‘Blue’s Clues & You’s Joshua Dela Cruz on Taking Over as Host
Fresh from starring in Broadway’s Aladdin, Joshua Dela Cruz (above) hosts the rebooted Blue’s Clues & You!
He’ll guide our favorite mystery-solving pup, Blue (sorry, Scooby!), as she plays her favorite game, Blue’s Clues, following a trail of three hints to unravel a puzzle. (Blue gets an assist from some household pals like alarm clock Tickety Tock and Sidetable Drawer, and even turns to viewers for help.)
But first, Blue must teach Josh — cousin to former clue-seekers Steve (Steve Burns) and Joe (Donovan Patton) — and a new generation of fans the rules of the game when the Nickelodeon series returns for the first time since 2006.
More than 3,000 people auditioned to be the new host, and WWE star John Cena even joked about wanting the role. How does it feel to land the gig?
Joshua Dela Cruz: This is all like some weird dream that I’m waiting to wake up from. Luckily, [with Cena] it didn’t get down to a sudden-death match in the ring!
What did you connect with in Blue’s Clues when you were younger?
It was my little sister’s favorite show, and when it came to “Mail Time” [the song played when Mailbox delivered the post], we both would sing. Blue’s Clues essentially got me singing out loud for the first time. I always thought Steve was doing an opera singer impersonation, and that led to my love of musical theater.
Fast-forward to getting the role and telling Steve, [who] goes, ‘That’s amazing, but no, I was doing Grover from Sesame Street.’ I wonder how much my life would have changed had I realized that!
Please tell us you still sing “Mail Time” and get to give it your own spin?
Oh, absolutely. Kids are not ready for the music that’s coming out of this show.
Any new friends?
The Shakers [the spice dispenser family led by Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper] have expanded. Now they have four kids, which I think is really cool for all the new parents in my generation.
What other changes can we expect?
Instead of being 2D-animated, Blue is an insanely cute 3D-animated dog now. The Handy Dandy Notebook is also a smartphone. We wanted to retain the tactile benefit of writing down clues. So we have the benefit of being able to do it all — write clues, receive and make video and phone calls, and also email. Other than that, the show is just as fun and interactive as it was, if not more.
Blue’s Clues & You, Series Premiere, Monday, November 11, 9am/8c, Nickelodeon