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Grease: You're The One That I Want


Fuskie
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For those who have not been following NBC's new reality show Grease: You're The One That I Want, the live shows began this week. The premise is that this summer, a new production is going to open this summer on Broadway. Instead of the traditional casting process, the lead roles of Danny and Sandi will be chosen through reality competition.

It started with American Idol style auditions around the country, with only 24 being invited to go to Grease Academy. At Grease Academy, 6 Dannies and 6 Sandies were sent home. The final 12, plus a previously cut Sandy and Danny, performed live tonight in front of the show's judges, which included the original writer, the producer of the new show, and original movie Sandy, Olivia Newton John.

Some of the Sandy and Dannies have had acting experience including having peformed Grease in High School or in local theater. One even is a professional performer. But despite various degrees of singing, acting or dancing backgrounds, most are completely new to the theater. They have worked from the original auditions to today to develop their stage presence, and the winner will have mere months to become lead roles on Broadway.

Here then are the Ones That We Want:

Derek - Good voice and stage presence. A bit Vegas though. He thew a bit of Danny into a performance that had nothing to do with Grease.

Austin - I had high expectations for this theater veteran and maybe that is why I was underwhelmed by his performance. He was all over the stage and his vocal range, but did not make me think of much of Danny.

Allie - The voice wasn't impressive, but I can see the inner biker, the tough girl that Sandy discovers at the end of the play. But what was with the skipping?

Kate - Much more of a theatrical performance. Instead of targeting the camera, she stayed in character for her audience. Showing her softer voice, she had difficulty with the high note which left her off pitch.

Matt - Brought back after being cut from Grease Academy, he was stiff on stage but did a descent job vocally. Still, I am not questioning why he was cut the first time, and think this may be a free pass to the original twelve.

Ashleya - Singing to the camera, the voice was more tentative than emotional. Scratch that, the singing was sub par and the stage presence was non-existent.

Jason - Descent voice but missing a unique hook. Not playing to the camera but to the audience. Wasted performance time walking down spiral stairs. Not very energetic on stage but good footwork.

Max - His image didn't fit the song but he sang it well. Used the spiral stair to his advantage, more athletic, better stage presence. He seemed to freeze when he was face to face to the camera, but then turned away and came back to life.

Laura - Nice voice and her look is a contradiction of innocence and sophistication. The outfit did not work for me though, suggesting she needed to show off other assets than her vocals and stage presence. She played Sandy before, but she may be too mature.

Kathleen - She presented a good character, kind of country with her voice and that dress made her like a strawberry. For me, though, she just did not look like Sandy.

Kevin - Great smile, he makes friends with his audience with his casual, confident style, a definite Danny trait. A good stage voice, his walking across stage was a little too deliberately casual. He played to the camera at the end, when the time was right.

Chad - A little stiff on stage, he looked like he was executing his choreography. He has a good voice and seemed to start enjoying himself midway thought he song and by the end he closed out as a strong but tender Danny.

Juliana - A sweet voice suggesting hidden power, she was almost cemented to her marks on stage. She seemed to lose pitch midway through, leaving her with a Dolly Parton quality. Not an impressive perormance for me.

Ashley - A dramatic start, she moved gracefully presenting a character through song and movement. Not the most powerful voice, she played a dainty Sandy to the audience.

There were also 2 group dances numbers to music from Grease, which frankly I found to be better performed than the individual performances. I expect that the competition will become more focused on theatrical elements as the Dannies and Sandies are narrowed down until we find the one Danny and Sandy that we want.

Judge's Picks: Derek and Ashley, Austin and Allie, Chad and Kathleen, and Olivia Newton John copped out by saying she thought they were great.

Fuskie

Whose unbiased, non-voting opinion is that the original twelve will skate through, with Allie and Max being the ones that he wants...

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Danny needs to be someone who people will believe isn't gay. I only liked the first 2 tonight.

The third pair to sing (Matt and Ashleya guy/girl pair) OUCH both horrible in the tuning department! I hope they go.

Fuskie, were you listening to what I heard? Matt had some major vocal problems.

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I will premise this post by saying that I'm not really into this show and only halfheartedly watched while doing my weekly ironing, but Chad was the only one who impressed me. Of the girls, Kate (she sang All By Myself) was the only performance I even remember.

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The show is bordering being a camp version of American Idle because this show it is hard to take it seriously. I don't care much for Idle, but "You're The One That I Want" makes me think Idle is not too bad.

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I think the competition is serious. There are millions of dollars tied up in this Broadway production, and the initial PR from staging it with unknown leads will only last a few days. If the show fails to appease the critics, the curtain will come down. This is unlike Idol where millions will buy CDs without hearing the music simply because they like the performer.

I was thinking about the two who did not graduate Grease Academy, and what occurred to me was that this may been exactly what I commented on in the original post - an opportunity for the graduates to get a free week to get comfortable performing before a live audience and national television audience by parading out, in dramatic live style, a Danny and Sandy who clearly are not at the same level as the others.

Fuskie

Who as he is watching is thinking how they would look on stage as opposed to on television...

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I was amazed that they re-ran the first 4 episodes on super bowl sunday. OK, it is understable that NBC doesn't want to air any first run episodes of any of their series, but why select such a horribly bad one! NBC would be better off airing pretty much anything else, L&O, the Apprentice, Days of our Lives, morning farm report, etc.

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It has been 2 weeks since the first live show, 2 weeks for the Dannies an Sandies to rehearse for their opening group number. For one Sandy and one Danny, Summer Nights would be their last performance.

It's time for the first eliminations for Grease: Your The One That I Want.

But first, the two least favorite Dannies and Sandies must compete in a sing-off before the judges and special guest Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

They couldn't find him a better looking shirt?

We go through the previous performance with commentary from the other Dannies and Sandies. And then we find out which Sandy and Danny is cruising for a bruising.

After the break.

Let's find out who is safe and who must perform in the sing-off.

Kevin.

Derrick.

Chad.

Austin.

Congratulations, you are all safe.

That leaves 3: Jason, Matt and Max. One of you is safe.

Jason, Matt, and Max. Two of you are in the bottom two. Max, congratulations, you are safe. Jason and Matt are in the sing-off.

Ashley A.

Ashley S.

Laura.

Kathleen.

One of you is in tonight's sing-off. It is Ashley Anderson. The rest of you are safe.

Ally, Julianna and Kate.

One of you will be in the sing-off. Ally, it's you. Julianna and Kate, you are safe.

Jason, Matt, Ally and Ashley A are in the bottom four. Find out who will be eliminated later.

Tonight, the Dannies and Sandies will be signing from musicals, many written by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

First up are Max and Laura. Right after the break.

Max sings Can You Feel The Love Tonight. Fresh with his new Zucko hairdo, Max sings well but seems to be more casually strolling the stage than emoting his performance. Midway through, he seems to loose his key and never figures out what to do with his hands.

Laura sings Jesus Christ, Superstar. With a crystal clear voice, Laura has better stage presence if not an unfortunate choice of wardrobe. The performance rocked, but despite a better performance, she looked like she was executing her choreography, rushing to each mark.

Webber liked Max but wants him to open his eyes more and said that Laura performed all three roles terrifically. The other judges liked Max's head cut and wondered where Laura came from. Max was described as emotionally available but needing swagger. Laura was convincing in needing an answer to her question. Max is becoming Danny, and Laura blew everyone's socks off.

Next up will be Derrick and Ashley S.

Derrick will be singing Footloose. Derrick gets a coule extras to dance off of in an energetic performance with lots of choreography. He gets to profile his guns as well as his moves and voice. The ending was a little underwhelming, however.

Ashley will be singing Take That Look Off Your Face. Ashley also leads off with a crystal clear voice with the equally subtle performance of a love falling apart. She gave off a feeling of anger when in motion, but seemed a little casual when standing still.

Kathleen liked both performances, both conveying different kinds of strengths. Jim said they were terrific. David called Derrick Mr. Charisma, and Ashley brought the voice up to work with her looks. Webber said they performed brilliantly.

Next up will be Kevin and Julianna.

Kevin will be singing Burning Love. With the help of backup dancers, Kevin has the task of taking on the King. He doesn't or sing like Elvis, but he executes his choreography reasonably well and sings respectably.

Julianna will be singing Don't Cry For Me Argentina. Singing to the camera on a balcony, Julianna has a pure voice that does not quite ring of seduction. She had down the subtleties of the song but the performance was a little immature.

David has the same concerns that Kevin wasn't all over the girls, was not the leader of the pack. Julianna needs to rip away the polished veneer. Andrew said Kevin did not make the song his own, he needs character in his performance. Sir Webber says that she sang her song exactly the way he told her. Kathleen said Kevin has to want to be the center of attention and not be so polite and that Julianna needs to show her wild side. Jim said both had difficult songs and have been better.

Next up is a group sing with the title track from The Phantom Of The Opera.

Next up are Chad and Kate.

Chad will be singing My Eyes Adore You. Chad's eyes conveyed a wistful reflection on what might have been. His stage presence was simple yet strong, singing to the camera for votes. It was not a complicated song or choreography and he pulled it off.

Kate will be singing Buenos Aires. Kate was in character from the first note, if not a little more Cuban than Argentinian. It was a strong vocal performance with choreography that played to the audience and let the camera make her shine.

But what did the judges think? Sir Andrew said Chad could have sung better without the flu. Kate was a terrific singer. Jim said that Chad was better earlier in the week when healthier and Kate knocked him off. Kathleen said Chad was a little too contained and she wanted to see a little more of Kate's flirty side. David loved both performances.

Next up Austin and Kathleen.

Austin is singing Ease On Down The Road. Showing he has the moves, Austin performed a complicated choreography which showed he is used to performing on stage with a partner. A bit of a ham performance, his experience definitely gives him an edge.

Kathleen is singing Memory. Wearing another unfortunate wardrobe outfit, Kathleen took on an incredibly difficult vocal, her character with the uncertainty and insecure power for which the role calls. Not the strongest performance, but a good one.

Lord Webber said Kathleen hit the hard notes and carried the word of the song with her. Kathleen loved Austin's physical and vocal performance, and said that Kathleen's performance was deeply emotional. Jim said Austin pulled it off beautifully and Kathleen pulled off a difficult song beautifully. David said Austin was the best performance of the night and Kathleen needs to bring out youthful Sandy next week.

And now it is time for the bottom four singing for their survival. But first, we get to see how they took the news in a recap from earlier tonight.

For 2 it could all end tonight. Jason and Ally were the lowest vote getters, but it is up to the judges, not America. All four will sing Tears On My Pillow.

First up is Jason, singing to the camera. Next came Matt with a more sorrowful performance. The same description could be said for Ally and Ashley A. All performances were vocally stronger than last week, and there was no choreography involved. But now it is up to the judges. Two will go home and two will be the final performers for tonight's show.

Right after this break.

David, Jim and Kathleen can only save one Danny and Sandy.

David breaks the news. Broadway is no place for beginners, so Jason is safe and Matt is going home. Ally is saved and Ashley A is going home. Not surprisingly, both were second chancers. Ally acknowledged that when they were brought back, they did not rise to the occasion. Jason says this is just the beginning and he is not giving up.

Next, Jason has to sing That'll Be The Day. Pumped up with his salvation, he gives off a passionate performance with a period-appropriate performance. David said Jason needs to improve to not be in the bottom again. Jim called it a modern interpretation. Kathleen thought it was too slick and superficial. Sir Andrew says he saw a transformation.

Ally is singing I Don't Know How To Love Him. After a quick costume change, Ally sings a straightforward performance, hitting her marks but not wearing her song on her face. In all, a very simplistic performance. Kathleen said it was a beautiful performance but America needs to see her vulnerability. David said the audience needs to see her passion. Jim wanted more maturity, and Andrew said she is one of the best actresses.

The panel has spoken, but it is up to America to decide which Dannies and Sandies are the ones that we want. Kathleen liked Derrick and Kathleen. Jim liked Max and Laura. David voted for Austin and Laura. And Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber voted for Max and Laura.

To close the show, Matt and Ashley perform one last time, Matt backed up by the remaining Dannies and Ashley A backed up by the remaining Sandies.

Fuskie

Whose top two performances were Austin and Derrick for Danny and Kate and Laura for Sandy...

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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, TV SHOW BLOGS

Grease: You're the One That I Want

by Raven Snook

February 11, 2007: Apparently, Reality Rules Are Made to Be Broken

At least, that's what the producers of Grease seem to think. After weeks of claiming that America would choose the next Sandy and Danny, the judges threw in a loophole: They can save their favorite candidates. When I chatted with Kathleen Marshall back in December, I even asked her if this might be a possibility. She was understandably coy. So while I was annoyed by tonight's turn of events, I can't say I was surprised. This isn't the first reality show to change up the rules, and it certainly won't be the last. Still, there's something really sleazy about selling out the show's selling point. Although Grease is an American Idol clone in almost every way (except ratings), apparently America can't be counted on to make such a tough, Broadway casting decision.

OK, enough bitching about this. It sucks. It's done. There's nothing we can do except stop watching, and for me that's not an option. In a way, I wish it were. While I'm still interested in some of the competitors

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The hair is greased, the neck scarfs are draped, and the gloves are off. With one elimination gone and the two sacrificial lambs, well, sacrificed, the Dannies and Sandies have had one week to gather themselves and prepare for tonight's Duet's special. The final twelve will become the final 10 within the hour.

Grease Producer David Ian, Choreographer Kathleen Marsher, and co-creator Jim Jacobs will have the final word after America narrows the Dannies and and Sandies to the final 2. Jon Secada is the guest artist on the panel.

After a video of the Dannies and Sandies dishing dirt on each other, it is revealed Juliana, Jason, Kathleen and Kevin are in the final four and must perform one last time before the judges make their decision. Julianna, Jason, Kathleen and Kevin each have one last moment to impress the judges with their voice and stage presence.

And then, the moment is over.

Who is to be saved and who will be going home will be revealed. After the break.

The wait is over, the panel has made its decision. Kevin has been saved because of his voice; Jason is going home. Kathleen is saved because of her acting ability; Julianna is going home.

And now on to duet night. Remember, each Danny and Sandy is being voted on individually, but they must perform together to impress America.

Chad and Allie singing Ain't No Mountain High Enough. Not sure about the seductive moves a the top of the stairs and the voices didn't really blend for me. And it seemed like they were dancing off each other instead of with each other. I was looking for their passion for each other in their song instead of their hands.

Jon said it was absolutely electric. Kathleen said it Chad was a pro and Allie knocked it out. Jim said it was a belated Valentines on the 30th anniversary of Grease. David called it theatrical Viagra.

Next up is Austin and Laura singing I Don't Know Much. Austin continues to be polished, creating a tender connection with Laura from the get go. But why did he leave her on the stairs? This was a passionate, believable and well performed duet, even if I do not remember any of the words from the song.

David said they hugely complimented each other tonight, 100% believable. Jim said drama was lacking until tonight. Kathleen said it was great to see Austin sensitive and Laura was stronger than ever. Jon loved the personalities, and said Laura was one of his favorite voices.

Waiting in the wings is Max and Ashley, singing It Takes Two. Tight, dramatic choreography, it lacked the polish of the previous act, but has a casual intimacy of two people completely comfortable with each other. A strong, more modern performance.

Jon thought they had a relaxed chemistry. David found it engaging and real. Jim said both are getting better every week. Kathleen said Max has the requisite sense of humor and Ashley the needed spontaneity.

After the break comes Derek and Kate singing From This Moment On. It is never a good sign when a duet starts with 2 singers looking at the camera and not each other. Derek's vocals were off, and the pace of the choreography was so slow there I lost interest by the time they reached center stage and went into their big finish.

David thought they were only sort of convincing with some horrible notes by Derek and a lack of charisma from Kate. Jim thought there were some problems in the beginning but the song wasn't so great. Kathleen thought it was nice to see Kate's softer side but it seemed a little plan. Jon told them to not be afraid to make a commitment and go for it on stage.

We conclude with Kevin and Kathleen, saved from elimination less than an hour ago, singing Something To Talk About. Assuming these two were paired together from the beginning, the Judges obviously knew what was up. The performance lacked energy or inspiration, and it would not surprise me if this were the end of the road for this Danny and Sandy.

David said it was the right to save them, but just. Kevin's days are numbered and he wants to see less of Kathleen's girl and more of her woman. Jim thought it was the wrong song. Kathleen loves Kevin's voice, but still isn't seeing it on Broadway. Both want her to be more innocent. Jon said it was a blending problem, they were not clicking and working off each other.

Which Danny and Sandy's chances have become permanently stalled? David liked Austin and Ashley. Kathleen liked Chad and Ashley. Jim liked Chad and Allie. Jon would buy a ticket to see Chad and Allie. Find out next week. We end with what I guess is the obligatory goodbye song performed by former Sandy and Danny wannabes Jason and Julianna.

Fuskie

Who lists Austin and Laura and Max and Ashley as the top duets, but is reminded that each Danny and Sandy is to be voted on separately...

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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, TV SHOW BLOGS

Grease: You're the One That I Want

by Raven Snook

February 18, 2007: "Theatrical Viagra"

When David Ian called Chad and Allie's performance of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" "theatrical Viagra," I spit my soda out. Then I googled the phrase, just to see if anyone else had ever said it before. (Apparently it was used a lot when Nicole Kidman appeared naked on Broadway in The Blue Room. Who knew?) Personally, I certainly didn't think there was anything arousing about Chad and Allie's duet. Actually I didn't think any of the couples had much chemistry except for Max and Ashley. I was glad to watch them together, since they're the two I'd like to see win. I'm glad we finally got to see all the performers paired off, so we could assess how the different potential Dannys and Sandys worked together.

Unfortunately, they were, by and large, saddled with awful, treacly, Lite-FM songs. Obviously singing Cole Porter won't work for this show. But do we really need to sit through "From This Moment On," particularly since Derek, who was so wonderful last week, ended up cracking on his opening solo lines? Ouch.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Because of the sudden (and, judging by the NBC message boards, quite unpopular), rule change last week that allowed the judges to save their favorites, the useless Denise Van Outen clarified the way audience voting now works. Apparently up until the semifinal, the judges decide who goes home out of the bottom four. After that, our votes alone will determine who wins the roles of Danny and Sandy. (I just hope my beloved Max is never in the bottom four. If his fate is left in the hands of the judges, I don't think he will survive.)

The sing-off was wisely moved to the top of the show. I wasn't surprised that Jason and Juliana were in the bottom four. As I said last week, I think the judges were setting Juliana up to fail, given the songs they assigned her. And Jason always came off as inexplicably cocky so I certainly wasn't sad to see him go. The minute Jason heard that he was going home instead of Kevin, Juliana and Kathleen must have known the rest of the outcome. Since Jason had been paired with Juliana for the duet, if he went, she went too. That meant the judges had made their decision before the sing-off. Lame. Why not cut that part then and just tell them who's going home. The show feels padded already.

I loved the bitchy (but obviously staged) montage of the contestants saying why they would make a better Danny or Sandy than their competitors. It's not that I like to watch people being mean. It's just that this show has been so damn vanilla. For the most part it was the standard "I'd be a better Sandy/Danny than fill-in-a-contestant's-name-here because I have a stronger voice/better acting skills/more experience." But there were a few funny moments. Apparently Kate was cast as the villainess, since multiple girls commented on her ego. And I loved when Chad said that he could bring "the machismo" to the role of Danny more than Austin. Hmmmm, I wonder what he meant by that? The thing is, no matter how talented anyone is, a large part of casting is predicated on looks and vibe. That's just the way the business works. And I can't buy Austin as Danny, no matter how well he sings, dances or acts. I felt the same way about Jason. And Kevin, too (as David said, he lacks "star quality" although he does have a nice voice). Max, Derek and Chad are the only viable options in my eyes, with Derek and Max my frontrunners. I loved what Max said in that montage: "I think I can be a better Danny than Max because that kid's a loser." That was a funny way to get out of ragging on his fellow competitors.

So far the Sandys have made little impression on me. I always seem to favor Ashley, but I think that's because she's an easy type to see as Sandy, and sings and dances well. Most of the other girls sing well enough, too, but they're just so... perky. The judges go gaga for Laura every time, but she's always got a fake smile plastered on her face. Kate has a strong voice but she's haughty. And Kathleen, aka "Spiritual Sandy," plain scares me (although at least she didn't give us a "tip" this episode).

Here are my thoughts on the performances:

Chad Doreck and Allie Schultz: singing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." They sang well, but it was the whitest rendition of that song I've ever heard. No soul. And I didn't think it was half as sexy as the judges did. Poor Allie had to endure more sexual harassment from Jim Jacobs. "Talk about a belated Valentine. Allie you hit me in the heart with that." Your heart. Yeah, right.

Austin Miller and Laura Osnes: singing "Don't Know Much." OK I admit, I hate this tune. And I didn't understand why they received applause when the song modulated. They were fine, but totally unconvincing. When Austin said, "Laura is a sizzling hot woman, I look into her eyes and I'm lost" I actually laughed out loud.

Max Crumm and Ashley Spencer: singing "It Takes Two." I thought they sounded great together, although Ashley looked a little tentative as they danced down those steps (why oh why do they have them do that?) Max was so cute, and actually acting, making moves on Ashley and reacting to her when she rebuffed him. He has a really expressive face, although he does devolve into eyebrow acting sometimes. I'm sick of the judges calling Max "the unconventional Danny Zuko." He's not that ugly! No, he's not a model. But Danny shouldn't be a pretty boy. He should be macho.

Derek Keeling and Kate Rockwell: singing "From This Moment On. This was painful. And I really was sad about that. Derek did so badly! He went so far off-key. But anyone can have an off night. Kate, eh, she was fine. I don't know. These Sandys just don't stick with me.

Kevin Greene and Kathleen Moteleone: singing "Something to Talk About." I didn't think this was anywhere near as bad as the judges did, although it certainly wasn't good. They had blending issues, although a lot of that was Kathleen's fault. She was over-singing. And she always has a scary look in her eyes. As I said above, I think David's call that Kevin lacks star quality was right on. He has a fabulous voice though. I'm sure he'll work, just probably not as a Broadway lead.

I didn't even mention guest judge Jon Secada. He didn't really add much. Although he's living proof that a Danny of color can work (he played the part in the '90s Broadway revival of Grease).

The judges' picks for Danny and Sandy this week:

David Ian: Austin and Ashley

Kathleen Marshall: Chad and Ashley

Jim Jacobs: Chad and Allie

Jon Secada: Chad and Allie

And you all know mine. Who are yours?

Posted by Raven Snook 02/19/07 8:30 AM

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Ladies and gentlemen, you have been patient and you shall be rewarded.

It's the Oscar-Delayed Edition of Grease: You're The One That I Want, third elimination.

You have seen them sing, dance, and duet. But tonight, our Dannies and Sandies are going to take their game to a whole new level: they are going to act!

But first, it's make or break time. Who will be the bottom two Sandies and the bottom two Dannies to perform in the sing-off?

Austin, Max, Ashley, Laura, guys, congratulations, you're all safe.

Derek and Allie, you two are also safe.

That leaves Chad, Kevin, Kate, and Kathleen in the bottom four and in the sing-off.

These four will be singing for their survival later.

But tonight, it's all about the girls as we find out whether the girls can act.

First up is Ashley who chose Kevin as her scene partner, and they took notes well. Performing These Boots Were Made For Walking, the judges are looking for her sultry side. Instead we get a cross between biker chick, Austin Powers and Jessica Simpson. But maybe a little more sexy than sultry. Kathleen said she looked and sounded great but needs to strip away her exterior and let us in. Jim thought every guy was knocked out. David was unconvinced, lacking in passion.

Next up is Allie who chose Max as her scene partner, and she had difficulty getting it right the first time. Performing It's Oh So Bright, the judges are looking for fun and flirty. Starting with a tease to the audience, she looses up on stage with a bigger than life performance that brings the audience in on the joke. Kathleen said she delivered: it was fun, free and real. Jim said it was musical comedy at its best. David said she has the singing and dancing, but needs the acting to be good enough.

The third Sandy is Laura who chose Derrick as her scene partner. Singing Fever, the judges were looking for something down and dirty. A sultry performance with flaming back-lit hair, it was controlled and well executed. David said it was sexy, sultry and sophisticated. Jim said it took it to another level. Kathleen said it was like watching a star, a committed performance with truth and believability.

I should stop here and point out that although this is a night for the Sandies, the Dannies are not getting off easy as they are dancing opposite the Sandies which the judges are watching to see how well they perform in a group dance.

And now with the safe Sandies having performed, it is time for the sing-off. Kevin and Kate were the lowest vote getters last week, but who will the judges decide stays and goes? It is time for Chad, Kevin, Kate, and Kathleen to sing Blue Moon for their Broadway lives.

And then their final moment was over. But which Danny and Sandy will the panel save and who will go home?

Jim announces that for the first time, it is not unanimous. The Sandy to be saved is Kathleen. The Danny to be saved is Chad.

Kevin and Kate are going home.

Kathleen had chosen Chad as her acting partner and was free with her emotions. Performing Let's Here It For The Boy, the judges were looking for free, innocent and fun. The vocals were a little off and the performance looked choreographed and acted. David didn't think she sounded out of breath, but her acting scenes were fabulous. Jim agreed it was the acting scene that saved her. Kathleen is not sure her energy lends herself to Sandy.

For night's finale, the Sandies get the chance of a lifetime to take the stage along side veteran performer Frankie Avalon singing Beauty School Drop-Out.

We are down to four Sandies and four Dannies. The Judges all liked Laura as their Sandy. Next week the spotlight will be on the Dannies as we move towards our final six. But first, it's time for the Kevin and Kate to sing their farewell song.

Fuskie

Who disagrees with the judges and thought Allie's performance was hands down the best and Kate's the worst of the night...

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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, TV SHOW BLOGS

Grease: You're the One That I Want

by Raven Snook

February 25, 2007: K Stands for Kicked Off

First off, forgive me if this is not my most lucid post. I'm writing it during the Oscars commercial breaks... oh, and during all the lame technical awards, too. I think it's odd that the folks behind Grease: You're the One That I Want chose to air a repeat of the show opposite the Super Bowl, but that they dare to go up against the Academy Awards. I think that the Oscars and a Broadway reality show share many more fans in common than football.

I for one was dying to change the channel once the four remaining gals had finished. Why did they think leaving Frankie Avalon's "Beauty School Drop-Out" for last was a good idea? Particularly when it was so embarrassing. I know the guy is pushing 70, so I should be kind. But there was no excuse for what was on his head or what came out of his mouth. At least the wannabe Sandys acquitted themselves well, but they were much better in the opening number. "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" was definitely the tightest group number we've seen so far. I was actually

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Grease: You're The One That I want - 4th Elimination

Tonight it's all about the Dannies. We start with the four remaining Dannies singing Grease Lightening, exuding their Daniness with every note and every move. Which Danny is the One That You Want?

But first, two of the remaining Sandies will fight in a sing-off and one more will be going home. We recap the last week's eliminations, and competitiveness between the Dannies and Sandies. The battle for Broadway rages on as they tough it out tonight. This week, the Dannies needs to be able to sing, dance and act.

The judges want Austin to make them laugh, so Austin tries to learn how to be funny by going to a comedy workshop. Performing Fun, Fun, Fun, a hairless open-shirt Austin looks like a twenty-something trying to act like an inexperienced teenager. It just didn't work for me. David had fun looking at the girls, but thinks Austin is outside of his comfort zone as Danny. Jim thought it was a forced fun. Kathleen thought it he was loose and goofy.

Next up is Derek, whose biggest competition has been himself, so he goes to a vocal coach. Performing Heaven, it was a personable vocal performance, but it lacked the passion of one man singing to his true love. Kathleen said with one exception, it was beautiful and romantic. Jim said he has a bit of a Buddy Holly technique. David said it was a crack, and it was a bit safe and boring.

Max's challenge is showing physicality and leadership, so he goes to the boxing ring to learn how to focus his bravado. Performing Hard To Handle, Macho Max seems a little out of character in a plaid shirt as he saunters down the spiral stairs, but oozes confidence when he takes on two girl on the stage. David loved the transformation, an unconventional look but convincing talent. Jim said Max's believability has been growing on him. Kathleen said it was fun to see him strut like a rock star.

The final Danny, Chad, was saved from elimination last week and needs to prove his acting chops by projecting Shakespeare to the back row, so he goes to an acting class. Performing Don't Stop Me Now, his performance has lots of energy and emotion, but comes off a little breathless and his vocals suffer. Kathleen thought it was vocally in and out and he needs to bring something extra of his own to the choreography. Jim said he is too much of a pretty boy who needs to be toughened up. David said his looks would sell millions of tickets.

The Dannies day is done and it is time to find out which two Sandies were voted into a sing-off.

Laura, you are safe.

Kathleen, you are in the bottom two again.

Ashley, you are safe.

Allie, you are in the bottom two.

Allie and Kathleen have both been in the bottom two, and Allie received the lowest number of votes. It is time for the sing-off, performing It's Raining On Prom Night.

Which Sandy will be saved and which will be going home is now in the hands of the panel. Allie and Kathleen await the judges ruling. The panel unanimously thought Max was Danny tonight. But for Kathleen, in a majority-rule choice, the road to Sandra D came to an end.

Fuskie

Who thought Max aced his performance but based on the sing-off, Kathleen would have been the one that he wanted to save...

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Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, TV SHOW BLOGS

Grease: You're the One That I Want

by Raven Snook

March 4, 2007: Dannys Do or Die

OK, the competition is over, at least in my eyes. Max is the Danny that I want. After tonight, I absolutely cannot imagine any of the other contestants in the role. Austin doesn't have the necessary charm and humor. Chad is all over the place vocally. And while I do think Derek may still have a slight chance, promising not to crack and then proceeding to do so made him look really bad. You can't do that on Broadway, babe. I know a lot of people complain that Max is too goofy-looking to play the part, (the theater queens I know think he'd be a better Doody due to his non-model looks), but an astute poster on a Broadway message board likened him to Henry Winkler, aka Fonzie. I thought that was a perfect analogy. Before he joined Happy Days, no one would have pegged Winkler as a sex symbol. It's amazing how the right role can change an actor's image. I think Danny could do that for Max.

Completely off topic, can I complain again about the shows I'm missing to cover Grease? Last week, it went head-to-head with the Oscars. And tonight it was up against Stephen Sondheim guest starring on The Simpsons! The drama queen in me so wanted to turn to Fox, which I did every commercial break. Luckily, Grease has so many breaks, I almost caught the entire Simpsons' episode!

As for the play-by-play: The opening with the boys singing "Greased Lightning" (which my 18-month-old daughter loved for some reason) was like watching a microcosm of the entire competition. There was so much cattiness up there on that stage. Of course, that was mirrored in the clearly staged "candid" interviews with each of the Dannys. Apparently none of the guys liked Chad (because of his acting experience? Or is he just a jerk?). Austin took a swipe at Derek by saying he was the Danny "who wouldn

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The judges finally got the message. . . America doesn't like Kathleen. For me personally, I think she has a nice voice but she has a hard, cold look to her face. Doesn't even come close to what I expect to see in Sandy. And why the heck is Max still there? He doesn't look impressive enough to be Danny Zucco. He looks like Danny Zucco's weasel looking little brother.

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Grease is the word, and tonight we say goodbye to one of the remaining 4 Dannies. Will it be Max, Austin, Derek or Chad? Who is the one that you want? Them the final three Dannies and Sandies will perform for the chance to make it into next week's finals competition, at which America will take total control.

Joining Jim, David and Kathleen is Tony Award winner and Kathleen's big brother, Rob Marshall.

But first, we review each Danny's performance from last week. Who did America place into the sing-off? Another Danny is heading home.

Two are safe and guaranteed a place in tonight's semi-final. Who is safe and who is heading home? Austin and Chad, you are both in the bottom two and in tonight's sing-off. Derek and Max, you are safe and definitely singing for America's votes tonight.

Tonight, the girls will show Sandy's sensitive side while the guys will be channeling the King of Rock.

First up is Allie, singing You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman. Slightly off pitch, she seemed like she was trying to perfect her choreography just before she stripped on the stares. She finally begins to emote her performance at the second verse, but it is an unconvincing theatrical performance.

Next up is Derek singing Devil In Disguise. The verses were sung sweet and angelic while the chorus was upbeat and Elvisish. The devil side was not quite as convincing, but it was a good vocal and an effective two-sided performance.

We get sentimental video tributes from the parents back home and then te judges weigh in. Kathleen said Allie was fresh and lovely on stage, but has sung better and needed more emotional depth. Danny has the ease and charm of a Broadway leading man. Rob said Allie and Derek were amazing but need to become their character, singing the songs as if they were Sandy and Danny.

Next up are Laura and Max.

Singing Don't Leave Me This Way, the vocals are spot on and the emotion and energy are in full effect. But this is not a song and dance competition; the song needs to tell a story and when the eyes are looking ahead to the next mark, it is a tell tale sign that someone is not yet completely comfortable performing on stage.

Singing Suspicious Minds, Max could be singing to the camera, asking the questions he is singing. The performance lacked some of the athletic energy we are used to from him, too much walking and not enough emoting. Finally, his outfit neither reflected Danny nor Elvis, so I am not sure what character he was portraying.

We get the sentimental videos from Laura and Max's parents and then it is the judges' turn. Jim said he is virtually speechless in his respect and admiration, as the most originally unconventional at the beginning with talent developing each week. Rob said they approached the material as actors and he could be looking at the next Danny and Sandy.

There is one more pair of Danny and Sandies, but first all the Dannies and Sandies sing a tribute to Rob Marshall with a group performance of All That Jazz. And then the sing-off when either Austin or Chad will go home.

Austin received the lowest number of votes, but it is up to the panel to decide who stays and who goes. They will be singing Rock And Roll Party Queen. While Austin is typically smooth and polished, Chad was more rough and natural. But it is all in the hands of the judges now. Who will be eliminated? Find out after the break.

The judges have made their last save decision of the competition. The Danny the panel has decided to save is Austin, based on his triple threat in singing, dancing and acting. Chad's pick for Danny is Max.

But first, Ashley sings You Keep Me Hanging On. Spot on vocals, but really bad camera work start the performance. She does a great job emoting the song but if you are playing a character telling a story, you do not need to swing your hips and strut around the stage like this is a dance competition.

And finally, our saved Danny Austin sings Can't Help Falling In Love. Proving he can sing in the low octave, Austin gave a workshop in how to sing to an audience while portraying a character. But they do not have camera positions on Broadway.

We sit through the final sentimental videos from their families before the judges get in the last words. David said they were great tonight, but now Ashley has real emotion, passion and acting. Austin is great to see his emotion, he is such a professional to come back after the sing-off, with a great baritone. Rob said they are so talented, but now they really have to go on stage and think only Sandy and only Danny.

We say goodbye to Chad as he performs the Grease Goodbye song. The panel has lost their power, but not their voice. Who are their picks for Sandy and Danny this week? For Kathleen, it's Max and Laura. For Jim, it is Austin and Laura. For David it is Austin and Laura. And for Rob, it's a cop-out as he says they are terrific.

Fuskie

Whose favorite Danny and Sandy performances tonight were Austin and Laura...

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