MadameNoire Featured Video

Cannonball - Season 1

Source: USA Network / Getty

You name it, Rocsi Diaz has done it when it comes to hosting duties. She’s been on the radio, a 106 & Park host, an entertainment reporter, and even hosted a dating game show. Now she’s jumping into unchartered waters you might say, flexing her chops as one of the hosts for the new competition series, Cannonball, on the USA Network. The 10-episode show is essential summer fun. It features contestants willing to test their balance and ability to make it through perhaps the wettest sports competition you’ll see on TV. There are 100-foot waterslides, ripcord runs and more wet and wild challenges that contestants have to withstand in the hopes of winning $10,000.

Diaz is excited about the show, so much so that she was willing to try that 100-foot waterslide for free, but she wasn’t allowed to.

“They wouldn’t let us! We wanted to. We really, really did,” she told us over the phone. “Our theory is, if we’re supposed to be the professionals, then we need to try it at least once. So we’re crossing our fingers for Season 2 that we’ll be able to go down the slide.”

Diaz is clearly always up for a challenge, as her mutifaceted career has shown. We talked to the New Orleans native about it, from what attracted her to the craziness of Cannonball to her experiences on BET’s 106 & Park and what she sees herself doing next. Hear what she had to say about the wild ride it’s been.


MadameNoire: You’ve gone from radio, music countdown television, you’ve done entertainment shows about Hollywood happenings, and now you’re stepping into the competition realm as a host. How has this new opportunity been for you?

Rocsi Diaz: First of all, it’s unfair that I’m having so much fun. It literally was just a blast going to the set every single day. Cannonball is beyond what I expected. Going to a huge water park — because we are the biggest, wettest, wildest water competition that you’ve ever seen on TV — you’re a kid in a candy store and all you want to do is get in line to go down this 100-foot mega slide that nobody has ever seen before.

Nice! What drew you to this project?

I got a phone call from my agent and they told me about it. I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. It was really a chemistry test between Mike [“The Miz” Mizanin] and I to see how well we got along, and from that very moment, oh it was on. We had instant chemistry off the bat. And our sideline reporter Simon Gibson, he is so funny! He is definitely going to be a household name. It’s honestly the best trio you could have in the hosting business.

In the same vein of the show you do being about intense activity, you seem very active off-screen. Based off your Instagram page, you hike. I also see you train hard in the gym. How has all that kept you sane in this pandemic?

I’m so grateful to Mother Nature and to my friend Julissa Bermudez. Her passion for hiking, my passion for hiking and camping, we’re able to get out and explore. It gives you the time to be able to reset and get into things you may have put off for a very long time. The gym, that’s always been part of my life, part of a routine that I gotta keep up. You gotta stay ready because you just never know.

As I mentioned before, you’ve had quite the journey in media, including your years on 106 & Park. I wanted to ask, if you don’t mind, I saw an interview you did in the past where you talked about people giving you a hard time as a Latina hosting a show on BET. What kind of things were people saying?

At first it, I think it wasn’t received well right away because they just didn’t know. It wasn’t so much that I got a hard time, it was more like, Latinos didn’t know I was Latin, and then the demographic didn’t really know what I was. But you know, we pushed through. Terrence [Jenkins] is absolutely amazing. He’s like a brother to me. We had nothing but the best time at 106 & Park. But yeah, at the beginning there was a little resistance because it was Black Entertainment Television and the Spanish girl was hosting the flagship show. But once people saw that I had experience in that field, all that went aside and we had nothing but an amazing seven-and-a-half year run.

That’s so interesting! I always thought you were Afro-Latina.

Yeah, a lot of people do that. It’s definitely in my roots, but I am 100 percent Latin: Honduran and Chilean. I think me growing up in New Orleans kind of made people think that I might have been Creole. I never really addressed any of that when I was on the show. I just had fun and did it for the culture.

In the climate we’re in today, do you still stand by the idea that when it came to the show, it was about hip-hop, it was about music and that didn’t have a color?

Yeah, I do think that. I think that’s why I was there. I think that Terrence and I represented the best of all worlds when it came to the culture, growing up in different areas, us being in New York. It was just a great pot of gumbo, a mixture of everything that we were able to bring to 106 & Park during that time. It was about the music and the culture and hip-hop, and that’s what we came together to do and that was what 106 & Park was all about — to have an outlet. We don’t really have many outlets anymore on television like 106 & Park. Thank God for social media, that we can bring our own stuff out there now, but 106 was a special place for sure.

Lastly, in terms of 106 & Park, you had a time years ago where you spoke up about a harassment situation you dealt with concerning a particular artist. You did that at a time when people weren’t outspoken and coming forward about the things they were dealing with within the music industry, with certain artists. Maybe it was because of the concern about the possible blowback. Now people are obviously a lot more willing to share their stories and willing to put people out there to let their truth be known, but why was it important for you to speak your truth so far ahead of this time?

At that time when that incident happened, Terrence stood up for me. So I think if anybody gets all the credit and deserves all the glory on that one, it’s Terrence. Terrence stood up for me as a woman, as a sister. He didn’t let things fall to the wayside when things would happen on the show, and it did happen a few times. He always took care of me and he always looked out for me like a brother would for anybody. So I honestly have to credit Terrence. We did get some flack and feedback from that time, but I think if it had happened now, it would have been a different reception from people. But it’s not that we spearheaded anything or that we paved the way either. Terrence was literally just being a great man and standing up for his sister, making sure that nobody mistreated me nor took advantage of my kindness. I don’t think people really realize what it’s like and nobody ever really will understand what it’s like unless you were ever in Terrence and I’s shoes to come into television, not ever being in the business, thrown onto a show that was huge in the culture. We fought a good fight. We stayed on the air a good seven-and-a-half years, longer than any host ever did on that network, so I give us both a lot of credit because it was a crazy time. It was definitely a special moment and he’s a great person at the end of the day. I always thank him for always having my back and likewise, I always had his back, too. That’s still to this day.

I saw you guys did an Old Spice ad together on Instagram. I was like, ‘Oh, they still keep in touch!’

Oh yeah, he lives down the street and when we do have time we hang out. I’ll cook and he’ll eat. If somebody has a pool party or house party, we still invite each other. We always said to each other, “Well, we’ll be at each other’s funeral, whoever goes first. Either you’re going to have to speak or I’m going to have to speak.” We’re definitely bonded for life.

So what do you see yourself doing next? 

Speaking of different BET personalities, Free and I actually have something coming up really soon. We’re getting together and we really want to encourage everybody to get out there and vote. So I’m partnering up with Free and we’re going to be partnering up with a few different outlets to really encourage young people to not only go out and vote, but understand the voting process. Not only young people, but for those who may believe they don’t have the right to vote, educate them and let them know they do because this election is a very important election. What better way to get the word out than to have the two women of BET come together for a great cause? So you’ll be seeing Rocsi and Free together really soon in the next few months. And speaking of other BET hosts, Julissa Bermudez and I are working on maybe a reality show format really soon with all of our hiking and camping we’ve got going on. We enjoy going outdoors. We’re kind of the ying and the yang. Juli does it for the ‘gram and I do it for real so it makes for a real interesting combination when we’re together. She knows how to pose for pictures, she’s teaching me how to pose for the pictures, so we’ll be like the new version of The Simple Life.

Check out Cannonball Thursdays, 8/7c on the USA Network, reruns on Monday nights on ABC and stream through


Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN