Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hopelessly devoted to you

So, I mentioned this before, but, to review, NBC has a new reality show called "Grease: You're the One that I want." The premise is simple, American Idol meets Broadway: the producer of Grease on Broadway in America (a Brit, naturally), the creator of Grease and some random choreographer whittled down a huge field of potential Dannys and Sandys to 12 and now "America is voting" for its favorites, who will then go on to star on Broadway.

But that's where the similarities to American Idol end, in strange ways. I watched the behemoth first live episode (2 whole hours) after catching much of the early auditioning episodes and was struck by, get ready for it, how great the first 4 contestants were! They could ACTUALLY sing and dance and move, every single one of them. And you know what? Honestly, it was a little boring. After a few seconds of realizing that these folks were each quite good, I tuned out 'til the next one...and the next one...and so on. And I was shocked at my own reaction, largely because I never thought that I would be one of those clamoring for some bad singers or performers for interest's sake, since normally I hate to watch the "bad" ones be delusional about their talent or lack thereof. But watching lots of good performers was a snooze.
Fortunately, the show brought back two "green" (read "weak") performers who were apparently early audience favorites but were as sad as sad can be on stage and the rest of the crew after the first four weren't as stellar, so there was more to see (and mock), but I'm worried this show is going to be too cut and dried in the end.

And the "judges" weren't helping, because they were too nice. The creator of Grease is enamored of each and every contestant, I kid you not. He keeps saying things like "If I had to pick Danny tonight, you'd be it" or "You are absolutely Danny for me" to different contestants at different times. The Brit producer only ever said positive comments with just a few constructive critiques that weren't even really critiques. The choreographer kept assuring us that "everyone was just super!" And guest judge for the first episode, Olivia Newton John (who was also a guest judge during the early rounds of Idol this season), was so taken with everyone that she couldn't even pick a favorite. Next week's guest judge? Andrew Lloyd Webber, thank you very much. You certainly can't fault the glitz and glam going on here.

So I'll keep you posted. I'm keeping my eye on the Mormon contestant (whose Danny wasn't that great even though he's already been on Broadway--he sang "Faith"--ahh, how cute) and the evangelical Christian worship leader (whose Sandy certainly had charisma--and, as she tells us, she has made a deal with the Lord about making i to Broadway), not because they were the most talented but because I always like to check up on the overtly religious folks for curiosity's sake.

But you? You should skip the whole show, trust me. It's not the one that you want, I promise.

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