Shane Bourne sees Dancing with the Stars as the closest thing Australia has to a variety show. Photo: Channel SevenThe thrill of danger, the potential for surprise, the risk that anything could happen – that’s what’s missing from Australian television at the moment and that’s what Shane Bourne hopes to bring back when he becomes co-host of Dancing with the Stars tonight.
Bourne grew up watching Graham Kennedy and performing on Hey Hey It’s Saturday. He loves the adrenaline of live TV. As much as he has enjoyed the opportunity to display his acting skills in dramas such as Tricky Business and City Homicide, and his hosting skills in recorded comedies such as Thank God You’re Here, he can’t wait to bounce on stage at 7pm. He wants to feel nervous again.
“I remember when I did the final reunion of Hey Hey It’s Saturday. I was a little bit apprehensive, because I was rusty,” Bourne says. “As soon as I got into the studio, heard the band warming up, the audience being cranked up, I completely relaxed. I know that sounds weird, but it’s like, `We’re all in this together. Let’s enjoy it.’ There’s a sense of celebration because it’s not being controlled. Nobody can say: `Take two. Let’s do that again.’
“Dancing with the Stars is the closest thing to a variety show we’ve got. It’s got a 16-piece band. It’s got performers, even if dancing may not be their greatest strength. There’s a leap of faith there. They go: `I could make an idiot of myself here, but I’m going to have a bit of fun.’
“If you look at a lot of the reality shows, they’ve become very sophisticated at editing it into a story, creating conflict or characters or whatever, after the fact. You can’t do that here. That’s what appeals to me, being an old-school TV watcher. I like to see it happen before my eyes.”
Bourne admires the way Sonia Kruger took risks when she hosted Dancing with the Stars, getting into trouble for pretending that Brynne Edelsten had brought along her father (it was her husband) and for saying that a costume had been made by “a sweatshop of illegal immigrants”. He says it’s conceivable that “you may hear the odd absurdist remark leave my lips”.
Hopefully, Bourne’s edginess will make up for the apparent blandness of this year’s contestants: former My Kitchen Rules contestant Ash Pollard, model Samantha Harris, Paralympian Kelly Cartwright, TV presenters Emma Freedman and Larry Emdur, former rugby league player Mat Rogers, footballer Jude Bolton (with his wife, Lynette), singer John Paul Young, diver Matthew Mitcham, and former The Bachelor star Tim Robards.
Bourne takes a couple of seconds to agree with my assertion that there’s a kitsch quality to Dancing with the Stars, which makes it an obvious target for satire, and then launches into a reminiscence. “Possibly, possibly. It’s got that element of sequins and spray tan that, when I step back from it, is kind of where I started. The first gigs I ever did were in a strip show in Melbourne at the George Hotel. It was called My Bare Lady.
“This was 1972. I’d come from a theatrical family. I went down there and said, `I’m a comedian.’ There was an act called Jeanette Pleasure. A glorious looking woman. She had a Miss Muffet costume. She only took her top off, but when she exited, she was completely backless.
“There was The Mighty Atom. She would come out of a wigwam, dressed as an Indian squaw. I remember being behind the curtain carrying her snakes in a kind of laundry basket with a lid. There was an act that came out of the US, called Alexandra the Great 48. She was red hot, used to do 20 minutes of stand-up. They were feral blokes, and she would have them in the palm of her hand.
“For me, that was the fast track. Who wants to go to NIDA for three years, or study the piano for 10 years? The fast track was to go through the fire of failure and humiliation.”
Bourne promises he won’t put the would-be dancers through that kind of fire, unless he judges they can take it. “The viewers want to know who these people are. Before it starts, I’ll try to get a sense of the people who are in need of a little bit of an arm to lean on, and the others who might grab the mic and do a diatribe. I’ve worked with John Paul Young over the years. I’m sure something will occur, with his carefree attitude. He’s up for it.”
Is it possible Bourne might go too far?
“You’ve got to be pushing it a bit or it’s not funny. If you’re going to play it safe, safe, safe, there’s no possibility of a moment. I think within the framework, there’s room for going too far. Watch out for that.”
Dancing With the Stars starts on Sunday, July 19, at 7pm on Channel Seven.Somewhere nice, or at least new
If you’ve watched any commercial television in recent weeks, you’ve been unable to avoid learning that both Channel Seven and Channel Nine will soon launch game shows about people trying to start their own restaurants.
Seven’s is called Restaurant Revolution, and is a remake of My Restaurant Rules, which was a mildly successful format in 2005 and 2006. Nine’s is called The Hot Plate, and is a spoiler designed to cut the ratings of Restaurant Revolution in the same way that Reno Rumble cut the ratings of House Rules. These are the major differences between the shows:
The Hot Plate uses restaurants that already exist, while Restaurant Revolution takes place in pop-ups inside shipping containers in five capital cities.
The Hot Plate has already been filmed, while the filming of Restaurant Revolution has only just begun.
The Hot Plate contestants were judged by each other and a panel that included Sydney restaurateur Guillaume Brahimi, Melbourne restaurateur Scott Pickett and London food critic Tom Parker Bowles, whose mother, the Duchess of Cornwall, may one day become Princess Consort.
The Restaurant Revolution contestants will be judged by each other, the public (as measured by profitability), and a panel including restaurateur Neil Perry and critic John Lethlean, who is disliked by Restaurant Revolution host Jock Zonfrillo, an Adelaide chef.
The Hot Plate restaurants in Sydney are Rocksalt, 1/72 Allison Crescent, Menai, and Chez Pascal, 440 Rocky Point Road, Sans Souci. You can go and eat there, but you’ll have no chance of being on telly because filming is over.
The Restaurant Revolution pop-up in Sydney is called Somewhere Nice (a name not popular with the judging panel), and it’s in Centenary Square, Church Street, Parramatta. You can’t book and it’s BYO.
This column went to the opening night of Somewhere Nice last Sunday, and watched 22-year-old chef Dom Aboud and his team prepare a modern Australian meal that included braised mushrooms with raw egg yolk, baked salmon on noodles with pickled carrot, and panna cotta on a soil of chocolate and chilli.
Camera crews and producers provided a floor show by hovering over the tables, asking customers to critique the presentation, the taste and the service, and to record commentaries in a diary room confessional. If that sounds like your idea of a fun meal, or you want a chance to be on telly, you can queue for lunch at Somewhere Nice between Wednesday and Sunday, or for dinner between Wednesday and Saturday. Restaurant Revolution and The Hot Plate are expected to start in the last week of July.The superlative Sarah
Fans of Game of Thrones, who hope that Daenerys Targaryen will soon replace Cersei Lannister as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, might see positive symbolism in the way Emilia Clarke has replaced Lena Headey in the role of Sarah Connor, but if they go to see Clarke in the movie Terminator Genisys, they are unlikely to think she offers any competition to Headey in the acting department.
Headey dominated one of the greatest science-fiction series ever made, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Only 31 episodes were made, and the show was abruptly cancelled by the United States’ Fox network in 2009. Now Terminator fans, disappointed by the latest movie, have started a petition to persuade Netflix to make new chronicles, in the same way that Netflix brought back Arrested Development after it was cancelled. If Netflix agrees, it will have the problem of extracting Headey from Game of Thrones, but given the writers’ habit of killing off vital characters without warning, that may not be difficult. If you want to sign the petition, see savethescc南京夜网. The Sarah Connor Chronicles can be bought on DVD or iTunes.
For more, see smh南京夜网419论坛/entertainment/blog/the-tribal-mind.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.