Happy 2011! Snooki, NKOTBSB ring in the new year


Kathy Griffin stayed on the air, Snooki kept it classy and New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys made us all check our calendars. Some highlights of New Year's Eve on TV:

Snooki, a ball, insert your own joke here

On the one hand, after watching MTV's Snooki ball drop it's hard to understand why the Times Square people were so miffed at the prospect of the pocket-sized "Jersey Shore" star stealing the traditional countdown's thunder. Because it was L-A-M-E. On the other hand, it was so lame that it's hard to imagine that the hordes in midtown Manhattan would have even noticed.

MTV's makeshift arrangement in Seaside Heights, N.J., turned out to be pretty much the definition of anticlimactic. While the rest of the "Jersey Shore" cast mugged with host Whitney Cummings in Times Square, the ever-classy Snooki -- clad in a leopard-print coat and with red plastic cup in hand -- descended from what looked to be a height of just 15 or 20 feet, while a crowd that measured in the dozens looked on. MTV itself looked a little embarrassed at the non-spectacle, quickly cutting back to New York as soon as she hit the ground. You can see the video above.

Rocking out 2010 like it was 1990 or '99

The headliners on the longest-titled countdown show on TV, "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest," were the no-longer-boy band duo of New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys. We can't fault their performance (which is below), but we have to say it felt a little odd watching two groups so associated with the early and late '90s ring in the future.

As for the rest of ABC's show, it remains the gold standard for New Year's Eve shows. Seacrest kept things rolling smoothly, and Clark, who still suffers the effects of a stroke in 2004, made a few appearances and led the countdown of the final seconds.

Kathy keeps it clean-ish

Kathy Griffin managed not to curse and get herself pulled from CNN's live broadcast, but she didn't exactly bring a G-rated performance. She giggled like a 10-year-old boy every time her co-host Anderson Cooper said the word "ball," she danced to the NKOTBSB performance, she tried to disrobe Cooper. All in a night's work. (She also offered up a string of fake promos as CNN went to commercial, forcing Cooper to correct her every time.)

Some highlights of the comedy duo of Cooper and Griffin, along with the NKOTBSB performance, are below.





Were you watching the various New Year's Eve shows? Which was your favorite?
Photo/Video credit: MTV, ABC, CNN