Paula Abdul’s “Live To Dance” – Did You Watch?

Did you watch the debut of Paula Abdul’s new dance show Live to Dance?

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It wasn’t as dire as I thought it would be.  It started off with major heartstring-pulling–crying parents, adorable kids, and cute old people. Ugh.  Thankfully, by the time the 1st hour was over, the show got down to business.  There was a ton of dancing packed into the two-hour premiere, which combined auditions in Los Angeles and New York.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much going on that was particularly memorable.

Live to Dance borrows much from other reality shows. It’s basically America’s Got Talent for dancing, but without malice. That means, no trainwrecks to laugh at. What’s left isn’t truly terrible.

But it’s not take-your-breath-away great like the best dancing on So You Think You Can Dance, either. The talent is middling–not enough to hold my interest over several weeks. I can’t see myself caring about any of these folks.

The judges–they call themselves experts–including Paula, Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, and Michael Jackson choreographer, Travis Payne, are surprisingly NOT afraid to say no to even the most darling child or grandma.

But despite letting down the hopefuls gently–unlike that Simon Cowell fella–the tears still flowed. I was not expecting to see so many rejected kids crying their eyes out.

One uncomfortable segment had a choreographer, who had met Paula years ago as an aspiring 12 year old dancer, bring her dance troupe to audition.  Weirdly, years ago, the young dancer scored backstage passes to a Paula concert after a car plowed into her dance studio, injuring the girl pretty badly. After the judges unanimously reject her dance troupe’s mediocre performance,   Paula is taken backstage for an awkward hug with the choreographer, whom Paula didn’t remember, at all.  Wouldn’t exactly call that good TV.

Although it was cool to see crazy ole’ Paula back on my TV (She threatened to squeeze one young dancer’s face. Heh.) I’m probably going to follow this show casually.  After tonight, Live to Dance will air on Wednesdays at 8 for the next few weeks.  On January 19, it will run against the Idol premiere. At that point, I’ll stop watching. And I suspect I won’t be alone.

How about you?

About mj santilli 33696 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!


  1. I watched it, I’ll probably be the same way. I tend to not watch dancing shows as closely as singing ones. Probably because I don’t usually have a clear favorite like I would for singing ones.

    I kind of wonder how many weeks the show is going to be on, they were already talking about semifinals.

  2. This was just awful. I like Paula and I love dance, but this was just so bad. It was even worse than that trash America’s Got Talent. The dancing was soooo subpar. You can get better dancing on SYCTYC, ABDC, and DWTS… so what is the point of this show? Cheesy routines from children and the elderly? No thanks. Sorry Paula, I tried.

  3. I was elsewhere with my post!

    I was pleasantly surprised – I enjoyed this evening’s “live To Dance.” It is a fast paced show; does not draw on too much on drama; and has a panel of experts who are fair. I loved most of the successful routines. The young dancers are amazing!

    Biggest problem with the show is it’s time slot. How do you compete with Glee?

    Paula wasn’t acting goofy, but rather was an obviously talented, delightful woman. Yep, that’s our Paula. She respects the dancers regardless their degree of talent. Travis came across as positive most of the time. I loved when he changed his mind about the Soul Train dancers, now in their 50’s!

    It is a fun show but has very little chance of success unless the time slot is changed. I will watch again tomorrow during off portions of the People’s Choice Awards.

  4. I’m probably the only person in Ohio who watched this instead of the Sugar Bowl. You know what? It wasn’t terrible. And I do miss my Pauler. I guess what I liked is that the “move that bus!!” moments didn’t result in the contestants being placed in the next round. I was pretty sure that C-Bunny and the 90-year-old granny were going to get through because they’d be “good TV.” But, nope. I was happy about that. At the same time, I can’t see myself caring much about the people who did make it through.

    Still, I wish the network cared enough about Paula to have made this a mid-season replacement or a summer show. (I’m not even going to get into the decision to put it against Idol.) It’s one of those benign shows that you can watch while reading or knitting or surfing the web. It doesn’t require a ton of attention. It’s perfect for that time of year when “there’s nothing else on.” Oh well.

  5. I love the dance shows a bit better than the singing one. I have such a love for dance, even to the point that I have come to appreciate the talent of Hip Hop dance, although I may not like the music. I will turn off a Rap song if it’s too long.

    , I am willing to give the show more of my attention because I believe the dancers WILL get better! I could take or leave Kimberly Wyatt. Anyone could have taken her spot on the panel. I love that first little kid – what talent. Also, the cute kids at the end were very good.

    You’re right, going up against Glee or Idol would be a challenge and I am unable to to use a DVR as I don’t own one! I think I like this better than AGT. Well, at least Paula’s got something going in her life. Yes, SYTYCD is my favorite dance show!

    Still, I wish the network cared enough about Paula to have made this a mid-season replacement or a summer show.

    I was thinking the same thing! DH was watching the Sugar Bowl! LOL.

    After watching the 82 and the 90 year-old women dance – I decided dancing will help keep me young(er). Now here did I put my dancing shoes?

  6. I liked it. I didn’t think I would, but I actually enjoyed it. I’ll probably watch it, since I don’t do Glee, there’s no conflict for me.

    Since I don’t like Randy, I’ll record Idol so I can FF through his comments.

  7. Didn’t think I would but I loved it and I hope it does well. Paula is really putting herself out there to lead this show. I think you can see her a lot of her in it — that they are clearly trying to be honest and fair, not take the cheap shots or get ratings out of making baffoons out of poor performers.

    I appreciate that they are reflecting the name of show “LIVE to Dance” in their choices of young and old to be given a fair shot. I wish they would take this further by having more than one winner — maybe have smaller additional winners by age group or by level of inspiration, not like a whole separate track, just a recognition at the end of the season in different categories.

    Don’t know how they’ll do up against mean ole American Idol but Live to Dance has Paula and that’ll get them a long way — love you Paula!

  8. I loved it!! Just purely entertaining and Paula looks great!! I wasn’t prepared to enjoy it as much as I did, but it had so many talented people of all ages and so many different dance types. Had a couple of lol moments and just totally had fun watching it. Looking forward to the next episode. Definitely on my tivo for the full season. You go Paula!!!

  9. I love dancing shows but fell sound asleep during this one. This goes off my DVR – I could barely stand 15 minutes of it obviously.

  10. This show seems a bit polarising . When it comes on soon here I’ll at least give it a few times before I judge it too harshly.Idol in the beginning shows is sometimes a bit lulz- so as long as its entertaining I think I’ll like it. Sounds like there’s lots of dance in it-its not all about the judges-so that’s a plus.

  11. Better than I expected, plus, I’m a dance show sucker & I love Pauler. It was nice to have the judges offer constructive criticism to both those who didn’t get through & those who did. Not sure what I’ll watch and what I’ll DVR once the shows start butting heads.

  12. Loved it so much more than those other dance shows, especially DWTS! I realized how much I missed Paula. It was so refreshing to see people get turned down without the meanspirited Simon criticisms. Loved Travis too.

    I loved how fast paced it was and how all the judges voted without hearing what the other two had to say first.

    I especially liked how they would turn down the kid groups that are basically just from cheer and dance competitions, and every single person they turned down seemed to deserve it except for the Solid Gold Dancers, but I could understand letting them through- those girls were the originals! Who else remembered the one in braids? lol.

    It’s too bad Glee is going to kill it though :(

    That last couple of kids….whew!!!

  13. I’m with you Mj. I will probably watch it casually or at least dvr it and watch it later.

  14. I am just curious because I never really watch these dance shows- what ever becomes of the winners? What do they go on to do? Choreograph? The only ones I have really ever heard of post show is that group Jabberwockeez from ABDC.

  15. I am just curious because I never really watch these dance shows- what ever becomes of the winners? What do they go on to do? Choreograph? The only ones I have really ever heard of post show is that group Jabberwockeez from ABDC.

    Well, if they can really dance and have the right style, some go on to Dancing With the Stars, various Broadway shows, music videos and tours with people like Gaga, and there are some actual dance *tours* out there, strange as it seems! And a lot do choreograph and assist choreographers (to train dancers who won’t find very many job prospects, of course.)

    But that’s if they can really dance, like the people on SYTYCD, for example. The dancers on this show — Well, at best, unless the winner is an actual dance crew with a very contemporary and cutting-edge style and more skill than I’ve seen so far in the grownup dancers here, I’m guessing that he/she/they will turn out to be a flash-in-the-pan novelty act of some kind. This show doesn’t have nearly the skill level of SYTYCD, for example, even though some of the little kids look as if they may be able to develop that level of skill eventually.

    Not a lot of future here. I don’t think we’re likely to get a Susan Boyle or Jackie Evancho of dance.

  16. Well, I love Paula so I tried to watch and I tried to like it. Unfortunately, I could do neither. Maybe I’m suffering from reality TV overload, but (for me) it just too much of the same old thing.

  17. It’s one of those benign shows that you can watch while reading

    And they said it couldn’t be done!

  18. I watched Glee for the first hour and LTD for the second hour. The “experts” treated the contestants respectfully and let them down gently, but they didn’t have a problem with rejecting anyone (although I noticed that Pauler was often the only “+” vote for the people with the heart-tugging backstories). I didn’t see any really impressive dancers in the second hour, but lots of people with “spirit” and “commitment” to dance. The grand prize is $500,000, so I hope that the finalists are really talented dancers, for that kind of money.

  19. I watched it…and enjoyed it. It was neither incredible TV nor incredible dance, but it was heart-warming, toe tapping entertainment. It moved quickly, we saw alot of dance, and the judges were fair and neither mean-spirited nor over-catering for ratings, which I really appreciated. You did get the feeling of a love of dance throughout the show. I don’t think they had too many elderly or little kids, although they did have some. And I really like how those big dance groups obviously compiled by their teachers were applauded for their efforts, but judged fairly, as in, very few of them got through.

    I think my favorite was the group, Twitch, with all the girl dancers and the one guy. They were all solid dancers, working really well as a unit on a very creative piece. I can’t wait to see what other pieces they have in store for us. Besides that, yes, there were cute and fun moments, but not much mind-blowing dance like you’ll see on the incredible SYTYCD. Of course, that show has the problem of pushing the edge to such a degree that there are alot of dangerous injuries. That is something they have to address or they’ll be like that Spiderman show and might have to shut down as a result. I sure hope not because I adore that show.

    I also love the choice of host, one Andrew G, from Australian Idol and probably countless Aussie gigs. He is both a looker and seems to have a good heart, like Cat Deely, from SYTYCD. Plays off well with the big-heartedness of Paula. I don’t see Paula as goofy really. There’s nothing wrong with wearing your heart on your sleeve. That feeling infuses the show, and that’s alright with me. The problem will lie in the time slot. Going against Glee and then AI is ridiculous. I guess they’re counting on the power of the recording device. I know in programming, real estate is key, although not as critical as it used to be before DVRs. As long as the show is short, I think they can make it. It seems like some of these shows can survive if they’re tight, fast-paced and on for a short, finite run, not unlike Sing-Off. I wish it all the best. As long as it doesn’t hurt but potentially boosts SYTYCD, it’s all good.

  20. I thought it was interesting. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible. I don’t think it’s smart of them to move it to Wednesdays, though. The show’s ratings will tank like crazy come two weeks.

  21. It’s a small thing but I liked that all 3 judges votes appeared at the same time – at least they did during the part that I saw last night. I like the idea of each judge making a decision independent from the others. I will tune in again even with AI starts because I hate the early rounds of AI.

  22. As to what happens to contestants/winners of dance shows – some of them go on to another dance show. Chelsie Hightower, Lacey Schwimmer, and Dimitry Chaplin (all from SYTYCD) are/have been professionals on DWTS (I don’t think they were SYTYCD winners, though).

    Other SYTYCD alum have been in movies (“Step Up,” “Fame”), Broadway, and done back-up dancing for popstars (in concerts, TV performances, and mv’s). Mark Kanemura is one of Lady Gaga’s dancers, and he’s featured a lot.

  23. I thought it was a better show than I expected. It was fast pace especially for the audition phase. Whoever edited the show did a great job. It flowed really well. When Idol comes on, I will tape Paula’s show so I won’t eliminate watching.

  24. cher:
    01/05/2011 at 4:13 am
    I loved it!! Just purely entertaining and Paula looks great!! I wasn’t prepared to enjoy it as much as I did, but it had so many talented people of all ages and so many different dance types. Had a couple of lol moments and just totally had fun watching it. Looking forward to the next episode. Definitely on my tivo for the full season. You go Paula!!!

    I thought it was brilliant. I will watch it over Idol anyday, but then I am a dancer myself (one of these older adorable ones – :lol: ) AND I own a DVR, so I will record both, so I can skip through the commercials and through the dumb comments (Randy’s).
    I liked what all 3 Experts had to say and the way they said it. They weren’t mean, just honest.
    If the show is around next year, shall I audition??? Hahahaha… never mind.
    I remember the robot ballerinas and the zombie dancers, the last ballroom couple. They were all great :)
    I also like that the train-wrecks were not dragged out and made fun of. They bunched ’em and were done with them. I hated on Idol the humuliation those ppl went thru, so not needed.

  25. Was just switching channels last night and unexpecteedly chanced upon this one and stayed glued for two hours. I liked the judges and how they vote independently off each other ,unlike AI wherein they tend to be swayed by what Simon says.The show has heart,humor and charm so unlike Nigel’s sneer and haughtiness. Looking forward to watching it again tonight.

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