Final analysis of the Grease - You're the One That I Want reality TV show on NBC
The NBC reality TV show judges of 'Grease - You're the One That I Want' chose the winners: Laura Osnes and Max Crumm to perform as Sandy and Danny for the Broadway production that opened July, 2007. This NBC reality trip was at best uncomfortable and other times, frustrating to watch. This TV show may have even put Broadway show development back 20 years due to its portrayal of Broadway being uninspired and lackluster to the mass TV audience, most of whom have never seen an NYC Broadway Show.
Grease Broadway Production Review
The Broadway production was not much better than, the television show. What the TV show lacked in personality (which was considerable), the show made up with brute force. Many people found that, although they were big fans of the original Grease musical and movie before seeing this show, many feel that they had big shoes to fill for the 50's shtick and many passed on seeing the Broadway show. Billy Bush and Denise Van Outen added very little to the already low-value of the TV show. Billy's upbeat sensibilities were grossly outweighed by Denise's porn-star looks and awkward line delivery.
Grease Television Show Review
The Grease - You're the One That I Want TV show ratings were not much better, always in the low millions, which is not good for a TV show that is practically a direct copy of the 30 million viewer Fox show called 'American Idol'. When the TV ratings and the amount of telephone votes were not publicly released or discussed on the show, it is clear that the show was in trouble. What American Idol discovered a long time ago is success is all in the casting of the panel and the selective editing of its footage. While the Grease - You're the One That I Want panel, made up of Grease co-author Jim Jacobs, producer and money-man David Ian, and director Kathleen Marshall, was undoubtedly qualified to be there, it was "an overwhelmingly boring trio", viewers agreed. Making a bad situation worse was the introduction of celebrity judges like Olivia Newton-John, who "Just loved everybody," (and also appeared on American Idol in the same week) and Andrew Lloyd Webber, who no-one could understand. The show ignored reality TV lessons that shows like American Idol have long since learned.
Given the poor ratings and lack of buzz, it is amazing that NBC did not cut this show earlier on. NBC has previously demonstrated that they are not scared of a mid-season cancel, no matter what the cost (see: Last Comic Standing, which was cancelled the night before the final show). This time they decided to finish what they started and on March 25th, 2007 the show concluded and revealed that Laura Osnes and Max Crumm have been chosen by the home viewers to star in the Broadway revival of Grease.
What the Fans Thought of the Final Kiss
Website forums abound with conspiracy theories about the final selections and the advantage of Laura (Small Town Sandy) and Max (Slacker Danny) over the other finalists, Ashley Spencer (Ballerina Sandy) and Austin Miller (I have worked on Broadway for years Danny). One obvious incident happened on the final competitive show March 18th, 2007. At the end of the mixed duet set, Max Crumm planted a lingering kiss directly on Laura Osnes's mouth, clearly when the choreography called for cheek-to-cheek shot and face-to-camera, pan out shot. On closer inspection the kiss appears to contain some tongue slippage and although Laura does back off slightly, she does not reject the advance, as the camera moves left to follow her lean out. This separated Laura and Max as having chemistry together and may well have swung the vote in their favor. Laura's upcoming wedding nuptials makes this event more interesting, but the forums abound with theories that NBC asked the couple to get hot and heavy to tip the balance in their favor.
Future of TV Shows to Broadway Productions
With the Grease - You're the One That I Want, reality TV show thankfully over, it remains to be seen if any other reality show development deal will tap the Broadway show market for content ever again. Perhaps the determining factor will be whether or not America's choice for Sandy and Danny, Laura Osnes and Max Crumm, are able to prove that they can in fact carry out a Broadway show.
The Grease Broadway revival opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre for previews on July, 2007 with the official opening set for August, 2007.