Review of "Grease: You're The One That I Want" From The TV MegaSite
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"Grease: You're The One That I Want" Review by Danielle 1/13/07

"Grease: You're The One That I Want"

 "Grease: You're The One That I Want" is a new reality show airing on NBC Sunday nights at 8PM ET. The competition, hosted by Access Hollywood's Billy Bush and Denise Van Auten, features several cities worth of casting calls. The ultimate goal is to have America's viewers vote on which actress will play Sandy and which actor will play Danny in this new stage production of "Grease."

After three weeks worth of auditions, the pool of contestants will be narrowed down to 12 that the viewers then get to pick from. There is no mention of how the other cast members will be cast, though several of those trying out are obviously perfect for the more supporting roles.

The first round features the three judges listening to each contestant sing part of a song of their own selection. The three judges consist of Jim Jacobs (the writer of the original "Grease" concept), David Ian (the producer of this impending stage production and bankroller), and Kathleen Marshall (director and choreographer.) One of the small highlights from the show was seeing Olivia Newton John's taped commentary interspersed throughout the first part of the show. The downside, however, was that while she talked about using this new production to find a different looking Sandy, the judges seemed to look for any excuse to cut contestants who weren't rail thin, Caucasian, young, and blonde. Several times the judges even said "You don't look like Sandy, but you've got a great singing voice so we'll let you move on."

Those who made it past the singing round came back the next day, and after being taught a simple dance routine by Kathleen, were brought back on stage in small groups to go through the dance routine in front of the three judges. Those that impressed the judges with their dancing are granted access to the " Grease Academy." The "Grease Academy" is an actual building the contestants will be bussed to that was referred to as a boot camp style of acting, singing, and dance classes.

This debut episode narrowed down the turnout from Los Angeles and Chicago's open casting calls to about seven contestants from each town to move on to "Grease Academy." The show did offer some personal insight into the contestants and their reasons for trying out. A small few contestants even stood out as ones I foresee as being the ones rejected by the judges but beloved by the viewers.

A highlight for movie fans was the tour Jim Jacobs gave of the old Chicago landmarks that inspired the characters and events in the movie including a visit by Susan Buckner who played Patty Simcox in the movie. Otherwise, the only difference between this and American Idol is that the prize is a starring role on Broadway instead of a recording contract.

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Updated 1/15/07


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