Josh Hutcherson helped celebrate Catching Fire‘s triumphant opening weekend by hosting Saturday Night Live, and the 21-year-old actor most definitely didn’t coast. He was eager and playful, willing to poke fun at his slightly obscure character, Peeta, as well as his own slight physical bearing. EW’s Hillary Busis compared his performance to “one of those poor [Hunger Games] kids who dies in the melee outside the Cornucopia — just minutes after the Games begin,” but as Jennifer Lawrence demonstrated last January, hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time isn’t easy. There’s a steep learning curve, and if a first-timer can escape without any obvious oofs, while maintaining a sense of humor and enthusiasm… well, job well done.
Hutcherson has his work cut out for him, though, in our season-long contest to crown Saturday Night Live‘s best host. Lady Gaga debuted in first place after her appearance, pushing Kerry Washington and Tina Fey into second and third. Edward Norton edged out Miley Cyrus to stay alive for another week, meaning he’s basically pitted against Hutcherson — à la the Hunger Games — in a secondary clash between men while a woman takes the lead.