Jonathan Knight Struggles Through Awkward ‘Today Show’ Appearance

Jenna Bush Hager, Hoda Kotb, Jonathan Knight

Heavy/Getty/HGTV/YouTube Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb tried to help Jonathan Knight through his "Today Show" appearance

As one-fifth of New Kids on the Block since the 80s, Jonathan Knight is used to being in the spotlight. But during an appearance on NBC’s “Today With Hoda & Jenna,” the beloved HGTV star struggled throughout his live segment on April 23, 2024.

Knight appeared at the morning show’s New York studio with hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, all wearing green aprons, to promote the third season premiere of “Farmhouse Fixer,” which debuted that night. In addition to answering their questions, Knight tried to lead them through a couple of DIY gardening projects but fumbled with the materials, stressed about being “under pressure” and awkwardly choked on his words.

Knight did handle other interviews that morning with more confidence, perhaps because there were not crafts involved.

Jonathan Knight Said He Was ‘So Rushed’ Trying to Teach DIY Project on Live TV

Kotb and Hager’s interview with Knight started out well, with him telling them it’s been “quite a ride” becoming a home renovation star on HGTV in addition to navigating NKOTB’s resurgence in popularity in recent years.

When Hager asked him how starring in the show has been for him, Knight replied, “It’s been super fun. I mean, it’s definitely a passion of mine, just to be in New England and bring life back to these houses. It’s been incredible.”

After surviving the first slightly awkward moment, when producers took several seconds to post a photo of Knight’s home while he and the hosts waited, things went downhill as he began to lead them through his first craft — creating kokedama, which is Japanese for “moss ball,” according to The Spruce. 

“They’re super easy to make,” Knight said of the hanging plant arrangements, and then surprised Hager by adding, “I actually have a bunch of these in my shower.”

At a work table, they each started with what looked like snowballs made of dirt. Knight showed the hosts how to gently break their moss balls in half and said, “Careful not to lose the shape.”

But as Kotb and Hager’s promptly broke apart, Knight’s also crumbled into three pieces and he exclaimed, “Oh mine broke too, I’m under pressure now!”

With all three of their balls of dirt in pieces, Knight tried to show them how they could still place a flower inside and build, but his dirt continued to crumble. Realizing the first craft was a bust, Kotb and Hager clearly wanted to move on to the next one, but Knight was intent on completing the project — hurriedly wrapping his dirt inside a patch of moss, trying to tie it together with jute twine and struggling to secure it, even as Hager tried to help.

Knight gave Hager a look of desperation and she said, “No, you’re doing great,” as he sheepishly laughed, “So rushed!”

“It’s alright, you don’t have to complete it,” Kotb assured him, urging him to move onto the next DIY example on their set — a small butterfly sanctuary Knight built for a couple on “Farmhouse Fixer.”

As they stood in front of a raised tub with planted marigolds, Knight told them it could fit on a terrace in New York or an apartment deck — and then he started to choke on his words, coughing while Hager and Kotb watched awkwardly.

Knight shook his head, and they moved over to another tub with dirt where several small plants in containers sat. All three of them laughed as they realized Knight really had no how-to instructions to add, other than to “just dig.”

The HGTV star seemed very relieved when Hager and Kotb asked about his upcoming NKOTB tour, allowing him to just talk about his busy schedule rather than teach them another hands-on project.

Jonathan Knight Appeared Much More at Ease During Other New York Interviews

During his day in New York, Knight also stopped by New York Live for a casual sit-down interview with host Sara Gore. Dressed in the same green Henley he wore on “Today,” Knight appeared much more comfortable just sharing his expertise on restoring old houses.

“This season has probably been the most stressful season of all,” he admitted to Gore. “We did an innkeeper’s house on an island and we had to get on a boat, we had to travel out to the lighthouse, and bring all the supplies in the boat, and some days we wouldn’t be able to go out because (the water) was too choppy.”

Known for getting emotional about the houses he works on and families he works with, Knight said, “I don’t think there were as many tears shed this season because I saw myself last season and people were like, ‘What, stop crying!’ But I always get tears when the homeowners come back to the house. They are just so happy and that just makes me break down.”

Knight also stopped by Page Six during his New York trip, and was featured on their TikTok account, trying to come up with the best New Kids songs for certain situations like a date night or pre-workout jam. He struggled to remember titles, but promised he’d polish up on their hits before heading out on tour, which kicks off on June 14. A new album will also be released on May 17.

At the end of his media day in New York, Knight posted an Instagram video that showed his view from the train as he headed back to New England, writing, “Working my way back home.”