America and judges agree as NBC's 'Grease' eliminates two more
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/19/2007
Unlike last week, the viewers and judges were in agreement on which Danny and Sandy to eliminate during this Sunday night's episode of NBC's Grease: You're the One That I Want.
Juliana Hansen, a 23-year-old office temp from Los Angeles, CA, and Jason Celaya, a 31-year-old teacher from Foster City, CA, were America's least popular Danny and Sandy based on last week's performances. And after watching them perform in a "sing-off" with last week's second lowest voter getters, the show's three regular judges -- Tony Award-winner director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall, Grease co-creator Jim Jacobs and theater producer David Ian -- decided that they agreed with Grease's home viewers' decision to send Juliana and Jason home.
Marshall said it "was a very tough decision" to send Jason home, but in the end, they elected to eliminate him instead of Kevin Greene, a 22-year-old hotel bellhop from Rochester, NY. She described Kevin as "one of the best singers here."
"As a producer, you have to listen to the audience and what they're telling you," explained Ian, basing his decision to send Jason home on the fact that he had received the lowest number of viewer votes during both of Grease's first two home voting periods. Marshall said choosing to send home Juliana was "also very tough," but the judges decided to eliminate her and spare Kathleen Monteleone, a 23-year-old arts and crafts teacher from Tigard, OR. Marshall said Kathleen is "one of the strongest actresses here."
"I didn't get to show my fun side, and I have one," said Juliana. "I just feel my material both weeks was so similar. I feel like there was so much more of me I wanted to show." Prior to being sent packing, Juliana had commented that it's "vital" for Danny and Sandy to "have an amazing chemistry" because "that's what's going to make or break this production."
She was right, as the 10 remaining finalists performed duets during the live performance portion of Sunday night's episode which featured guest judge John Secada, a two-time Grammy winner who played Danny during a 1990s Grease revival.
Even before they took to the stage to perform together during Sunday night's duets pairings. there had been plenty of chemistry between Ashley Spencer, a 21-year-old cocktail waitress from Massillon, OH, and Max Crumm, a 21-year-old gym receptionist from Phoenix, AZ. "I can't stop smiling when I hang around her," Max told the cameras before he and Ashley performed "It Takes Two." "Max and I love spending time with one another... it's undeniable that it's something I haven't experienced in a while," Ashley gushed to the cameras during an interview of her own.
After they performed on stage, Ian thought Max was a "contender" and Ashley was the "one to beat," adding they were both "engaging and real." "This is the first time [Ashley was] really spontaneous on stage," said Marshall, who chalked up her comment to Ashley's chemistry with Max.
Meanwhile, although Max and Ashley seemed to be well on their way to forming a romantic relationship, Kevin suggested that the contestants should keep everything in perspective. "We're not here to hook-up with people. We're here to win a roll on Broadway."
Kevin -- paired with Kathleen, the other member of Sunday night's surviving bottom two Danny and Sandy's -- later closed out Grease's third live performance show with "Let's Give Them Something to Talk About." Ian said he thought Kevin had a "big voice" but was "small on charisma," adding he thinks his "days are numbered." Jacobs said he'd like to see more of the "innocent side of Sandy" from Kathleen.
In between, Allie Schultz, a 19-year-old ballroom dance studio clerk from Nashville, TN, and Chad Doreck, a 27-year-old soccer coach from Long Beach, CA, performed "Ain't No Mountain High Enough, which Ian called "theatrical Viagra;" Laura Osnes, a 20-year-old actress from Minneapolis, MN, and Austin Miller, a 30-year-old former Days of Our Lives actor from Alvin, TX, performed "I Don't Know Much," which Jacobs called "beautiful;" and Kate Rockwell, a 22-year-old waitress from Cincinnati, OH, and Derek Keeling, a 26-year-old design consultant from Charleston, WV, performed "From This Moment On." Ian said he needed to see some more "star quality" from Kate while Marshall described some of Derek's notes as "tough."
When asked to reveal their favorites after watching all of the night's performances, Jacobs and Secada both went with Chad and Allie, Marshall picked Chad and Ashley, and Ian chose Austin and Ashley.
Grease will continue on Sunday, February 25 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC as one more Danny and one more Sandy will be eliminated and the eight remaining finalists will perform.