Monday, January 29, 2007

A Few Good Dannys Without a Suitable Sandy

Last night 14 potential Dannys and Sandys had a chance to wow America at the first live show of "Grease: You're The One That I Want." After the airing, viewers voted for their favorites and at the next show in two weeks, one Danny and one Sandy will be eliminated. After two hours of being entertained by the guys and horrified by the women, my hopes for the Broadway production are waning (and they weren't very high to begin with).

Twelve finalists had been chosen, but no reality show would be complete without a twist, so producer David Ian brought back the two contestants that they were the most sorry to lose, Matt Nolan and Ashley Anderson. This means that next week we will still be stuck with 12 competitors and the end remains nowhere in sight.

Nolan is a sweet boy who really wants the part and the audience loves him. I love him too; I mean he cried when he was eliminated, but he has no training and he is always going out of tune. There is no way he will be ready to star on Broadway, no matter how much he practices. And if I hear Ian call him "green" one more time, well I probably won't do anything other than get annoyed, but can someone please give him a thesaurus.

I can sort of understand bringing Nolan back, but Anderson is atrocious. I know "Grease" co-creator Jim Jacobs loves her because she looks like his image of Sandy, but her lack of talent was obvious at the first audition when her voice cracked three times. I have a feeling she won't make it to the next round, so hopefully we can be rid of her for good.

Other than Nolan, I think any of the Dannys would be decent, but I'm rooting for Austin Miller, Derek Keeling, or Max Crumm. From the beginning, Miller seemed like the most obvious choice. He is the only one with any real experience, and he has already paid his touring company dues. He might have benefited from singing a different song last night, as "Mony Mony" did not really showcase his vocal abilities.

Derek Keeling's rendition of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," on the other hand, proved that he has the looks, the moves, and the voice to be a real threat to Miller.

Crumm is the wild card that almost got eliminated because he doesn't look like Danny Zucko, but the judges seem to like him and it would be nice if America went with the anti-Danny. After he rocked "Summer of '69," he just may be my favorite.

While I would pay (as long as they were student rush prices) to see any of those three Dannys, I could not see myself sitting through a 2 hour show with any of the girls. They have nasally pop voices that seem more suited to American Idol. Kate Rockwell has the biggest potential and I agree with the judges that she has the best voice, but considering who she is competing against, that is not saying much. She is from Blue Ash, though, and since I live there until I was 3, I feel like I should root for her.

My biggest problem with the show is that the judges are too nice. The only one that is somewhat brutal is David Ian, the token British judge, but even he seemed to be holding back. Olivia Newton John seemed to think that everybody was wonderful and had great personalities. The next guest judge is Andrew Lloyd Webber, and one can only hope that he is less diplomatic and that by then the girls will have stepped it up a notch.

*I would also like to note that "You're The One That I Want" is a song from the film, not the Broadway production. I'm wondering if they are going to add it in to this revival, considering everybody will be expecting it. I just find it odd that everybody keeps referring to the film version, which is very different than the stage version.*

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