Laura Osnes and Max Crumm win NBC's 'Grease' reality show
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/26/2007
Laura Osnes and Max Crumm are the ones America wants to play the leads of Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko in this summer's Broadway revival of Grease.
Osnes, a 20-year-old actress from Eagan, MN, and Crumm, a 21-year-old gym receptionist from Phoenix, AZ, beat out fellow finalists Ashley Spencer, a 21-year-old cocktail waitress from Massillon, OH, and Austin Miller, a 30-year-old former Days of Our Lives actor from Alvin, TX, to claim the Broadway roles in NBC's live Sunday night broadcast of Grease: You're the One that I Want's finale. Co-host Billy Bush said "millions" of votes were cast based on last Sunday night's live performance episode, which saw the girls perform "Hopelessly Devoted to You" while the guys sang "Sandy."
"This is unbelievable... this is my dream come true. I can't believe it. Thank you," said Osnes when she was revealed as America's favorite Sandy. Crumm sang a similar tune when it was announced he was America's favorite Danny, saying, "I can't believe this... wow."
Theater producer and Grease judge David Ian also seemed surprised at America's selection of Crumm, as he could be seen sitting with his mouth ajar when the results were revealed.
"Last week, there was a 1% voting margin between the two of you," said Bush to Crumm and Miller before crowning Crumm the winner. "America was truly divided between the two of you."
From the beginning, Crumm said he felt he was considered the "underdog" of the competition -- but he thought that helped him "immensely" -- as he was able to "transform in-front of everybody." He described Grease Academy as "nerve-wracking," feeling as if he could be sent home any day. Once he made the finals, Crumm became a favorite of viewers as he was never among the bottom two vote-getters.
"I don't regret a single thing I've done in any of my performances," said Crumm during a video montage of his Grease journey. "It's great to almost be on Broadway because that's my dream."
It was a similar dream to that of Osnes, who only two months prior to appearing on NBC's Grease reality competition series had been performing as Sandy in a local production of the popular musical in her native Minnesota. She described Grease as "the hugest audition I've ever been to," and was "intimidated" because most of the other girls were "more blond than I was." Despite her brown hair, Osnes felt "motivated" throughout the competition and said she was "excited" to be in the finals.
"It's such an honor," said Osnes during a video montage of her Grease experience. "It's fulfilling to know my hard work has paid off to get me to this point."
Once it was revealed the two had won the lead roles, Crumm performed "Grease Lightning" with the other Danny hopefuls serving as The T-Birds and Osnes sang "Hopelessly Devoted." NBC then revealed the rest of the cast for the revival of Grease, which officially opens on Broadway on August 16. Crumm, Osnes and the cast then performed a brief version of "You're the One that I Want."
Ian -- who served as a judge with Grease director Kathleen Marshal and Grease co-creator Jim Jacobs -- reminded Crumm and Osnes that while the televised casting call might be over, the journey was just beginning.
"My advice to you is stay focused, stay fit, and most importantly, stay who you are," said Ian. "That's why America's chosen you."