Last Wednesday, many American Idol viewers thought Christopher Scott Noll, the self-described "hip-hop nanny" who auditioned for Simon and Co. in San Francisco, looked suspiciously familiar. Under the stage name Chris Wylde, the 28-year-old has appeared in commercials, emceed TNN's Taboo game show, had a room remade on Trading Spaces, and even hosted a short-lived, self-titled talk show on Comedy Central. TV Guide Online couldn't resist calling this publicity-hungry prankster — who answers his phone "Trouble" — to find out how he crashed Idol. As soon as he started talking, it was clear we'd have major trouble trying to pry a straight answer out of him.
TV Guide Online: How'd you pull the wool over the AI producers' eyes?
Chris Wylde: I just did it the way you do it. When I did Trading Spaces, I just submitted online like you are supposed to. So [for AI,] I just went and drove. I would have auditioned for American Idol last year, but I was too old. The age limit killed me and then, all of a sudden, the big man upstairs said, "All right, we're gonna give you this one, buddy." They pushed the age limit back to 28. I thought, "This is it."
TVGO: Did Fox ever catch on to your scheme?
Wylde: No. I've got a birth certificate and a passport and a driver's license that all say I'm Christopher Scott Noll. That's my real name. I really drove there. I really waited in line. I really auditioned and I really wore the glasses and they didn't recognize me. I would say at least 20 or 30 American Idol contestants came up to me like, "Did you do theater in Seattle?" or "Have you ever sung karaoke in Tulsa?" To every single one of them I was like, "Yup, that was me." Then, I would walk away — I wasn't there to make friends. I was there to get on Fox, rapping on the No. 1 show in America, and guess what? I did it.
TVGO: Did you invent your Idol rap on the spot or was that pre-planned?
Wylde: It was freestyle, but granted, I had some lyrics going through my head. I can't lie. I waited for 20-plus hours. You just sit around and you wait. Another thing, I was the 95,000th contestant that they saw in a seven-city span. Unless you are Denzel Washington, they are not going to recognize you. They see so many faces, and I had the Clark Kent thing going for me. One person recognized me and it was a guy hanging around in the second round with his friend. He was pathetic.
TVGO: So you gave your real name, but you're not really a kids' nanny, right?
Wylde: Yes, I am! They are 6 and 2. Sarah and Sophia. I've got pictures and everything.
Wylde: No. I'm not pulling your leg. I am pushing your leg back into the hip socket. I don't know if you know any actors, but when I did my own show, I worked for two months and then for the next year, I did a two-day DiGiorno pizza commercial. Do you know what that means? I sat around for 363 days. What am I going to do? I'm good with kids and it is easy money.
TVGO: Well, you must be fun for them at least.
Wylde: I am the best nanny. All the kids on the playground are mad jealous. I'm the hip-hop nanny, baby, I don't mess around. [Starts rapping] "I'm the hip-hop nanny, like Mary Poppins, but dropping rhymes uncanny. I'm gonna change your diapers but I'm not gonna change your granny. The kids are gonna have to clean up after themselves, they are gonna clean every nook and cranny."
TVGO: What would you have done had the judges decided to put you through to Hollywood?
Wylde: Rap really well. And I would have won the whole contest. Definitely.
TVGO: Are you even able to sing or just rap?
Wylde: The last time I went into a recording studio, I recorded with Carly Simon and the track was "Let the River Run" [from Working Girl]. I was a member of the St. Thomas Choir. The song went on to win the Academy Award for best song. So I've got a pretty good track record.
TVGO: What's the next reality show you'll crash?
Wylde: I think I might be done with reality. I am thinking of maybe the last episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. That's going to be a big thing for CBS. [What if] I came on and rapped or maybe tackled the Sweeten girl? OK?