For the first time ever, Oscar.com is putting movie fans in the driver’s seat with “Oscar All Access” exclusive cameras and content for the 2011 Oscar awards. And the site has tapped someone fans of Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers, and more are very familiar with, Radio Disney’s Jake Whetter. He’ll be hitting the red carpet, backstage and the Governor’s ball with co-host Shira Lazar to serve up all the behind-the-scenes commentary.
“It’s basically an exclusive experience for Oscar fans,” Whetter tells Zap2it. “Oscar.com has the most cameras on the red carpet and we have 360-degree view cams all over. And the user can actually log on and interact with us on Oscar.com and watch what’s going on. And they can control the cameras. This is the first time they’ve done anything like this. You can do it on Oscar.com, your iPhone, even on your iPad and it’s all completely 100 percent live.”
Sure, he’s been hosting his own shows, “Celebrity Take with Jake” and “Top 30 Countdown with Jake” and meeting some big celebs during his three-year tenure at Radio Disney, but Whetter says the Oscar gig is a pretty big deal for him.
“I’m really excited that I’m doing something with the Oscars,” he says. “I was standing in the Kodak Theatre and I was talking with my co-host Shira Lazar and I was staring at the stage, which is all set up. I said, ‘I remember watching this show as a kid and now I’m standing inside the Kodak five days before the show goes on the air. I interview so many people and do so many things that you kind of forget what you do. But, there’s moments when it hits you and you’re like, ‘Whoa, wait a second. I’m doing the Oscars.'”
It’s true, Whetter has spoken to a lot of celebrities in his career and Radio Disney has allowed him the opportunity to share some unique moments with some of today’s biggest stars before they hit it big: He has whipped his hair with Willow Smith, Cyrus thought he was cute, and he’s gotten dance and swagger lessons from someone you may have heard of, pop phenom Justin Bieber.
“It’s hard for me to fathom,” he says. “Because when I first met these people, say Justin Bieber, I was like no one knows who he is. But, if he were to tweet that he’s coming to Radio Disney, we’d have a definite security issue. Just thousands of people would show up. It’s amazing.”
“We were the first ones to play [Bieber’s] music,” he tells us. “We were the first ones to interview him. He literally showed up in a t-shirt that was five times too big for him and you see his innocence and his youth. And then he comes back later and watching his career over the last year-and-a-half since he first came in here is incredible.”
Don’t look now, but we think this is someone you should keep your eye on. Get to know Jake Whetter:
What’s it like to get dance lessons from Bieber?
He made up this dance with his hands and the second time he came in, he asked me, ‘Do you have it down yet?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ So, he went into the studio to do his first interview and I ran to another studio and watched the first video when he was teaching me the first time and 25 minutes before I had to interview him the second time, I was able to perfect it. Yeah, he’s always teaching me something, which is always fun to get dancing lessons or swag lessons from Justin Bieber.
Not to be outdone by Bieber, you also whipped your hair back and forth with Willow Smith?
Yes, I’ve had a personal hair-whipping lesson from Willow Smith. When they come here to Radio Disney, we always like to do the fun candid stuff. You know, show the world that they’re fun, normal people. That’s where the ‘Celebrity Take with Jake’ segment comes in. We film those videos and they allow us to showcase the real side of them at their age, because people forget these are really young adults or young teens that are out here entertaining and traveling the entire world. It’s kind of amazing.
Of course, we have to ask about Miley Cyrus saying you were cute?
Miley did think I was cute. Hopefully, she still thinks I’m cute! Ever since that video was posted online, I haven’t seen Miley. It’s like, I hope Miley isn’t mad at me. This was a long time ago. This was literally three years ago and we were in the studio and Miley was talking about me, microphones were on, I heard it. I called her out on it by accident. She laughed, I laughed. It was a funny story.
Which celebrity at the Oscars do you most want to meet?
I’ve met a lot of people. I’ve interviewed John Travolta and Adam Sandler and several different celebrities. But Sandra Bullock… I’d probably be a little star struck. I’m hoping I sit next to her. I’m not star struck often, but she would give me butterflies.
What are some of your Oscar movie favorites?
I loved “The Fighter.” I absolutely loved “Winter’s Bone.” That was a big surprise, because I didn’t know what to expect, because I hadn’t even heard of it before I watched it. And then I even did research on the movie after I watched it and I was impressed to see that it was such a low budget film and it was so beautifully shot. And, of course, I’m rooting for my peeps at Pixar and “Toy Story 3.”
Are there any red carpet hosts that you want to emulate and you look up to?
There’s one red carpet host that I’ve always looked up to. He’s kind of done everything I’ve done, but he’s done it on a much grander scale, Ryan Seacrest. To do what he does: Radio, red carpets, host television and put it all together and see the empire he’s built is something definitely to admire and aspire to eventually get somewhere along the same lines of him.
What do you think of the new “American Idol” judges?
I actually like the judges a lot. First of all, who doesn’t love [Jennifer Lopez]? Who doesn’t want to glow like JLo? And Steven Tyler, I think is great too. You know, when you look at them as judges, it’s like a movie sequel. You’re a little nervous. Are they going to ruin it? And I do not think they’ve ruined anything with that show. I think Steven Tyler is perfect for it, because he’s the one who knows the music, can see the people behind it, whether they have the soul and can do it. JLo has that heart, which is the same kind of heart Paula [Abdul] had. And JLo’s well spoken. I love watching her, because she’s funny. And Randy Jackson, obviously, he knows what’s going on, since he’s been there the whole time. I think it’s a really good dynamic.
Could you see yourself filling in as a guest host for Regis on “Live with Regis and Kelly”? It’s on ABC, so it’s all in the Disney family, right?
That would be really fun. Can you make that happen? In a heartbeat. You don’t have to ask me twice. I’m already interviewing a lot of the same people they interview. So, to be able to do it on another platform, without a doubt, you don’t have to ask me twice. And I’d want to challenge Kelly Ripa to a pushup contest, because that girl is in shape. She’s always so fit. She guest-starred on one of the final episodes of “Hannah Montana Forever” and in her scene she’s doing pushups. She’s one of the only girls I know who can actually do a real pushup and not on her knees.
Pictured above: Jake in studio with special co-hosts Mindless Behavior on this weekend’s “Top 30 Countdown with Jake.”
Bieb teaches Jake some moves.
”Whip My Hair Back’ lessons with Willow Smith