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Thread: Benji Schwimmer - Season 2 (Choreographer)

  1. #131
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    Jan 2006
    Boo. I was soooo rooting for Travis.

    Oh well, there's always next summer.

  2. #132
    Big Electric Cat jasmar's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Generally speaking, booing the winner tends to make people take their frustrations out on the won who "wuzrobbed."

    Is this a fan site? No.

    Is it classy to boo the winner? Nope.
    Token Christian.

    If truth is relative, how do you know?

  3. #133
    RENThead JLuvs's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Commuting for Work
    Here is the hometown article from my local newspaper:

    So, yes, he can dance

    Redlands knew he could dance. Now, so does America.

    Wednesday night, our own Benji Schwimmer, 22, was crowned "America's Favorite Dancer" on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance." As the audience cheered and chanted "Benji! Benji! Benji!" he cried tears of joy and stared in awe at the crowd.

    As the winner, Benji will receive $100,000 in cash, a new car, and a year's contract to appear as a dancer in Celine Dion's "A New Day" show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

    After the finale, the backstage area of CBS studios was buzzing with activity and excitement, with notables from the show praising the limber Schwimmer, who throughout the season easily demonstrated his talents in contemporary, Latin, swing and Broadway dancing.

    Choreographer Shane Sparks said, "Benji's the man, and he went through a lot in his life. He loves this a lot and will be dancing until he dies. Benji won this competition in the middle of the show; it was just a matter of going through the process."

    Fellow choreographer and judge Dan Karaty was just as pleased with the show's outcome.

    "I think it's great," he said. "About four or five weeks ago I said, RI think Benji's going to take this thing. I think Travis gave him a run for his money at the end, but I knew it was down to the two of them. Benji's a phenomenal talent - his personality, his performance, his ability to adapt to anything - it's something you can't teach."

    A tearful judge Mary Murphy had to compose herself before talking about Benji.

    "I am very emotional right now," she said. "A great artist shows a little bit of themself and touches the souls of others, and that's what Benji did. He touched people sitting at home and made them get off the couch and pick up the phone. And most people thought he was incredibly dorky - but look at him here. Who's laughing now? He's proved himself; he has a lot to be proud of. I'm extremely proud."

    Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer and judge, noted the distinction between "So You Think You Can Dance" and his other show, "American Idol."

    "Dancing is not like singing - everyone can jump in the shower and sing, but not everybody can jump in the shower and dance. They'd slip on the soap," he said. "I've been delighted by his season, and by the amount of guys who have come up to me and said, RI didn't think I'd enjoy it, but I'm enjoying it!' If there are two contestants next year just as good as Benji and Travis, then we will be lucky."

    The judges weren't the only ones singing Benji's praises. It was evident that there were no hard feelings between Benji and the three other dancers he beat.

    "I knew he was going to win," said runner-up Travis Wall. "It was fun being able to do our Rnerd dance' together one last time. We will definitely work together in the future."

    "I'm ecstatic for him," said Heidi Groskreutz, Benji's cousin. "He wanted this so bad and he so deserves it."

    She was also pleased that the win meant so much to her aunt and uncle. "It's so cool because Benji's parents have meant everything to him and made him a great dancer, and for them to see that, the fruits of their labor, right in front of them ` it's great," she said.

    Benji's father owns 5-6-7-8 Dance Studio in Redlands.

    Just because the show is over doesn't mean Groskreutz is finished working with her cousin. "Benji and I are going to make some DVDs, teaching how to dance," she said. They plan on working on the project following the "So You Think You Can Dance" national tour, which includes Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.

    "I couldn't be more happy for him," said Donyelle Jones, who was partnered with Benji many times during the show. "I mean, I told him, RThis is yours.' We started this competition together, we ended it together; I couldn't ask for anything better. I think he and I have such a connection, and we're going to be friends for a long time."

    The judges and choreographers were full of advice for the winner. Sparks wants Benji to "keep his head straight


    and stay focused - everything that happens happens for a reason, so just stay focused."

    Choreographer and judge Brian Friedman hopes Benji takes the gig in Las Vegas. "He should do Celine Dion's show," he said. "He just grew so much in dancing."

    Karaty wants to see Benji move across the country. "I think Benji should move to New York; I think that kid could own Broadway. He could live on Broadway and be one of its biggest stars. This show demonstrated that he could do anything."

    Host Cat Deeley has yet another plan for Benji.

    "I think that America finds him great because they want somebody who's got star quality, something special," she said. "I think he could do something like have his own show, like a sitcom. RThe Benji Show,' a sitcom where he didn't have much luck with girls and had all these dream sequences with different characters. `"

    The only one not musing about Benji's future was his ecstatic father, Buddy Schwimmer, owner of 5-6-7-8 Dance Studio in Redlands, who still had tears in his eyes long after the show had finished. "I of course am so proud of him," he said. "I always knew how good he was, and now I'm happy everyone else knows."

    The studio recently had a fire, and according to Buddy will be reopening in early September. He would like to do more for dance in Redlands, and said, "I'd love to put our summer show on at the Bowl."

    At the end of the night, no one was more excited than Benji himself.

    "It hasn't sunk in yet," he said. "I'm flying out tomorrow to see Regis, and on the plane I'll be doing a lot of reflection, a lot of prayer, and just planning. I feel like I won the lottery. I don't know what to say or think - I'm kind of numb right now."

    The past few months have been difficult for the dancer, who struggled through the long days of non-stop practicing and performing. "I've been really sick; it's been an uphill battle. I lost 15 pounds and was just really sick," he said. "But I'm here, and it felt like when you're on a track and you run as far as you can go and you have nothing left to give in the last lap and you cross the finish line and just ` you lose it all."

    Benji already has plans for what he's going to do with his prize money. "My dance studio burned down and the money will help repair it and maybe buy the place next door to make it bigger," he said. "I want the world to dance, and Redlands is such a great, small community, but it's so respectful of the arts, and it's amazing.

    "I would love to choreograph a whole dance with people from Redlands, and perform it at the Bowl," he continued.

    Benji only has a week of rest before going on tour with his fellow dancers, but he's ready for it. "The tour's going to be amazing, and I have gotten a lot of crazy offers," he said. "Celine and I are going to talk and see what happens. There's talks of me doing a swing dance with her. I got a couple movie offers, three of four from Broadway * RWicked' and RHairspray' are talking to me, which is hardcore - and an offer from RMADtv,' so I'm keeping my lines open right now and we'll see what fish bites the hardest."

    Benji never forgot his roots, and had a special message for Redlands. "Redlands: I know you guys voted, and I just wanted to say thank you so, so, sooooo much. I love you guys. Really, you guys are amazing, and thank you for respecting and helping me out. I've seen a couple of 9-0-9-ers out there, and you guys really do rock, and I'll try to give it back to the community as much as I can when I come back."

    E-mail Staff Writer Catherine Garcia at cgarcia@redlandsdailyfacts.com

    Whenever you see darkness, there is extraordinary opportunity for the light to burn brighter.

  4. #134
    FORT Fogey
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    Jun 2004
    Awwwww. That's a sweet article.

    I like the idea of Heidi and Benji doing dance DVDs. I'll bet those would be hot sellers!

  5. #135
    FORT Fan Phoenix Gal's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm glad Benji won, but I was really hoping for Heidi.
    "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."-John Lennon

  6. #136
    FORT Fogey lambikins's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by DivaDancer View Post
    I think you nailed it. Benji has that rare star quality that only comes around every so often. And I don't think he was acting or trying to be funny. He was just being himself which is why he captured the hearts of so many people in America, mine included. I too have adored him from the very beginning and am so thrilled that he won this. And while I'm looking forward to next season I just can't imagine another great personality like Benji on the show. Oh well, I've saved every one of my tapes from this season so I'll just have to rewatch them every so often whenever I need to get my Benji fix.
    Awwwww, a "Benji Fix"; that's what I need when I'm sad!

    I was thinking about the Benji/Travis comparisons last night and this thought came to mind. I agree with everyone who states that Travis is the more techically superior dancer; I've rewatched tapes (sound off to not distract) of Benji and Travis and Travis routinely is virtually flawless, but that could also be called "mechanical" or "by the book".

    Benji however, is such a ball of energy, that when he doesn't kick high enough or raise his arms straight enough, I just don't care because his charisma has already won me over.

    With my comparison of Benji to Gene Kelly, in my opinion, the ONE dance number that most people in the World are familiar with is Gene Kelly's famous "Singing in the Rain." It's lively, exciting, silly, and completely and utterly unforgetable. As is Donald O'Connor in "Make them Laugh", also a completely unforgetable and much viewed dance number by this very talented yet funny dancer/actor/singer.

    Although I love-love-love Fred and Ginger, the only thing that comes to mind when I think of him, is the spinning-spinning-spinning around the dance floor, whereas the Singing in the Rain dance number is immortalized in countless parodies, rip offs and commercials.

    It comes down to the old Apple and Oranges comparison where there's just no winner, just a different taste for the consumer.
    Still crazy, after all these shears

    "lambikins, put the crack pipe down and back away from the keyboard." Unklescott

    "lambikins... I have come to the conclusion that you are the Jedi Master of the Kitchen on FORT!" SuperBrat

  7. #137
    What's reality???
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    Feb 2004
    Aww - I just saw Benji on Regis and Kelly - he danced and then did a little thing with Kelly. He led her through some steps, and I think she was thrilled, because he made her look good. I wish his segment was longer!

  8. #138
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    Jan 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by tracyann00 View Post
    Aww - I just saw Benji on Regis and Kelly - he danced and then did a little thing with Kelly. He led her through some steps, and I think she was thrilled, because he made her look good. I wish his segment was longer!

    Just saw the show here on the West Coast and I too wish Benji's segment was longer. Kelly did look very excited to be dancing with Benji but then again who wouldn't be. Also his Regis imitation was hilarious and I was so excited to hear about the movie offers he's gotten, possibly portraying the great Fred Astaire. Here's hoping we get to see Benji up on the big screen soon.

  9. #139
    What's reality???
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by DivaDancer View Post
    Just saw the show here on the West Coast and I too wish Benji's segment was longer. Kelly did look very excited to be dancing with Benji but then again who wouldn't be. Also his Regis imitation was hilarious and I was so excited to hear about the movie offers he's gotten, possibly portraying the great Fred Astaire. Here's hoping we get to see Benji up on the big screen soon.
    Also - he mentioned that he was on the Regis show YEARS ago, as a kid. Why didn't they pull that old clip and show it????? That would have been priceless!!!!

  10. #140
    Self Damage Beautiful_Caius's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Victoria, BC
    Benji or Travis, couldn't go wrong with either.
    "Walking on poetry...she's a monologue in shakespearean tragedy"

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