Billy Costa joined High School Quiz Show as host of season 2 in 2010. Season 3 of WGBH's weekly quiz show premieres Sunday, Feb. 12, and continues each Sunday at 6:30pm on WGBH 2. (Visit highschoolquizshow.org)
Billy Costa delivers news and entertainment every morning on KISS 108 in the morning, and shows you where to find the best grub on NECN's TV Diner. Now Costa has added a new genre to his repertoire, hosting WGBH’s High School Quiz Show.
The following are excerpts from interview recorded Feb. 10, 2011 on WGBH’s Greater Boston.
On being intimidated by high school kids
I have to be honest, when I first agreed to do it I was extremely intimidated. But then we started taping, and the kids started coming in from various schools — some of them with cheerleaders and banners — and the energy in the studio made it a lot of fun.
You know what is fascinating to me is the mix. There was one guy who must have answered ten or 11 questions in a row, which is unheard of in that atmosphere, and he had just come in from a hockey game.
Some kids get nervous, some don't. A lot of these kids on any given day would know these answers in a split second, but when they are in a studio, under the lights ,and they have people yelling, there can be quite a margin between the scores.
On how the kid’s react to the spotlight
It's almost like going to Hollywood to be on the set of a show without traveling to Hollywood.
So to be in the studios as a young person or as a family, and to sit and watch the behind the scenes, is really cool. The contestants are ushered away like VIP celebrities, and they all have their own green room and their own makeup person. They are being treated like royalty.
On adjusting to life on public television
I feel like I'm fitting in. I'm sure when I walk away, they're like okay who hired him. He's the guy from the Maddy Show. I have a lot of jobs, but they're all different. I really like everything I do.
Watch Billy Costa on Greater Boston
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW