Grease: You're the One That I Want (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Grease: You're the One that I Want! was an NBC reality television series designed to cast the lead roles of Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko in a $10 million Broadway revival of the musical Grease to be directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award-winner, Kathleen Marshall. The Broadway production began previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on July 24, 2007 and officially opened on August 19.
The TV show, from the producers of Dancing With the Stars, was patterned after an original format created by Andrew Lloyd Webber for the BBC series How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, which selected the lead in the successful 2005 West End revival of The Sound of Music. The show's title was taken from the song "You're the One That I Want" from the 1978 screen adaptation of Grease. Although the song was not part of the original Broadway production, the revival will add the songs written for the film to those written for the original Broadway production.
The program generated so much interest in the upcoming Broadway revival that, as The New York Post reported on April 4, 2007, ticket sales had topped $9 million (90% of David Ian's investment in the production), although the TV show was a "ratings loser".
Tryouts, competition, and casting
The show held open auditions in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas in October and November 2006. The show followed the successes and failures of performers of varying quality and experience through the audition process. The show's hosts, Access Hollywood anchor Billy Bush and British actress/presenter Denise van Outen, encouraged and interviewed the auditioners.
The applicants were whittled down to 50, who attended "Grease Academy" for intensive training and testing, particularly in voice and dance. From these, 12 contestants were selected by the judges. The panel of three judges consisted of director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall, Grease co-writer Jim Jacobs, and British producer David Ian. In addition, later episodes of the show featured guest judges Olivia Newton-John, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jon Secada, and Rob Marshall, as well as guest performer Frankie Avalon. The number of contestants rose to 14 in the fourth episode when two previously eliminated contestants, Matt Nolan and Ashley Anderson, were brought back and given a second chance.
On August 20, 2006, it was reported that Andrew Lloyd Webber had taken legal action against David Ian. Lloyd Webber reportedly wanted to take their show's format to the U.S. to cast a Broadway production of Grease and then was angered to discover that Ian had already brought the idea to NBC.
The first episode aired in a 90-minute format at 8:00 pm Eastern U.S. time on January 7, 2007. Subsequent episodes of the limited-run series were one hour long. After the judges had selected the contestants, viewer voting began at the end of the first live show, which aired on January 28. Each week, the contestants were coached on a performance skill - singing, dancing or acting. The contestants' performances were then critiqued by the judges, after which the viewers voted for their favorite performers. The two lowest vote recipients in each group from the previous week were required to compete in a "sing-off", on the next episode, where the judges chose which two should be allowed to remain in the competition, and which two would be eliminated. At the end of each episode, the eliminated Danny will sing "Sandy" as his grand exit, and the eliminated Sandy will sing "Goodbye to Sandra Dee" as her grand exit.
In the season finale on March 25, 2007, judge Kathleen Marshall stated that if she would have had to choose two performers at the end of the "Grease Academy" section, she would have chosen Julianna and Derek. However, by the time of the finale she was quite vocal in wanting Max and Laura as her "Danny" and "Sandy." Fortunately for her, it was announced that the program's viewing audience agreed as they had chosen contestants Laura Osnes and Max Crumm to star, respectively, as Sandy and Danny. The runners up were Ashley Spencer and Austin Miller. Osnes and Crumm stayed with the Broadway company till July 20, 2008. Two days later Ashley Spencer and Derek Keeling took over the roles of Sandy and Danny. Allie Schulz recently understudied the roles of Sandy, Cha-Cha, and Patty on Broadway and originated the role Rizzo in the national tour of Grease with Eric Schneider as Danny and Emily Padgett as Sandy. Season 5 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks performed as the Teen Angel. The Broadway production ended on January 4, 2009 after 31 previews and 554 performances.
Small Town Sandy
Rock Chick Sandy
Boy Band Danny
Second Chance Danny
Week 1: You're The One That I Want!/We Go Together
Week 2: Summer Nights
Week 3: Born to Hand Jive
Week 4 (Sandy Night): Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee.
Week 5 (Danny Night): Greased Lightning
Week 6: Grease (is the Word)
Week 7: Rock and Roll is Here to Stay
Week 8: We Go Together/You're The One That I Want! (finalists only)/Born to Hand Jive (eliminated contestants only)/Greased Lightning (winner only; Danny)/Hopelessly Devoted to You (winner only; Sandy)/Summer Nights (group reunion)/You're The One That I Want!(finale)
Week 2: Tears on My Pillow
Week 3: Those Magic Changes
Week 4 (Sandy Night): Blue Moon
Week 5 (Danny Night): It's Raining on Prom Night
Week 6: Rock and Roll Party Queen
United Kingdom version
A similar show was broadcast in the UK during the first half of 2007. Grease Is the Word was broadcast on ITV1, with judges David Ian (Producer and man behind the revival), David Gest, 1980s singer Sinitta, and American dance icon Brian Friedman. Starting on 7 April 2007 the show followed a similar format to that of the American one. On 11 June 2007, Danny Bayne and Susan McFadden were named as the new Danny and Sandy, to act in the West End revival at the London's Piccadilly Theatre from Wednesday, 8 August 2007.