An­drew G steps up

Idol host has a US gig, writes Colin Vick­ery

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

AN­DREW Guns­berg has the op­por­tu­nity of a life­time — and he knows it. Guns­berg, or An­drew G to Aussies who re­mem­ber him from Aus­tralian Idol, has landed the host­ing role on US tal­ent show Live to Dance.

Live to Dance’s claim to fame is that it is the new TV ve­hi­cle for Paula Ab­dul, who quit Amer­i­can Idol in 2009.

CBS ex­pects big things from the show. It has pro­grammed it in the prime 8pm Wed­nes­day time slot.

Guns­berg has un­der­gone an im­age makeover for his new gig: ex­pen­sive three-piece suits, cropped hair and de­signer stub­ble, and not a sign of those blonde tips that were his Idol trade­mark.

‘‘ It doesn’t get much big­ger or more ad­ven­tur­ous than this. It’s un­real,’’ Guns­berg says from Los An­ge­les.

‘‘ Be­ing picked by her (Ab­dul) to do it (host Live to Dance) — those things don’t come along in one’s ca­reer more than once, mate.’’

Live to Dance has got off to a solid, but not spec­tac­u­lar, start in the US. It de­buted to more than 10 mil­lion view­ers on Jan­uary 4 but dropped to 7.7 mil­lion view­ers in its sec­ond episode.

The show, which is a US ver­sion of the UK’s Got to Dance, fea­tures Ab­dul, chore­og­ra­pher Travis Payne and for­mer Pussy­cat Dolls singer/ dancer Kimberly Watt as judges.

Live to Dance in­cludes dancers of all ages, solo and groups. It fea­tures ev­ery­thing from bal­let to break dance, tap to tango and ur­ban hip hop.

The win­ner pock­ets US$500,000 prize.

‘‘ It ( Live to Dance) is re­ally up­lift­ing to be a part of,’’ Guns­berg says. ‘‘ You want the con­tes­tants to suc­ceed. This is what will set it apart (from other tal­ent shows).

‘‘ We have filmed all the au­di­tion episodes and af­ter the first cou­ple of hours, when we were get­ting ev­ery­one up danc­ing, we re­alised that we were on to some­thing spe­cial.

‘‘ The peo­ple who are the most suc­cess­ful are not the ones who are so tech­ni­cally pro­fi­cient — it’s more the peo­ple who are go­ing, ‘ my soul is on fire and through my dance you are see­ing my pain or joy or love’.’’

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Guns­berg is mar­ried to Is­raeli ac­tress and pro­ducer Noa Tishby ( In Treat­ment) and has been based in Los An­ge­les since the demise of Aus­tralian Idol in 2009. The 36-year-old has been host­ing The Hot Hits From LA ra­dio show.

‘‘ I was as fo­cused (on get­ting a US tele­vi­sion job) as I’ve ever been on any­thing in my life,’’ Guns­berg says.

‘‘ The op­por­tu­nity came up (to au­di­tion for Live to Dance) and I was the one who had done seven years of Idol in an­other coun­try and had ev­ery­thing they needed.

‘‘ I don’t feel any pres­sure (host­ing Live to Dance). I’m just try­ing to stay fo­cused on do­ing the very best job I can. If I can do that I’ll be fine.’’

Guns­berg looks back on his time host­ing Aus­tralian Idol — much of it along­side James Mathi­son – with great pride.

‘‘ Some peo­ple don’t get to do seven episodes of a tele­vi­sion show but I got to do seven sea­sons work­ing on the biggest pro­duc­tion val­ues show that ex­isted in Aus­tralia.

‘‘ How of­ten in some­one’s TV ca­reer do they get to host a live na­tional con­cert spec­tac­u­lar on the steps of the Syd­ney Opera House?

‘‘ It was a gi­gan­tic op­por­tu­nity. It was like go­ing to school ev­ery day.’’ Live to Dance, Fox 8, tonight, 8.30pm Tap­ping away: An­drew Guns­berg has landed a plum role on US tal­ent show

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