Paula Abdul was on hand at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on Thursday to judge auditions for CBS's new show 'Live to Dance.'
Photo By: Noonan for NY Daily News
HERE IS AN ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ON THE FIRST RUN OF AUDTIONS IN NYC. DON'T FORGET TO VISIT THE NYDN WEBSITE AND PLACE YOUR VOTE THEY CURRENTLY HAVE TO SEE IF YOU WILL BE TUNNING IN TO SEE THE DANCE COMPETITION.
A year after parting ways with "American Idol," Paula Abdul is aiming to prove singing isn't the only talent she can judge.
Her new role is to be lead expert on the upcoming CBS reality competition "Live to Dance," and the show brought her to the Jacob Javits Convention Center Thursday for the first round of auditions.
Star-struck hopefuls stopped stretching and warming up to shriek Abdul's name, and some even got to chat with their idol.
"I was driving up and I was seeing how many people were wrapped around the blocks," Abdul says. "It brought a smile to my face in the sense that it brings me back to when I was a young kid. I was one of those kids that would wait in line for hours and hours just to get a chance to do what I love.
"Whether I made the audition or not, it just was the love of putting yourself out there and doing what you love," adds the 48-year-old singer and dancer. "In most cases, I didn't [make the cut.] I was rejected time and time again."
Turning hopefuls away is something Abdul had to do on "Idol," where she served as a judge from the show's start in 2002 until the end of Season 8. She didn't return last season after talks to renew her contract went downhill.
Abdul takes on the task again for "Live to Dance," but says the format isn't as strict. Unlike other competitions, there are no age limits, and all styles are welcome, as well as both groups and solo performers. With contestants as young as 4 as Thursday's audition, the harsh Simon Cowell-style of judging doesn't hold up.
"We're not there to just judge and criticize," Abdul says. "We're there to lend our expertise and also inspire them to keep pushing and stretching the boundaries of where their comfort zone is.
"It's not a show that we make them do a dance form that they're not comfortable with," she adds. "We're celebrating their own unique niche. And then we're expanding it from there."
Like with "Idol," personality can sometimes trump perfection.
"I can watch a technically trained dancer who can execute the most perfect pirouettes and grand jetés," Abdul says. "And I can watch a dancer who aspires to do that and they may not be perfect, but their heart just oozes out of them. They know how to fill those empty spaces with the right angle of their head, or the right added touch that makes you go, 'That's so much more interesting to me.'"
The show's premiere is set for some time early next year. Joining Abdul on the expert panel are Kimberly Wyatt, a former member of the Pussycat Dolls, and Travis Payne, a choreographer for Michael Jackson's "This Is It."
Those who made it through will face Abdul and the other experts this weekend in New Jersey's Liberty State Park.
Although Abdul is looking forward to her new show, she says a year out of the spotlight can work wonders.
"Taking a little bit of time off, I recommend it to people who get caught up working, working, working," she says. "You have to have some negative space to have proper perspective in your life."
BY Gina Salamone
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2010/10/15/2010-10-15_paula_abdul_moves_on_from_idol_to_judge_a_new_talent_on_live_to_dance.html?r=entertainment#ixzz12YDJshvW