Every Monday morning for as long as I can remember, my classmates or coworkers have had some variation of the following conversation: Did you watch Saturday Night Live, and did you think the host was any good? It was normally very analog: yes or no, thumbs up or thumbs down. Over time, frequent guests became reliable favorites — Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, John Goodman — but no one ever seemed to take the time to step back at the end of the season and ask, Who was the best host this year?
So this season, EW has been relying on your votes in a weekly contest to separate the great from the good. After 22 episodes of varying degrees of ha-ha, 17 hosts have been rejected in our effort to crown the inaugural Mr. or Mrs. Saturday Night Live. Every Monday, the most recent host was pitted against the four most popular previous hosts of the season: the star that then received the least number of votes was bumped. Some brilliant performances have already been sent home — Baldwin, Jason Segel, even Maya Rudolph — and the final five are formidable.
Mick Jagger enjoyed a distinct advantage by being the guest host of the finale; not only does he automatically qualify for the final vote, but his performance is the freshest in everyone’s minds. Still, he has his work cut out for him, as his four rivals have been quite dominant in our season-long competition. Click below to see the tale of the tape for all five finalists.
Date of episode: Oct. 1, 2011
Number of times she’s hosted: First time
On the show to promote…: Mike & Molly
Musical guest: Lady Antebellum
TV ratings: 5.2/13
Special guests: None