This time Natalie Bassingthwaighte is ready for her So You Think You Can Dance critics, writes Erin McWhirter
NATALIE Bassingthwaighte has two words for her critics — watch out. The 23-yearold admits she stumbled in the first few episodes of last year’s So You Think You Can Dance because of nerves, but was shocked at how quickly she became a target for critics.
Hosting the dance show is certainly a high-profile gig and doing it in front of a live studio audience only adds to the pressure. But there is an ease and calmness about her for series two.
‘‘I was aware the first few episodes how petrified I was,’’ she says. ‘‘I was shaking with the microphone.
‘‘I think, though, that bagging someone who is just having a go is not healthy for the soul, but in saying that I get it and it’s a job,’’ she says of the criticism.
‘‘I never said, ‘I’m going to do this show and I’m the most brilliant host in the world’. I said, ‘I’ll have a go’. All I’ll say is that I hope it makes young girls go ‘I’m going to have a go, too’. I am OK with it (the criticism) now but at the time it was hard.
‘‘We know what we’re doing now and I know what I’m doing. We can look back on it now and see what worked and what didn’t. Just knowing the format and being much more comfortable (is great). It’s about being comfortable with myself.’’
The multi-talented star hired a voice-over coach to help her for the first series. This time around, no tuition was necessary.
‘‘I did my voice-overs the other day and they are heaps better,’’ she says.
Bassingthwaighte has achieved enormous success in her short career — fronting the hugely popular Australian band Rogue Traders, establishing herself as an actor and now expanding her repertoire by releasing a solo album, 1000 Stars, in late February.
The road to success hasn’t been easy. She knows what it’s like to be rejected, when your eyes fill with tears and you feel as if your world has fallen apart. That makes her the perfect person to chat to the So You Think You Can Dance competitors. She knows the dancers’ pain if they don’t make it to the next round.
The Melbourne auditions take place at the Princess Theatre and as the judges see hopeful after hopeful, it’s quickly apparent that the dancers fall into three categories.
There are the ones who are are here on a dare — and they quickly earn the judges’ contempt for wasting their time. Then there are those who are fully prepared and totally switched on — true professionals who are quickly selected to go through to the top 100 and who you know are going to go far.
IT’S THE third category who are the most interesting— ones who have potential but haven’t rehearsed enough in the lead-up to the auditions. They don’t take criticism kindly (often talking back to the judges) and will offer every excuse under the sun as to why they weren’t at their best that day.
You know these people are never going to make it. They will never put in the necessary effort to achieve success.
For judge Bonnie Lythgoe, who joins Matt Lee and Jason Coleman again for series two, the show is just as much about the dancers’ personal experiences as it is about their talent.
‘‘I think it’s a more selective bunch of dancers this time around,’’ she says.
‘‘Our expectations and standards are higher and I think they have to be because of the fabulous dancers that came out of last year’s show.’’