed in front of the king of Jordan, and at the White House in spring of 2016, where he had the privilege of introducing Michelle Obama. In addition to his television and film credits, Netflix premiered his latest comedy special, “Immigrant,” last summer, and his book I’m Not a Terrorist, But I’ve Played One on TV was a Los Angeles Times bestseller.
Brandon Marshall – Judge
Current New York Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall is on his fourth year as an expert analyst on the weekly series INSIDE THE NFL on SHOWTIME. He was nominated for a 2016 Sports Emmy in the category of Outstanding Sports Personality (studio analyst) for his work on the show. Marshall and his wife, Michi, are the co-founders of PROJECT 375, a non-profit foundation that aims to raise awareness to combat the stigma surrounding mental health disorders.
Sharon Osbourne – Mentor
Sharon Osbourne serves as host of THE TALK, CBS’ Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show. Osbourne won the Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Hosts Daytime Emmy for the first time in 2017. In addition to her many television credits, including the cable reality series “The Osbournes,” she has returned to her role as a judge and mentor on the U.K. version of “The X Factor.” Osbourne’s career in the music industry has spanned more than 30 years. In addition to managing the career of her husband, she has managed numerous artists, such as Black Sabbath, Electric Light Orchestra, Smashing Pumpkins, Motorhead and Slade. In 1996 Osbourne created and produced Ozzfest, the biggest hard-rock touring festival in America.
Due to their NFL obligations, Cody and Jacob Hollister (now playing in the Super Bowl) are not eligible to compete in MVP: MOST VALUABLE PERFORMER. The following is the final roster of players competing:
Brandon Williams Baltimore Ravens Defensive Tackle Talent: Singing
Jonathan Stewart Carolina Panthers Running Back Talent: Playing piano
Justin Tucker Baltimore Ravens Placekicker Talent: Opera singing
Alex Collins Baltimore Ravens Running Back Talent: Irish dancing
Kevin Zeitler Cleveland Browns Guard Talent: Dog tricks
Domata Peko Denver Broncos, Nose Tackle Talent: Playing guitar
The MVP contest began Dec. 1 with the first videos of 32 participating NFL players available online at Sports Illustrated’s website (si.com/mvp) for fans to watch and vote for their favorite performer. The top finalists from teams that have been eliminated from postseason advanced to the live show and will be assisted by a mentor to help enhance their performances. During the live show, a panel of celebrity judges will critique each player’s performance before viewers vote online at cbs.com/shows/most-valuable-performer/ to determine the MVP: MOST VALUABLE PERFORMER. The winner will be revealed at the end of the show.
MVP: MOST VALUABLE PERFORMER is produced by JUMA Entertainment in conjunction with ACE Media, the content arm of the NFL Players Association. Robert Horowitz and Josh Greenberg of JUMA are the executive producers along with Scott Langerman of ACE. Michael Simon will direct.