INSIDE: Seven days of TV viewing
IT COULD have been all over for Jason Derulo in a fraction of a second.
Six months ago, Derulo, 22, was rehearsing a challenging acrobatic move for his planned world tour when things went horribly awry.
Derulo, who has a key role alongside singer Kelly Rowland and Sarah Murdoch in Channel 10’ s new reality show Everybody Dance Now, was attempting a back tuck – a back flip with no hands. He slipped and landed on his head, writhing in agony. He could have died. The international pop star with 13 million sales behind him, including hits Whatcha Say, Ridin’ Solo and It Girl, suffered a ‘‘ hangman’s break’’ – the bone he broke in his neck is the one that breaks when someone is hanged.
But Derulo is well on the way to recovery.
‘‘ Six months [ of rehab] has seemed a very long time and it has changed my life in so many ways,’’ he says.
‘‘ It was a near- death experience. It was an experience that had me restrained. I couldn’t do much, couldn’t perform, couldn’t dance.
‘‘ I could barely even pat my head. It was really difficult because I’m such a mover. It was really tough.
‘‘ I was helpless. People had to tie up my shoes.
‘‘ The experience taught me to love the things I’m blessed with. I wake up now knowing I’m going to be going into the studio, knowing there is going to be an engineer there to record the music I write.
‘‘ That is incredible in itself, something I dreamed of my whole life. When you are locked in a routine every day it’s easy to forget how blessed you are.’’
Derulo, who was once romantically connected to Lara Bingle, began dating fellow pop star Jordin Sparks last September and says the accident brought them closer together.
‘‘ Jordin played a huge part. That’s when we got the closest,’’ he says.
Derulo first made an impact on the charts in 2009 with the single Whatcha Say.
His self- titled debut album peaked at No. 11 on the American Billboard Chart and No. 4 in Australia. Follow- up Future History was released last September, leaving no doubt Derulo had arrived as one of the world’s top male pop acts.
He had been planning to bring his Future History world tour to Australia before injury struck.
He considers Australia his favourite country and needed little convincing to take part in Everybody Dance Now.
Derulo and Rowland will be ‘‘ dance masters’’, guiding contestants through colosseum- style duels. Murdoch hosts the show. ‘‘ I’m definitely going to [ buy a house in Australia] at some point,’’ Derulo says.
‘‘ It’s really a place I see myself living for a part of the year.’’
Rowland has made it known she has a strong competitive streak. Derulo has one too and promises some fireworks.
‘‘ I want my team to be the best. If I had my way I would have my team go undefeated and not lose anyone from my side,’’ he says.
‘‘ There has been friction with Kelly already. It’s natural when you have two competitive people going for the win.’’
More than 80 acts will compete in front of a studio audience. There is no age limit on contestants, who can perform solo, in a duet, or as a group.
Each night, one act will win $ 10,000 and a place in the finals where they will compete for a prize of $ 250,000.