August 4, 2008
‘Dance’ Host Shares Show Experience With Contestants
SANTA MONICA, Calif. _ Cat Deeley knew from the age of 7 she wanted to either grow up to be a television presenter or Julie Andrews.
And Julie Andrews was taken.
So Deeley became a presenter. Besides hosting a slew of programs in England, Deeley is the host of the Fox competition series "So You Think You Can Dance." The season finale is scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday.
The perpetually smiling blonde has a lot to say about the program and her career. There's just one problem. She's standing less than 10 feet from the Bumper Cars ride at the Santa Monica pier. And the music is blaring loud enough to be heard miles down the beach in Long Beach. Someone at Fox thought the venue would be a good place for its talent to talk about their shows.
Deeley's worked long enough as a TV host of music shows that she is not going to let a little thing like a pounding beat quiet her. The pencil thin host just shouts her answers over the din.
She talks about how the concern she shows for each of the contestants is real.
"I do tend to develop a relationship with all the dancers. That was something I wanted to do from the word go," shouts Deeley over the squealing guitar riff. "I wanted to be involved in the whole audition process and do one of those things where if the kids are lining up on the streets of New York and it is 5 o'clock and the snow is coming down, then so am I."
Her reasoning is that those who get picked to be on the show will know that she has been part of the journey and not just "some English chick" who shows up when it gets comfortable.
Deeley doesn't get to spend as much time with the dancers as she would like once the competition begins. That's because the dancers spend most of their time rehearsing. She spends more time with competitors from previous seasons.
"They all come around my house for 4th of July barbecue," says Deeley who has homes in Beverly Hills, Calif., and London.
The nature of the competition series is that dancers are eliminated. Deeley says she tries to make each competitor's experience as positive as possible. So even if they don't win, they will go home with good memories of having been part of the show.
There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to being the host of this kind of competition show. Deeley is just doing what she feels is right for her. And that feeling includes being in a little awe of what the dancers do. That's because as Deeley says, her own dance skills are "just awful."
And if as on cue, the pounding music stops.
"So You Think You Can Dance"
Top 4 Finals: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Fox
Season Finale: 8 p.m. Thursday, Fox
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