The four-month journey to find the new "Check, Please!" host is over. Broadcaster, writer, Eater Contributor, and friend Catherine De Orio bested over 1000 applicants in a frenzied yet drawn-out process to become the third host of the extremely popular WTTW dining show. The decision was announced at midnight on the Check, Please website.
De Orio has walked a long professional path that lead to this apex, leaving a successful law career almost a decade ago to pursue a career in media. "I just knew in my heart that I was on the wrong path," she explains, "and I said to myself, 'if you don't make this decision, who you are will begin to die.'" She went on to appear on "The Today Show" and in a multitude of magazines and other television shows.
She threw her hat in the ring shortly after previous host Alpana Singh announced her departure in January to focus on The Boarding House, starring in an audition video where she took the stand in a clever take on a "Law and Order" episode. Executive Producer David Manilow was obviously impressed from the start, publicly sharing the video on social media.
Manilow admits as much, describing De Orio as "impressive, intriguing, quick-witted, lovely to be with" and with a "joie de vivre." The decision was made last week, leading into days of paperwork and contract signings.
De Orio will take the baton from ten-year host Singh. "Alpana is a strong, successful person and I'm very lucky to follow in her footsteps," she says.
And what will she bring the table as the new host? "I bring enthusiasm for dining and talking to people," she says. "I'm a diner, just like you guys. The only difference is I'm a professional diner versus a dining enthusiast."
De Orio will start taping episodes June 26, they'll start airing in October.
· All "Check, Please!" Coverage [~ECHI~]
· All Catherine De Orio Coverage [~ECHI~]
· All Alpana Singh Coverage [~ECHI~]
· "Check, Please!" [Official Site]