Last night, former (and hopefully future again) Dancing With The Stars judge Julianne Hough attended a “For Your Consideration Event” for FOX’s ‘Grease Live’. You can watch a live stream below as well as view some beautiful photos. I love Julianne in red and look at her eyes. Gorgeous! Adding: I’m so hoping Julianne and the cast get nominated for an Emmy for “Grease Live”.
And this, kids, is where I illustrate to you how much of a crap shoot it can be for us with spoilers 😛 Sometimes, we just have to do the best we can with incomplete scraps of information, and we do the best we can to vet everything before reporting to you – today, I just don’t have that ability, so I’m giving you what I can without reporting anything false.
What I do know: one of the three members of R&B group Boyz II Men is the 12th contestant on this season of DWTS. And whoever that person is, he’s dancing with Lindsay.
One source told me the other day that Lindsay’s partner “is a singer in his 40s”. Another source reported that he/she overheard a male voice singing Boyz II Men songs a capella in the rehearsal studio with Lindsay, and saw “a black guy” leaving the studio later on, but couldn’t get a good look at his face to determine which Boy-to-Man it was. Source was fairly certain, though, that it was NOT Shawn Stockman – arguably the most well-known member of the group, due to his recent stint as a judge on The Sing-Off.
So who does that leave? Well, before I hit up Wikipedia, I only knew them as Other-Guy-in-Boyz-II-Men-That-Dated-Brandy-Back-In-The-Day and Other-Other-Guy-In-Boyz-II-Men – but it turns out their names are Wanya Morris & Nathan Morris, respectively. And no, there’s no relation there.
Other evidence? Lindsay’s mom, Mindy, apparently started following Boyz II Men on Twitter yesterday, but seems to have since unfollowed since so many of you noticed – I don’t suppose any of you slick private investigators grabbed a screen shot, did you?
So what has Boyz II Men been up to lately? They have a residence at The Mirage in Las Vegas (see below), and they most recently appeared in Grease: Live. And back in 2013, they toured with NKOTB & 98 Degrees as part of the “Package Tour” (hehe), which I had the pleasure of seeing when they came to Indianapolis. Video here from my long-abandoned tumblr page, taken from the 2nd row.
A photo posted by BoyzIIMen (@boyziimenofficial) on
So who do I think we’ll see? I guess my money’s on Wanya, because then they might be able to get Brandy in the audience? *shrug* I honestly don’t know, but I daresay that anyone from Boyz II Men is another pretty damn good get for the show, in an already stellar casting group 😎
Since the pros were starting to meet their partners today (although we only know of three who have, right now), we figured that we would start revealing the couples as they reveal themselves…or when we find them out. 😉 You gotta know that this is a secret that will be impossible to keep – not when they are starting to rehearse!! It’s gonna get out one way or another, and we’re going to report it!
Anyway, our first confirmed couple is kind of a gimme, as we’ve reported on this woman a couple times and the evidence was pretty strong.
ETA: Couple #2 confirmed! And I gotta say – I’m pretty excited about it. Will definitely be interesting to see these two work together & grow this season… -Court-
ETA2: Didn’t see this one coming…thoughts? -Court-
ETA3: We’re guessing this is the one that is going to get announced on GMA this morning, given who it is – and I’d say it’s also a bit of an unexpected partnership, given this pro’s track record of fairly young and/or able-bodied, conveniently experienced dancers. -Court-
ETA4: Apologies to those on Twitter I may have confused last night – I myself got confused, and mixed up two different pros’ partners. I think you’ll see why when the rest of the cast breaks 😉 But yeah, this one was sort of a gimme, but it does help give us a clearer picture of the cast so far… -Court-
ETA5: Saw this name floating around Twitter as a possibility, so I figured I may as well confirm. Rather interesting (and timely) casting, no? -Court-
ETA6: DOUBLE-WHAMMY!!! So E! goes and spoils a name that came completely out of left field…guess what? So will I. 😉 -Court-
ETA7: Since everyone else is reporting on Kim/Sasha, I will go ahead and add – but let me qualify that I only know this through process of elimination, and my sources were unable to confirm with certainty that those two are paired up…hence the **. But as for the other one I’m revealing – this I’m 100% certain of. And yes – it’s another WHAMMY. 😎 You heard it here FIRST, kids! -Court-
ETA8: Got another one out of left field for you – and I actually kind of wonder if this celeb may have requested his pro. I don’t have any proof, just a hunch. -Court-
ETA9: And with this update, I’m fairly certain this is the full cast. Seen a lot (and gotten pulled into a lot) of speculation on Twitter about Ben Higgins (*eye roll*) being a “last-minute” or “surprise” add with Emma as his partner after The Bachelor wraps on Mar. 14, but honestly guys – all signs seem to be pointing to this being a 12-couple season. Ditto to the fringe R5 fans that are insisting that Rydel is going to be a “surprise announcement” and be paired with Derek – no more spots left, guys. Better luck next season…now please move on. -Court-
Give it up to the Grease Live Soundtrack! Already it’s the #5 album on iTunes. Julianne Hough’s songs are doing so well too. Below is more from The Wrap.
That’s pretty good company, as are the acts that “Grease” is actually ahead of: Justin Bieber, Charlie Puth, Coldplay, twenty one pilots, and Chris Stapleton. Heard of those guys?
Drilling a bit deeper into iTunes stats, the most popular single track from “Grease: Live” may surprise you: It’s “Those Magic Changes” by Jordan Fisher. That’s the ditty the singer/actor’s Doody performs with his acoustic guitar in the diner scene. It brought on some swooning for sure.
Up second as a standalone is “Grease (Is the Word)” by Jessie J, which opened the impressive musical event last night.
“Summer Nights,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “There Are Worse Things I Could Do,” and “You’re the One That I Want” are battling it out for the close third position.
So, who watched “Grease Live” and what did you think? Let us know in comments.
The show isn’t quite over here yet, but, I have loved every single minute. Julianne Hough was the perfect “Sandy”! In fact, I thought all the actors picked have been just perfect!! All the performances have just been excellent!!
Also, if you weren’t able to see the show, note that @Idolxfactor is putting up some highlights as I type. To see them, go Idolxfactor.com HERE! Below is one to get you started. Thanks Al!
ETA: Wow, I have not seen one bad press review of “Grease Live” (so far). I’m not going to post them all, but, here are a few that sum it up. Be sure to go to the links to read more….
Fox’s highly anticipated Grease: Live aired Sunday night and, despite the many, many ways it could have been a total train wreck, the performance went off without a hitch.
In fact, it wasn’t just well-executed, it was spectacular! From the complex orchestration to the huge ensemble cast, everything was pulled off to perfection, and accomplished with the sort of enthusiastic ambition that people have been looking for from prior live televised musicals that have been staged in recent years.
….Aaron Tveit’s Danny Zuko, Julianne Hough’s Sandy and (perhaps most of all) Vanessa Hudgens’ Rizzo made Fox’s three-hour production faster, funnier, sweeter and more instantly iconic than it was possible to imagine.
Buoyed by tremendous camera work, fleet-footed choreography, a kicky cast in which no one laid claim to “weak link” status, and a sound mix that was fuller (or less tinny) than any comparable production that’s come before it, Grease built on the live (but not in front of a live audience) musicals championed by rival NBC over the last three years.
Right from Jessie J.’s opening “Grease Is the Word” — in which the pop star managed to trek through seemingly two miles of backstage passageways and show sets — the tone was set: There wasn’t a minuscule detail that director Thomas Kail (Hamilton) overlooked. OK, there were about 30 seconds of lost audio during “Born to Hand Jive” — but that just reinforced the fact that everything happening was terrifyingly of-the-moment.
Mashable thanked FOX for raising the bar and this….
But the wait was worth it.
The ensemble for the performance — directed by Thomas Kail (Hamilton) and Alex Rudzinski— was full of talented actors including Broadway babe Aaron Tveit (Les Miserables) as leading T-Bird Danny Zuko, Keke Palmer (Scream Queens) as the sassy Pink Lady Marty Maraschino, Carlos PenaVega (Big Time Rush) as Danny’s tough-guy sidekick Kenickie, and Grammy-nominated pop artist Carly Rae Jepsen as beauty school dropout Frenchy.
Hough and Tveit had natural chemistry that was electrifying (sorry, had to get another Grease pun in there). Palmer’s performance — and speedy outfit change — in “Freddy My Love” was equally as mesmerizing.
Meanwhile, Hudgens, who had announced the death of her father just hours before the final show, gave everyone chills with her solo “There Are Worse Things I Could Do.” Her show stopping number, and poise amid such a heartbreaking loss, proved she has certainly grown up from her Disney Channel roots.
Grease: Live threw down the gauntlet early and often—opening with a quick scene of lovestruck teens Sandy and Danny at the tail end of their summer romance before pulling back the camera to show stars Julianne Hough and Aaron Tveit backstage on the show’s massive soundstage. For her opening performance of “Grease”, Jessie J (and a talented steadicam operator) traveled through the production’s byzantine sets—including a rainy outdoor locale—while interacting with the cast and acknowledging that, yes, what you’re about to see is highly theatrical.
Peter Pan Live! made stabs at adding cinematic movement to its camera work (something neither The Sound Of Music Live! nor The Wiz Live! really did), but it doesn’t hold a candle to Grease: Live’s truly impressive cinematography, which made the entire production feel more like a movie musical than a stage play. Some of the big ensemble numbers were just stunning to watch, particularly the high school dance sequence that culminated in an exhilarating performance of “Hand Jive” (sung by none other than Joe Jonas). The camera fluidly weaved among the cast as they threw themselves (quite literally) into Zach Woodlee’s dazzling choreography.
Fox’s live TV musical overcame technical glitches, a rare Los Angeles rainstorm and the death of a key cast member’s father to score rave reviews on social media and elsewhere.
“This production wasn’t about hitting notes or taking breath, but rather about making things breathtaking. And time after time, ‘Grease: Live’ succeeded,” wrote Daniel Fienberg in The Hollywood Reporter.
“In this moment overrun with must-see TV events, Grease wasn’t just live. It was alive,” gushed Entertainment Weekly’s Darren Franich.
Some other critics were less kind, citing the sometimes-clunky acting between the big musical numbers. But in the court of popular opinion — Facebook and Twitter — the show was a worthy successor to the classic John Travolta-Olivia Newton-John movie.
Also, don’t miss seeing Pure Derek Hough as Derek Hough couldn’t be more proud of his sister. So much so, he was in tears.
Be sure to let us know what you thought of the show in comments if you haven’t yet. I still haven’t recovered from what I saw last night. And the dancing…..I’m passing out and can’t wait to watch it all again.
We’re only hours away now from “Grease Live” on FOX!!! Variety just posted some cool “number” things on the show such as how many cameras will be used tonight, how many extras there are, number of costumes, and more. Check these out below and there is even more at Variety.
Run time of the show: 3-hour broadcast
Days of rehearsal: 52
Number of song/dance numbers in the musical: 23
Number of stages: 2 sound stages, plus the entire Warner Bros. backlot and built-out exterior locations throughout the lot
Number of sets: 21
Number of cameras: 20
Number of cast members: 24 principal cast members, 20 ensemble and dancers
Number of extras: 60
Number of live audience members: 650
Number of costumes: More than 600 — 407 for principal cast, Boyz II Men, DNCE and Jessie J; 226 for background ensemble and dancers
Breakdown of costumes: 60% vintage; 40% custom made
Number of quick changes during live show: 392 quick changes — just for principal cast alone!
Only one more day until “Grease Live”! Below some of the cast talks to Broadway World and ET. Also below is some photos of Dancing With The Stars Julianne Hough performing! Click the pics to see even more.
Two more days and counting down until “Grease “live”. Below are more interviews and rehearsal footage. Thanks to Abby for the Entertainment Weekly video. She says it has more of the Sirius interview that we posted yesterday. You can also view some Grease Live performances on the Sunset Strip. Also, be sure to tune into the Rachel Ray Show today. Julianne is one of her guests. Video should be posted here a little later.
ETA: Oh and one more thing. The New York Post reports come rain or shine, the live show will go on. The cast is ready for anything.
In the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants chaos that is live television — and which in some of NBC’s previous TV musicals has made the hate-watchers call out every misstep on Twitter — “Grease: Live” has chosen to embrace its live theater roots by design. Under director Thomas Kail, who helmed the Broadway smash “Hamilton,” viewers will the see the backs of sets and actors changing costumes; the prologue (with Jessie J performing the theme song) will feature her walking among the stages and props on the backlot.
“If it’s raining we’re going to see rain; if it’s sunny we’ll see sun,” production designer David Korins (who also worked on “Hamilton”) tells The Post. “So much of TV and film is about control. In doing it this way, we give up control. We accentuate the now of it.”
“Grease: Live” aims to use the best elements of stage (rotating sets, sliding walls) and film (camera tricks to recreate the Thunder Road car race) in its three-hour TV production. Two songs from the original Broadway production not in the classic 1978 movie are included: “Freddy, My Love,” and “Those Magic Changes.” Choreography (by “Glee’s” Zach Woodlee) has been updated, like the T-Birds’ classic arm movements in “Greased Lightning.” But, for the most part, “Grease” still lives in the innocent 1950s.