[06/14/12 - 08:55 AM]
Interview: "The Choice" & "So You Think You Can Dance" Host Cat Deeley
By Jim Halterman (TFC)

Cat Deeley may be giving Ryan Seacrest a run for his money in terms of juggling jobs soon as she's spending her summer appearing in three different series - two on television and one online. First, on Wednesdays, the ninth season of the dance competition series "So You Think You Can Dance" is currently airing its audition episodes before the live competition starts next month. Second, on Thursdays, Deeley is hosting the new dating competition series, "The Choice," which premiered last week. Third, she's continuing her online behind-the-scenes series, "In The Dressing Room."

In true form, however, the British host was as charming and bubbly as ever when she got on the phone with our Jim Halterman to talk about her triple duty this summer, the surprising dance style "SYTYCD" found in Salt Lake City this week as well as why she went public with her relationship with comedian Patrick Kielty.

Jim Halterman: You're so busy right now but are you able to enjoy what you're going through with your career? You seem like you're having a ball.

Cat Deeley: You know what? It's really exciting right now. I shoot episodes of 'The Choice' back to back and, you know what it's like, normally when you do a pilot it's like pulling teeth. It's never a very pleasurable experience because nobody really knows what you're doing and you're making it up as you go along but this was an absolute pleasure to do. It was fun, it was jokey, it's really entertaining, it's tongue firmly in cheek [and] it was just a really fun show to film. We want people to get that home from the show, as well. We want them to sit with their friends and have fun with it. The one moment where it really did feel big is the billboard. Let's be honest, I've never had a billboard before so I got very overexcited about that!

JH: So, for those who haven't seen the show yet, what is the format for 'The Choice?' I'm guessing it's a bit more mature audience than 'SYTYCD.'

CD: Well, I can be a bit naughty, which is really fun for me. Don't get me wrong. I love the 'Dance' show and being in the big sister/cheerleader role but also it's quite nice to have something where you can be a bit naughty if you have a twinkle in your eye and you can get away with things a bit more and that's what 'The Choice' is about. We've essentially taken 'The Voice' and 'The Dating Game' and crushed it together and come up with this entertainment show that doesn't take itself too serious.

What it basically is is singles from all over America, just regular people, compete for a date with an eligible bachelor or bachelorette and then they, in turn, have to compete to choose one of them. It's not always on the side of the celebrity and it goes backwards and forwards. There's another round, which is the speed-dating round. Then in the third round they get to ask the two remaining contestants a question and depending on the answer depends on who they go on the date with and they go out that night! Sometimes they go out and have a nice time but sometimes you turn around and go 'Wow! I see something there!' Carmen Electra picked a guy and it was thunderbolt city! You could see that! It's one of those things.

JH: The 'So You Think You Can Dance' auditions are still going on and this week the show is in Salt Lake City. What can you tease about what we're going to see?

CD: Salt Lake City has amazing, amazing ballroom people. Watch out for the ballroom girls. Not only are they amazingly talented but they also are absolutely gorgeous. So lots of ballroom people coming up but a lot of other styles, too. People are really grasping the idea that you have to be able to do as many styles as you can.

JH: Salt Lake City has a reputation for being low-key but sounds like the dancers are anything but low-key!

CD: It's absolutely true! There's not much else to do so they throw themselves into it and they start doing it from a very young age so that amount of experience always come through.

JH: Last time we talked Nigel was still working out the format for the show air now that it's airing just once a week. How will the results show work?

CD: To be honest, I don't know exactly but as always America will decide who is in the bottom 3 and then the judges will decide at the end of the show who is going home. I think it will be much more interesting this year because I think it will add a new layer of empathy to the performance show. And the results show would sometimes feel long because you had to drag out the results but for me it will be one of those things of putting three hours of live TV into two. Only time will tell, Jim!

JH: Nigel told me that choosing a guy and a girl as winners is something the show should have done a long time ago. Do you agree?

CD: I think it's worked with one solo winner but it will bring a new interesting dimension to the show. What I really enjoy are the guest judges, as well, with Lady Gaga, Katie Holmes and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. It just adds a new dynamic to the panel, which I think makes it much more interesting to the audience watching at home so I'm glad we're bringing that back again, too.

JH: We haven't heard who the All-Stars will be yet but will we see some familiar faces from past seasons?

CD: I actually don't know who is going to come back this year but it just completely depends on who is available and what kind of choreography they're doing. I love having them back in the studio and just seeing how they've grown and it's just lovely playing a bit of catch-up both personally and professionally.

JH: And you're doing more of your online 'In The Dressing Room' series this season, right?

CD: Yes, we've started doing them already and we're filming more of them so every week we'll do behind the scenes.

JH: And you do have a hand in the outfits you wear on 'SYTYCD,' right?

CD: Absolutely! I don't have a stylist and I just decide on the day what I want to go for and it's really just playing. We have so much doing it. We cover everything from Studio 54/Jerry Hall to Deborah Harry rocking it out in Blondie to Star Wars...it just depends on what movies I've seen or music and then we just get creative with it. We don't take it too seriously. Fashion should always be fun and have a great time with it.

JH: And you've recently gone public with your personal relationship. Why now?

CD: Yes! It's been going on for a little while so we thought it was about time. I've known him for about 10 years and he's really lovely and I couldn't be happier.

JH: Was it a big decision to go public? You're not exactly someone who is on the cover of the tabloids every week.

CD: It was kind of one of those moments where everyone was talking about it and we both work within the same industry, we're going to go to things together and then we said 'Let's do this one' and it will stop people throwing us around and trying to get pictures. So once you've done it once you become boring to everyone else.

"So You Think You Can Dance" airs Wednesdays at 8:00/7:00c and "The Choice" airs Thursdays at 9:00/8:00c, both on FOX.

  [june 2012]  


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