January 15, 2007 01:21 AM by Joe Reality
According to USA Today, a rejected Apprentice candidate recently sued Donald Trump for age discrimination, claiming that he was turned away from the reality series because he was too old. If fellow NBC reality show Grease: You’re The One That I Want doesn’t watch out, then they might find themselves facing a similar claim.
The judges on Grease: You’re The One That I Want don’t even try to hide the fact that age is factoring into their decisions. In the premiere episode, a voiceover from the show’s host Billy Bush said “So our panel has found themselves one dancing cupcake, but finding actors in the right age range is proving to be more difficult than expected.” Grease judge Kathleen Marshall then told an older male contestant that “I’m not quite sure I believe you as a high school senior, playing Danny Zucco.” Judge David Ian also piped in, “That means you’re too old.” When the contestant asked what if he sang a Danny Zucco song, Ian responded with “You would be a too old guy singing a Danny Zucco song.”
Also in the premiere episode, judge Kathleen Marshall told an older female contestant, “I don’t believe that this is a seventeen year old girl who just transferred to Rydell High.” And judge David Ian told another older male contestant, “I can’t help but notice here, 33 years of vocal experience and 33 years of dance experience, that’s 66 years of collective experience, and I’m gonna say you’re too old.” Not to be outdone, judge Jim Jacobs called yet another older male contestant “Danny Zucco’s dad” and told him that they didn’t need him today.
In the most recent episode of Grease that featured the New York auditions, a contestant named Joanne Rizzo wowed the judges with her singing and personality. However, judge Kathleen Marshall told Joanne, “You’re so much fun. You’re singing as if you’re Judy Garland. Your attitude is like you’re Barbara Streisand from Brooklyn, and you’re hilarious, but you know what you’re not,I’m afraid I can’t see you as a Sandy.” When Joanne asked what it was that was not coming across as a Sandy, Marshall replied, “Your age, your look, your attitude.”
While most older contestants met with quick rejection from the judges, there was at least one older contestant that did make it through on the premiere episode. Forty-year old Dominic Fortuna met with approval from the judges and was invited to attend Grease Academy.
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