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Live To Dance - Premiere Review

Oh Paula, oh Paula…how your fans missed you. Our wait is over, as Paula returned to our airwaves January 4,  on CBS’s Live to Dance, a real dance competition, unlike some others we know.  If you’re a fan of competition dance, this show did not disappoint.  Those of us who were embroiled in the Dancing With The Stars controversy are pleased to see that  Live to Dance clearly defined itself from the opening sequence:  it is looking for the best dance act, and by best, they mean the act that breaks barriers and gives us something we’ve never seen before. A tall order, but we know the journey on which we embark.

The premiere night gave us auditions from L.A. and New York, with an hour devoted to each city. The auditions were pre-produced and pre-packaged in front of a studio audience; some were full 30 second auditions, while others were shown in lightning speed montage sequences, along with a quick clip of some injuries and snafus (always fun). Live to Dance moves at an extremely fast pace, keeping  the contestant back stories and judge bantering to a bare minimum. If you blinked you would have missed an audition.

Two or more gold stars by the judges moves a contestant to the “short list” of consideration for the semi-finals, while  2 or more red stars mean better luck next time.  A judge has a chance to change his or her vote, and the first and only one of the night was a change from Travis Payne, who caved to audience pressure for an aging  trio of former Solid Gold Dancers.   While the show lacks the nitty gritty of the raw auditions we are so familiar with from American Idol, it does show us that the judges are clearly within their element.  Travis Payne, a dancer from the age of 9, was a choreographer for Michael Jackson, while Kim Wyatt, also a choreographer with a long list of credits, is the founder of the Pussycat Dolls. Paula of course, is an esteemed dancer and choreographer in her own right.  The judges clearly work as a team. Their comments were warm, uplifting and professional, while criticisms were positive, encouraging and helpful.  No nasty tirades to talentless hopefuls, and no backbiting or controversy at the judges table. Even the host was a sweetheart, humorously admitting to knowing the Solid Gold dance routines as a child. Read More....


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