How much fun is this show?! I never really watched American Idol, except in passing, so my only real exposure to Paula Abdul is through her music and her amazing Bravo show from a few years back, Hey Paula. She's a very entertaining brand of crazy, but who knew she was so inspiring? I can't even count the number of times she nearly made my eyes water. And I love the concept of this show that not only showcases talented dancers but those who are dedicated to it and love it, despite not being the best technically or what have you. Some of these people are just wonderful and heartwarming; anyone, especially any dancers, who didn't feel something when 90-year old Bonnie said, "Dancing gave me my life back" after her husband's death just doesn't have a soul.
So the object of the show is simple: dance. There are no choreographed routines, no Vegas bootcamp. All you have to do is show up and do whatever moves you; if you get 2 or 3 gold stars from the 3 judges, you are shortlisted to compete. The eighteen best dancers or dance acts from that shortlist get a chance to compete over the next four weeks for a prize of $500,000, and the viewers will vote for the winner.
My early favorites:
- Bev and Hap: This 83 year old woman was truly something to see. She is as limber as someone a quarter of her age, and she has a real gift for comedy as well. She and her partner were the highlight of the entire two-hour episode.
- Twitch: I loved how strange this group was. I didn't really understand the choreography or the costumes or the characters, but it was different and intriguing. But let's be honest... all of those girls are just dancing backup for Anthony, the group's sole male member. He was fantastic.
- Amanda and D'Angelo: The final couple of the night, a 10 year old girl and 9 year old boy. Now, I hate kids, especially when they're dancing. But these two were so good that I couldn't help but love it. Amanda was flawless, dancing with the technique and poise of someone twice her age. They even earned a standing ovation from the three judges.
- Chi-Town Finest Breakers: How cute are these kids?! They are a Brady Bunch or Partridge Family for 2011, except instead of bad pop songs and bell bottoms we get breakdancing. B-Girl Precious Moments is the most adorable thing, and to top it all off... they're completely selfless! If they win, they want to help other kids who may not have homes but want to learn how to dance. Stop it already, I can't handle it.
I honestly can't wait for tomorrow night's episode (it airs Wednesdays at 8:00 on CBS). Live to Dance is so entertaining and uplifting, and it's the perfect show to fill the void left by SYTYCD.