Interview With Zach Selwyn Of ESPN "Dream Job"


I met Zach Selwyn in the green room of ESPN2’s “Cold Pizza” and got to sit with him for a few minutes as he ran through his thoughts on about a dozen different subjects, one after the other. Don King’s hair Kentucky’s early elimination from the NCAA tournament the Vegas odds that he would win “Dream Job” and how hectic his schedule would be as he uprooted his life and moved to CT if was indeed the last man standing.

Up to that point, I hadn’t watched more than a segment or two of the ESPN reality series, but after meeting Zachariah, I was convinced that he should win. Good thing I’m not a betting man, ’cause as we now know, Mike Hall will be making the jump from the University of Missouri to a one-year stint on “SportsCenter.”

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t bet that we’ve seen the last of Zach Selwyn, who seems destined to become a star. Here are 20 questions we asked him during an interview a few days after the season finale of “Dream Job.”

411Mania: Rumors have it that a “People Against Tony Kornheiser Coalition” is forming based on his vote. Thoughts?

Zach SelwynI am flattered and excited to hear that there is a coalition forming around Tony’s decision to axe me from the program. However, Tony has said on PTI that he believes he made a mistake. I am just grateful that he believes so widely in my talent and I truly believe that Aaron Levine and Mike Hall were more worthy to have been in the final two.

411: How would things have turned out differently if Lavar had been a judge on that last show?

ZS: Well, you can guess that the outcome would have changed in many different ways, but LaVar would not have necessarily changed my fate. I just hope he gets me Redskins tickets for life…

411: Was this really your dream job or just a chance for TV exposure?

ZS: This is every sports lover’s Dream Job.

411: ESPN’s Dan Patrick has ranted on his radio show about how “Dream Job” belittled the profession, and ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons, while staying vague, hasn’t exactly come out as a big fan of the show. Do you feel that winning a job on ESPN is a blow to those who had to “pay their dues?”

ZS: Well, Dan Patrick’s comments are totally understood. As a singer/songwriter, I believe that “American Idol” is a travesty and a horrible thing for the music profession… We struggle for years as musicians/singers/etc. And to have a karaoke host come in and get a record deal is a blow to anybody’s system… That being said, we have all paid dues in one way or another, so, yes, I can understand why a hard working anchor may hold a grudge against “Dream Job.”

411: How did you feel about the notion that you were too offbeat for a show like SportsCenter, or not a ‘safe enough’ choice?

ZS: It is a compliment. I pride myself in being a little different. They said the same things about Elvis, the Beatles, Nirvana, Ali G, Howard Stern and any other pioneer of a certain art form.

411: Seriously, though, how hot is Kit Hoover?

ZS: Kit is pretty tasty. I found both her demeanor, smile and accent to be just as sexy as her physical features. She was so hot on “Road Rules,” as well.

411: Has your career path changed since the show ended?

ZS: I have a lot more offers from places I never expected to hear from.

411: How would winning have uprooted your family?

ZS:Moving from Los Angeles to Bristol, CT. would have changed our entire lives. Bristol resembles the Kevin Costner film “The Postman” – it’s a post-apocalyptic barren wasteland with a huge ESPN compound in the center.

411: Do you plan to keep in contact with any of the other contestants?

ZS:Absolutely We’ve been planning trips to ballparks, reunions and sharing porn passwords on the Web.

411: Who did you like best of the other competitors?

ZS: I loved them all, but I found myself hanging around mostly with Mike, Aaron, Maggie, Nick, Kelly, Casey, Quigley, Chet, Lori, Alvin and Chris.

411: Disliked the most?

ZS: I disliked being away from my fiancée the most.

411: How did Maggie and Mike’s relationship affect the contestants’ friendships off-camera?

ZS: Well, we all felt that after Mike won, maybe WE should have dated Maggie…

411: How did you feel when Jaffee said to cut your hair, and would you have done it anyway?

ZS: Yeah, I knew when this thing started that ESPN would never allow me to rock a 1975 Billy Squier mullet on SportsCenter – but I was aware of my talents and I knew that if I came in on the extreme, it would offer me a way to stand out a bit. I’ve had dreadlocks, long hair, short hair, no hair… It all grows back, it’s all gravy.

411: Any job offers based on your time on the show? Plans to capitalize on your “15 minutes?”

ZS: I have had numerous offers, and I am currently trying to figure out the best route to take – As far as 15 minutes go, I already had my 15 minutes on T.V. years ago, so these are minutes 30-45… I plan on lasting at least 24 hours…

411: Do you plan to keep trying to land this dream job, or is another on the horizon?

ZS: Yes, but I don’t see it happening in the next few years. As I walked off stage on the final episode, I looked at Al Jaffee and said, “See you in ten years.” He smiled and said, “I wouldn’t doubt it.”

411: Seriously, what’s wrong with rock and roll these days?

ZS: Most of the crap out there right now has no heart, no soul. There are young kids singing what they think they need to sing to get on the radio. There are a tremendous number of artists, however, making brilliant music, it just isn’t exactly the most mainstream. Artists like My Morning Jacket, Jayhawks, Wilco, Bobby Joyner, Old 97’s, Chris Robinson, Ryan Adams… They seem to always impress me and they inspire me in believing that there is still some heart out there.

411: Tell me about your music.

ZS: I am in a country-rock-hip-hop band. We play country-rock (ala the Eagles,
Whiskeytown) and mix it with elements of funk and rap (Think Eminem and G. Love and Special Sauce) – We play all around the west coast and we have songs appearing in the upcoming comedy/horror film called Dead and Breakfast. It is hilarious. We also play a hell of a live show and incorporate elements of bluegrass, sensitive songwriting and jamming into our shows. Check out the Web site.

411: What didn’t we learn on “Dream Job” about you that you would have liked to share?

ZS: I would have liked them to play my ESPN “My Favorite Notes in the World” song on the air just once. It’s pretty funny. You can download it at the Web site.

411: If you had to describe yourself in the context of another reality show star, who would you choose?
(a) Richard Hatch (Survivor)
(b) Ruben Studdard (American Idol)
(c) Jackie Gayda (Tough Enough)
(d) David (Real World New Orleans)
(e) Matthew Gould (Joe Schmo)

ZS: Oh, man…Since I don¹t really consider “Dream Job” to be as lame as any of these other reality shows, I would have to say NEITHER. How about Bea Arthur on the “Golden Girls.”

411: What’s next for Zachariah?

ZS: Hopefully my own television show (somewhat sports related) and a world tour with my band… Then a long, wonderful career in porn.

Matthew Michaels is a columnist for 411mania’s Music Zone, and contributes regularly to 411 Black on his Black Log.