January 04, 2011 08:04 PM by Allyson Wells
Tonight the search begins for America’s best dancer on the series premiere of Live to Dance.Â All ages and dance stylesÂ are allowed.Â Paula Abdul returns to reality television as a judge and is still her sappy self.Â America will also help decide who wins the $500,00 grand prize.Â The dance acts will have to showcase originality and amazing technique to make it through to the next level.
In Los Angeles, hopefuls from all over the country to audition in a traveling dance dome.Â Host Andrew explains that the panel of experts are:Â Kimberly Wyatt, founder of the Pussycat Dolls, Travis Payne, choreographer to Michael Jackson, and Paula Abdul.
For the hopefuls to make it through, they need at least two gold stars from the judges.Â In the competition, there is no age limit.Â A nine-year-old and 83-year-old await to try out for the competition.Â Nine-year-old Jalen takes the stage first with no fear as his father tearfully watches with pride.Â After wowing the crowd, Jalen gets three gold stars from all the judges.Â Paula tells him he is an amazing bright light, which is what the show is all about.Â Jalen repeatedly thanks Paula.Â Travis tells Jalen he was the same age when he started dancing.Â Kimberly tells him he has mad skills.
The next act is a Cuban act and group of six.Â They take the stage doing traditional salsa and tribal dances.Â All three judges give them red stars.Â The judges felt like they didn’t quite nail the dance.Â Paula wonders if they rehearsed enough to come on the stage and they group admits they did not.Â Paula is pleased with their honesty and asks them to commit to one another and their talent.
An older couple, Bev and Hap, prepare to take the stage and explain they have been dancing together for twenty years.Â 83-year-old Bev boasts she starts the day with cartwheels and push-ups.Â They start off doing a slow ballroom routine, but then turn it into a funky and modern dance, even including robot moves, and have all the judges on their feet.Â After getting three gold stars, they do push-ups.Â Paula thinks they exemplify what dance does for the soul.Â Kimberly thinks they command the stage.Â The happy couple skip off the stage.
Teenagers Jill and Jacob prepare to take the stage.Â They are best friends with a history.Â They have never dated, but have admitted feelings to one another.Â They think their admiration helps their dancing.Â They perform a romantic and passionate interpretive routine that gets a standing ovation from the audience.Â They get three gold stars from the judges.Â Kimberly thinks what they performed was so special and told a story she got wrapped up in.Â Paula said they gave her goose bumps and are beautiful.Â Travis loved the meshing of the two worlds.Â Jacob says he loves Jill more than anything and they will be together one day.
An energetic Du-Shaunt came over from Las Vegas to take the stage.Â His parents, who drove him, are thrilled when he gets three stars.Â Paula thinks it’s obvious he’s having a great time when he dances.Â Two men called Tap Sounds Underground also wow the crowd and judges.Â Paula loves their joy for dance.Â A couple called Dance in Flight give Paula chills when they perform an acrobatic lift.
A local dance crew Inside the Box takes the stage and impresses the judges with their comical and frenzied Looney-tunes routine.Â They explain their studio burned down and practice wherever they can.Â Paula admits she wasn’t sure if she should put them through, and urges them to switch it up.Â Travis thinks they are a crazy mental asylum he would like to visit.
Other acts are not very lucky, such as a dancing cowboy.Â Some dancers fall in their lifts.Â Others lip sync as they sing.Â 32-year-old flight attendant, Stone gets ready to take the stage.Â He says he gets in trouble for dancing in the plane aisles.Â Stone also says he he learned to dance watching Paula Abdul and takes the stage to Paula’s song, Forever Your Girl and throws her a rose.Â While entertaining, he gets three red stars.Â Travis thinks he is not America’s best dancer, but a lot of fun.Â Paula takes the stage and hugs Stone.Â She tells Stone his love for dance touched her heart.
The judges have mixed opinions of many other dancers.Â The judges are allowed to change their votes, but have fun arguing with one another about who is talented and who is not.Â A trio of former Solid Gold Dancers take the stage.Â They haven’t danced together in over 25 years, but are excited about dancing again and show older women they can still dance, and even perform splits in their routine.Â Only Paula gives them a gold star.Â Kimberly felt like they were holding back too much.Â Paula knows the legends they are and loves them.Â Travis doesn’t doubt their talent, but thinks their performance was lacking.Â The audience chants for them to change the judges to change their minds.Â Travis tells them that Solid Gold inspired him to dance and changes his mind.
11-year-old Kendall gets ready to take the stage.Â Her parents never want her to have any regrets about things she didn’t try.Â Andrew gets tired just listening to Kendall list off all of her activities.Â Kendall giggles that she has a lot of energy.Â She skips onto the stage and fearlessly performs a confident routine.Â The judges give her three gold stars and love her.Â Kimberly think she is light-hearted and fun.Â Travis loves her effortless emotion, but asks her to work on her hip movement.Â Paula thinks Kendall is a breath of fresh air and asks for less makeup to show off who she really is.
The dance dome heads to New York next.Â Kimberly thinks New York is the perfect place to find talent.Â The first act of the day is the 90 year-old Bonnie, who has been dancing since age four.Â She admits she got married instead of being a Rockette.Â After her husband died, she explains that dancing brought new meaning back to her life.Â She performs a tap routine that receives thunderous applause from the audience.Â Only Paula gives her a gold star.Â Paula thinks Bonnie is a precious gift.Â Bonnie continues to dance as she exits the stage.
The early auditions in New York get off to a rough start.Â A group of young children dressed as dead children take the stage.Â They are the first to get the judges excited with their funky Michael Jackson routine.Â They get three gold stars.Â Paula loves their commitment and fusion of dance and gymnastics.Â Kimberly notes it is obvious they love to dance.Â A tearful Travis tells them Michael Jackson would be so proud he influenced younger generation with his art.
The New York auditions continue to be brutal, as one dancer falls over and slams her head into the stage.Â Andrew escorts her off the stage to meet with a medic for her trauma to the head.
C-Bunny takes the stage hoping to impress the judges.Â She explains she is hearing-impaired and that growing up was difficult because she had no one to talk to at school.Â Dance and performing gave her an escape and helps her to feel alive.Â She performs a funky and original solo routine.Â Only Paula gives her a gold star.Â Kimberly thinks she has passion, but needs more technique.Â Paula loves her passion and fun movements and nothing should hold her back.Â Travis asks her to try out again the next go-round.Â C-Bunny promises to get better.
A soccer mom named Peaches takes to the stage and performs a weird robotic dance.Â Only Travis gives her a gold star, which makes Peaches angry.Â Kimberly tells her her moves were repetitive and Peaches says, “Skinny girl is a hater.”Â Peaches asks for another chance and Kimberly retorts, “Honey you get one dance, one chance.”Â Paula thinks Peaches should try her hand at comedy.
Some dancers do impress the judges in New York.Â A solo dancer named Roosevelt glides across the stage with contortionist, yet modern and innovative moves.Â A group of Chicago siblings that were living in their dad’s car impress the judges with their break dancing and acrobatics.
A group of all girls and one guy called Twitch take the stage.Â The girls admit they all have a crush on the guy.Â The dance is elegant and abstract at the same time.Â It starts off slow and picks up pace.Â Their originality impresses all the judges and they get three gold stars.Â Travis thinks they are innovative and intriguing.Â Kimberly boasts that she was almost in tears watching them.Â Paula thinks they acted out a brilliant ensemble piece and inspired her.
A group of girls in blonde wigs, sunglasses and blonde Marilyn wigs prepare to take the stage.Â Their instructor, Nikki, explains that when she was young, she was in a car accident and met Paula backstage at a concert shortly after.Â Paula urged her to keep dancing and she did just that.Â Her girls take the stage with a fun routine.Â Unfortunately, they get all red stars.Â Travis explains they are looking for the absolute best.Â Kimberly thinks the dancing was too messy.Â Paula urges them to work as a unit, but thinksÂ their choreographer was great.Â Backstage, Nikki smiles.Â Andrew goes to get Paula and asks her to come backstage.Â Nikki tells Paula her story.Â Paula thinks it is magical how pain goes away when you dance.
Ten-year-old Amanda and nine-year-old D’angelo prepare to take the stage.Â Amanda says she trusts D’angelo when he lifts her.Â They won’t answer when asked if they are boyfriend and girlfriend.Â Finally, Amanda says they are in a relationship and thinks they will dance until they are married at age 20.Â D’angelo argues they need to wait until age 30 to marry.Â Their dance is sweet and elegant in the beginning and turns to an upbeat salsa-inspired dance.Â Their brilliant dance gets a standing ovation from the crowd and all three judges, and they get three gold stars.Â Travis thinks they are exquisite.Â Kimberly can’t believe their technique and knows they are born to dance and born to win.Â Paula asks if they like each other and Amanda smiles that they do.
The judges reflect on the dancers they have seen so far.Â They are in awe of the wonderful acts they have seen.Â They admit that it will be tough to decide who will make it through to the semi-finals.Â Live to Dance returns to its regular time slot of 8 pm on Wednesdays.
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Photo Credit: CBS