In­stant calmer

This time Natalie Bass­ingth­waighte is ready for her So You Think You Can Dance crit­ics, writes Erin McWhirter

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

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.’’

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