'I think I stressed out a little too much ... I didn’t really need to worry as much as I did,' she tells EW

By Jessica Derschowitz
Updated January 06, 2016 at 10:18 PM EST
Monty Brinton/CBS

Awards season is officially in full swing, but on Wednesday night, it’s not a guild or an academy that’ll be handing out accolades.

The People’s Choice Awards will honor fan-voted favorites in a bevy of categories (see the full list here), and Jane Lynch will be presiding over the ceremony as it airs live on CBS.

EW spoke to Lynch — who is having a big week, with the Tuesday return of Hollywood Game Night and the Thursday premiere of her new CBS comedy, Angel From Hell — as she was gearing up for the show last month, where she detailed what kind of a host she wants to be and what audiences can expect. (Yes, there will be singing and dancing.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you feeling, now that the People’s Choice Awards are early upon us?

JANE LYNCH: We had a big rehearsal for our mega musical number that we’re going to open with, and it’s going to be sensational. We’ve got these crazy-talented dancers, we’ve got some hip-hop dancers, it’s gonna be epic.

For me, it’s always knocking out the anxiety. I get the song and I worked on it, I feel really good about it, and the next thing to not feel anxious about is the dancing. And I will get there. After that it’s just a lot of fun. I have terrific writers, and for the most part it’s about moving the show along. It’s for the people, it’s for them to honor their favorite performers in show business. So it’s about me keeping the party light, and funny, and making it an inviting space for all the presenters and having a little fun with them. That’s my favorite thing in the world to do, create an environment for everybody to feel comfortable and have fun.

You hosted the Emmys back in 2011 — did you feel like you knew what you were getting into this time around?

One of the things about the Emmys, it was a great unknown for me, and if I were to do it again I would now have under my belt exactly what I just described to you about what my job is: it’s that epic opening number, which I always love doing, and it’s just keeping it light and happy and fun. And I think I stressed out a little too much. At the end of the show, [I thought], “You know, the show went really well, and I enjoyed it, and, I didn’t really need to worry as much as I did.” So I’m trying to remember that.

This show celebrates all the fan-favorites from the past year. What, or who, were you a fan of in 2015?

I’m a big fan of Melissa McCarthy. I think she’s one of those people who can just do anything and I think every time she’s nominated for an award she should just be given it. [Laughs] She’s really spectacular and she can do anything. I just love it.

Having been a People’s Choice nominee and a winner, do you have any advice for this year’s contenders?

The great thing about this awards show is it’s the fans themselves, it’s not an academy — and not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s what the fans are digging, and sometimes that isn’t reflected in the other award shows. So I think that’s why people, especially their fans, get so excited for this show. And I’m so glad that we have a show that’s just their choice, their favorite performers and shows and music.

What’s also really cool about this show is it’s more low-key, and it’s more fun. When stars come up to accept their awards, you can see them like you don’t see them in the other awards shows. They’re much more light, they’re much more open with their gratitude, and they’re more — to me it just feels like they lead with their hearts a little bit more on this show because it’s from the fans, and the fans just want a moment with them and they’re so happy to give it to them. And they always thank the fans, they’re always so grateful.

So, besides the big musical number, what else can we expect to see?

I’ll probably do a couple of live gags, and we’ve got terrific writers, as I’ve said, so it’s kind of an embarrassment of riches in terms of what we’re gonna do. … I think we’re gonna get some of the celebrities to do some buffoonery with me up on stage. There will be a lot of surprises, it’ll be fast-paced and we’ve got a lot of awards to give out but nobody’s going to be bored. [Laughs]

The People’s Choice Awards, hosted by Lynch, air Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

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