Kris Humphries' myopic focus on not answering Kim Kardashian annulment questions on "Good Morning America" apparently caused him to forget to look at the calming presence provided by his mom.
The NBAer gave an extremely uncomfortable interview today on ABC's morning show. Humphries' performance cannot be blamed solely on the sorry questions delivered by sports and news reader Josh Elliott. While any developments in Humphries' marriage dissolution from the ditzy reality TV star are destined to become trending topics on the Web, Kris really, really didn't want to talk about that.
The NBA free agent, who's looking for a new team and possibly a $40 million NBA payday, only wanted to talk about the upcoming pro basketball season, his foundation which is fighting childhood obesity and his mother, Debra Humphries, and her family recipe for mini-chocolate chip cookies.
Mom was seated on the couch, too, for the interview. In a kitchen segment later in the show -- when the Humphries, GMA anchor Robin Roberts and Taste of Home editor-in-chief Catherine Cassidy pretended to prepare cookies -- Kris was quite a bit more relaxed. He cracked jokes, playfully chiding his mother for giving away the secret to the cookie recipe, and a couple times affectionately threw his arm around his mom.
During Humphries' too brief engagement he noted -- in front of Kardashian, an inquiring reporter and a gaggle of photographers -- that "my mom" is the most beautiful girl in the world. Well, Kris, next time you're lucky enough to have your most beautiful girl in the world sitting next to you during a discomforting interview, LOOK AT HER WHEN SHE'S TALKING! That would have settled you and given the audience the appearance of you being engaged with someone on the set, since you obviously didn't find Elliott's questions bewitching, although you did look at him when he spoke.
It was cringe-worthy TV. At one point the atmosphere must have been so tense, as Humphries' eyes looked downward and darted about, that his mom reached over and held his left hand. It's quite possible she was doing this to calm herself, but it was an awkward gesture because they were not seated directly next to each other.
Humphries assumed an ungentlemanly if hyper-masculine and jock-like posture during the interview: a hand on both knees and legs gaping wide open directly in front of one camera. He only removed his palms from his knees a couple of times to take a swipe at an itchy nose.
Although, the anemic little interview did not include asking Humphries to explain his citing fraud as a reason to seek an annulment, Elliott did ask, "Do you still love her?"
That was one of Elliott's better questions and the only query to get something of a smile out of Humphries, who responded in playful exasperation with what sounded like: "This guy."
Humphries then added: "I'm focused on just what I can control, which is being ready to play ball and supporting my mom and her cookie bake today."
Elliott, whose strength is delivering each syllable as if it's being caressed, opened the interview lamely with: "So, Kris, how's it going?"
Humphries said, "It's going good. I'm excited to be close to back playing basketball. In the offseason, been doing a lot of things with my foundation. Spending time with family. Working on my game a lot."
Since Humphries has been in the public eye as an athlete from a very young age, Elliott wanted to know, "What has this experience been like?" Humphries said, "It's been different, but through everything I'm just focused on family and preparing for basketball. Basketball has been something I've always taken really serious. I continue to do that, and just moving forward."
Elliott said a lot of people were shocked by Kardashian filing for divorce after 72 days of marriage and asked, "What did you think when she did?" Humphries: "For me, it's just certain things happen in life and you've got to move forward. I'm excited to be where I'm at right now with the NBA season coming up. I'm ready to go."
With Elliott's questions getting him nowhere, the news reader should have tried to get some chuckles: Any interest in being the next bachelor on this little show we have on ABC? That's a hot topic. No pressure to get married, Kris -- it's mostly an opportunity to recover from a broken heart by kissing and making out with women who've passed STD screening.
Or: How old were you, Kris, when you first defeated either your Mom or Dad in a game of HORSE? Ever stepped on either of your miniature pooches with your enormous feet?
Or Humphries could have taken control of the interview by saying, Man, I can't wait for the day when people no longer ask me questions about Kim!
Eventually Elliott turned his attention to Mrs. Humphries with, "What was it like to see your son a part of drama that really became a melodrama?"
She said, "Well, I think for us the important thing is to stay close as a family. Through the ups and downs that come, it's our faith in God that carries us through all of these times. Trying to focus on being thankful for things and being positive, like Kris talked about his foundation, that's what we're focusing on right now."
Kris Humphries did get one subtle dig in.
Elliott wanted to know what's it like to watch Kardashian move forward on reality TV, knowing how it ends?
"The only thing I really watch on TV myself is basketball game film. I've never been someone to really watch the show on TV. My focus is just basketball, the foundation, family and moving through life," said Humphries.
In other words, Humphries is not watching the show. But why would he?
"Inside Edition" interviewed a woman who claimed Humphries didn't see the point in watching E!'s "Keeping Up With The Kardashians."
Bianca Camper told "Inside Edition" she dated Humphries for two years. They broke up three months before he started dating Kardashian, who looks a bit like Camper.
"I wanted him to sit down and watch ["Keeping Up With The Kardashians"] with me, and he was like, Why are you watching that garbage? Isn't she famous for a sex tape?" Camper told "Inside Edition."
Camper, a nurse, told "Inside Edition" she and Humphries had talked about marriage. "I know he didn't take marriage as a joke. He took it as something serious," said Camper, who doesn't think Humphries was only interested in a 72-day, made-for-reality-TV marriage.
Camper reportedly wouldn't take Humphries back, although she feels sorry for him.
After the "Good Morning America" interview, TMZ reported Humphries felt ambushed and was livid.
Puhleeze. You can't be a player in one of reality TV's biggest, most absurd divorces and only get questions from "GMA" about baking cookies with your mom.
Humphries is not exactly shrinking from non-basketball TV appearances. On Sunday, a Humphries neighbor shot me an e-mail about a trailer from "Man Caves," the DIY show, and its host, former NFL great Tony Siragusa, being outside Humphries' lakefront home in Mound.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or email@example.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9.
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