Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The premise of this ABC reality/competition series was implicit in its title (as it was to a lesser extent in its working title, The Impostor). In each episode, a collection of celebrity impersonators--both professional and amateur--showed off their gifts for mimickry (or lack of same) while vying for a grand prize of $100,000. The contestants were judged on "The Look, The Voice, and The Performance", and as a byproduct of these qualifications the viewers were treated to a seemingly endless parade of imitation Elvises, Tina Turners, Barbra Streisands, Dolly Partons, Jay Lenos, Johnny Carsons, Gloria Estefans, Howard Sterns, Paris Hiltons, and even one ersatz Dr. Phil. Of course, the worse the impersonation, the funnier it was for the audience, but some of these folks weren't bad at all. Model Michelle Merkin served as host, while the panel of judges included Jeffrey Ross, Lisa Ann Walker and Elon Gold. The Next Best Thing: Who is the Greatest Celebrity Impersonator? launched its initial eight-week run on May 30, 2007.