Being named the new host of CMT’s Top 20 Countdown earlier this year added yet another facet to Evan Farmer’s already eclectic resume.
Beginning his career on the stage and small screen, Farmer initially gained a following in 1998 with the MTV-created boy band “2GE+HER.” He went on to host TLC’s home makeover program “While You Were Out” and also appeared in several films and a variety of TV series. While his jobs and interests may have changed a bit over the years, Farmer has always been a country and bluegrass fan.
Although he would jump at the chance to interview long-time favorites like Glen Campbell and Doyle Lawson, Farmer says he is most looking forward to interviewing and introducing up-and-coming artists to CMT viewers.
“Fans like me can relate to the excitement of artists on the cusp,” he said.
Farmer is rooting for new arrivals like Josh Thompson and songwriter-turned-solo act Sarah Buxton, whose talent he is, “Completely in awe of.”
His enthusiasm for working with CMT is evident as he discusses interacting with fans.
“[They] are what generates my reason for being here. They give me perspective,” he said.
Even though he cites Jamey Johnson’s breakthrough smash “In Color” as one of his favorite songs, Farmer said it wasn’t until hearing fans share their stories of what the song meant to them that he gained a full appreciation for the vivid tune.
“Their stories start filling it all in in so many different ways,” he said.
Filling in the blanks is important, according to Farmer, because so many details can be lost in today’s technologically-crazed society.
“Technology gives up the story,” he said, “and if there is ever a place where story is most important, it is in country music.”
Farmer’s respect for the country genre extends beyond artists and songwriters, as he comments on his predecessor Lance Smith, who served as Countdown host for eight years.
“I’ve got big shoes to fill. [Thanks to Lance] the kinks were worked out long before I got here. I totally respect him for taking a leap—it ain’t easy,” Farmer said.
Smith vacated his spot as Countdown host to pursue an acting career. Farmer has high hopes for Smith calling him, “The most grounded guy you’ll ever meet.”
In addition to settling in as Countdown host, Farmer is extremely active in a variety of charities. He has served as the spokesperson for “Tennessee’s Walk for Autism” since its inception in 2008.
After losing his mother to ovarian cancer, and his “2GE+HER” castmate Michael Cuccione to complications from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Farmer became highly involved with cancer research organizations.
“The only way to battle something you have no control over is to join in,” he said.
Farmer has not only ‘joined in’ but has dived headfirst into raising money and awareness for both the Susan G. Komen and Michael Cuccione Foundations.
This month, Farmer will serve as emcee for the inaugural unTEAL a Cure charity walk in Tempe, Arizona. He will also be sharing his talents as a vocalist by performing the national anthem at the event.
Farmer’s long-term charitable goal is to travel and help smaller organizations get off the ground.
With his infectious enthusiasm and genuine interest in people and their varied backgrounds, Farmer will no doubt become a welcome addition to CMT Countdown, and to the homes of viewers everywhere.
For more information on Evan Farmer and “CMT Top 20 Countdown,” visit: http://www.cmt.com.