Popstars 2, Episode 3: Dancing Machinesby Lisa Jacobs -- 07/10/2002
Day 3. It’s time to shut up and dance. The competition moves from vocal auditions to the all-important dance round. If you can sing, bully for you, but if you can’t move, you won’t make it as a Popstar.
Today, the Popstars’ judges – Executive Vice President of 143 Records, Jaymes Foster-Levy; choreographer Tony Michaels; and record producer/songwriter Brad “RipRock” Daymond – must evaluate the contestants’ potential to learn and master complex dance steps.
The nerves are in high gear, since most of the 140 finalists in the six cities don’t have much experience in following choreography. Plus, this is the last chance to impress the judges before the final cut to determine who moves on to the Los Angeles workshop.
Tony Michaels, the choreographer for N’Sync’s No Strings Attached tour and the J-Lo “Play” video, runs today’s audition. First off is the “Freestyle” section, of which Tony says, “The Freestyle section is important to me, first of all so I can see how creative they can be with dance, as well as how they can generate their own energy as individuals.”
Most everyone holds their own, despite their trepidation and nerves. A select few that have dance experience are even admitting to some butterflies.
Before the choreography section, cutie-patootie Josh Henderson gets a little cocky and severely sprains his ankle after doing a flip. Luckily, he makes it to the final dance audition in Florida despite not being completely healed. He holds his own, though he knows he could have done better if not for the injury. The lesson learned here? Don’t think you’re hot poo, or the universe will land you in a big puddle of it.
During the choreography section, Tony teaches each group a complex and extremely difficult routine. Even those with dance experience struggle with this round. The judges are worried that it seems like the best singers are the worst dancers, and vice verse.
Finally, the judges give the contestants the “Group Test.” The kids are broken up into groups of five and have twenty minutes to create a routine. Vocal arrangements and choreography must be created from scratch in each group. However, what the groups don’t know is that the judges are secretly watching them on hidden video cameras to see how they interact with each other.
The loser in this round is Popstars #1 veteran, Alexandra Bachelier. She is snotty to the others because of her experience in the first year; she doesn’t perform well, and is wearing slutty clothes that are a size too small. On the other end of the spectrum is cutey, Tom Tusler. He’s a down-home and totally normal kind of guy who is the winner in this section for his ability to take direction and get along despite his lack of experience
Next Week: Phone calls to the 26 who will move onto the next round!
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