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Thread: Benji Schwimmer - Season 2 (Choreographer)

  1. #141
    FORT Fogey lambikins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    This is a nice, recent interview and in it, Benji confirms that he HAS been selected to portray Fred Astaire!!! Nice guys sometimes DO finish first!


    After talking to Benji Schwimmer, winner of this seasons So You Think You Can Dance, you cant help but understand why this kids at the top of his class. At 22, the humble, resolute performer compares himself to Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and we completely agreeexcept they both see it as magic where as we, the audience, know that its their hearts that separate them from the rest.


    Benji: Thanks. Its been a long journey but its been definitely worth it.

    What was it like to hear Cat Deely say your name?

    Benji: I think it was a mix of a lot of different things. Three months worth of blood, sweat, and tears, injuries, stress, wondering if I made it, didnt make it. People criticizing me on the Internet. My parents dance studio burning down. There were so many things building on top of me at that final moment. It didnt even matter which name she announcedit was just such a release. It took me a couple seconds to realize they called my name. I didnt get it. Wasnt expecting it to happen. One of the coolest experiences of my life.

    Each week it seemed like the Benji fanclub grew and grew to the point where they were chanting your namehow important was the fan reaction and how did it affect your performance?

    B: What was awesome about the fans that night was theres a big group of people. It got to a point where they respected the top four so much that everybody was cheering for everybody but when they announced my name, I saw family members of every contestant stand up. They all knew what we had been through. And the fans of Benji, the Shwingers, as they called them[selves], were so coolthey supported me from the beginning. Their fingers were bleeding from voting so many times. It was awesome.

    You mention family. Youve been dancing with your Cousin Heidi for 17 years and were both in the shows top four togethertell us what it was like to have that experience together.

    B: I think thats almost a bigger honor than being titled Americas favorite dancerwe were Americas favorite dance couple. We didnt even try out together, which was odd, but for 17 years we worked on being in competitions together, and whatever the outcome of the finale, they just said she wasnt the person. It was just really cool that we got there together and were in the finale together.

    You stated at the beginning of the competition that you had not danced for two years prior to the show? How did you prepare for the auditions?

    B: I came back after all that time off and I had such a desire to dance and so for months I kept on training and working and I ended up selling my car so I could afford to train like I had been. After that, I went down to L.A., took some classes and just kept going. Honestly, I was at a point where I wasnt sleepingI was so crazed. I became almost manic about the whole thing, but it really got me out of some tough times, too. Overall, it was just an amazing experience.

    Going into the competition, did you think that your success in the Swing World would help or hinder your chances at making it to Vegas?

    B: I think it helped. It was kind of a unique thing to have. I was happy to have represented the swing world in that aspect. Certain people had some negative criticism because of my success as a national champion, but for the most part they respected it.

    Of all the choreographed routines performed by other contestants on the show, which one do you secretly wish you could have performed?

    B: I wish I couldve done the west coast swing. I did a jazz piece but I wouldve loved to do a west coast swing. In the future, I want to take ballet, Cuban classesI want to do it all.

    You were hospitalized in the week prior to the Final Four Competition but it was never addressed on the show. Were there moments when you feared this would affect your chances of moving on?

    B: There was always an injury. It was almost every week where I collected a new one or even two. And it was almost like I was being prevented from doing more and more maneuvers. But I guess its part of the process and part of the show is to use all that you possibly can and I know that whether Id won it or not, Id know I wouldve been able to finish the show and say, Id done everything I possibly can to win this thing.

    How do you foresee all of this success changing your personal life?

    B: Personally, Im going to have to be careful to who I befriend now, because there are certain people out there tend to take your money and privileges you have to their advantage. And I also get followed around and have paparazzi take pictures of me, and I dont mind people asking for my autographI was in the same boat three months ago. But its going to be important to find time for friends and family and the people I love.

    Youre a natural entertainer and you know how to play the audience; do you have aspirations of Broadway or possibly even film work?

    B: Yeah, definitely. In factI just was cast to play the lead role as Fred Astaire in the upcoming film about his life. Nigel really helped me out with that, so it was just a real honor. I felt kind of like Charlie from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory where you go through these great experiences and are rewarded something at the end like his everlasting gobstopper or the company or something.

    What can you tell us about your role in Celine Dions Vegas Extravaganza A New Day?

    B: Basically Id be a dancer, Id probably have a special number with Celine. and were possibly going to do a duet between Celine and I. I cant waitits going to so cool.

    Which scares you more? Mary Murphys scream or Dmitrys chest?

    B: Gosh, you know its funnyboth of those things are legends in themselves. I think the scariest thing is when Nigel and Cat pretend Im about to kicked off the show and I dont. I think Ive had about two or three ulcers.

    And lastly, what are your favorite TV shows?

    B: One of my favorite shows is still the Seinfeld re-runstheyre so hilarious. Also, the Office and the old U.K. versions of Whose Line is it Anyway are great, too.

    Alright, well, congratulations, Benji! Good luck with your new life in show biz!

    B: Awesome! Thanks, guys!
    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

  2. #142
    Big Electric Cat jasmar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Aww, don't take the naysayers personally, Benji. You'll never please some people.

    How refreshing to have an honestly nice guy win one of these things for a change. I can't wait to see the Fred Astaire movie (I've wondered why there hasn't been one before now).
    Token Christian.

    If truth is relative, how do you know?

  3. #143
    What's reality???
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Thanks for posting! He sounds like more of a sweetheart everytime I read another interview!

  4. #144
    FORT Fanatic Celestique's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    on the AI stage
    I can't wait to see him as Fred Astaire, and support his career! Good luck Benji!!
    Why is it boys talk so much, when they have nothing to say? And girls have plenty to say, but no one will listen?
    --Vada Sultenfuss

  5. #145
    Duke Blue Devil Tickety's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Cameron Indoor
    Just popping by to ask: Any news on Benji? I wish someone on FORT knew him personally. I'm finding it hard to follow his career.

  6. #146
    RENThead JLuvs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Commuting for Work
    Quote Originally Posted by Tickety;2245974;
    Just popping by to ask: Any news on Benji? I wish someone on FORT knew him personally. I'm finding it hard to follow his career.
    He updates his myspace quite often and seems to be lots of stuff going on there. It would be impossible to say all of the stuff that he is doing at the moment as he is doing about 9 million things at once.
    Whenever you see darkness, there is extraordinary opportunity for the light to burn brighter.

  7. #147
    Blaker Girl DixiePixie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    Benji is in the new Christina Aguilera video for 'Candyman'.

  8. #148
    jmb is offline
    FORT Fogey Word Builder Champion jmb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Re: Benji - Season 2

    Quote Originally Posted by DixiePixie;2261471;
    Benji is in the new Christina Aguilera video for 'Candyman'.
    Really? I saw the video but didn't recognize Benji... I'll have to watch it again.

  9. #149
    FORT Fogey Gala62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Hopefully near a spa

    Re: Benji - Season 2

    Well, not surprisingly, Benji's sister (can't remember her name) made it through to Vegas. Shocking, I know!!!!! LOL

    Of course, it was AWESOME to see Benji performing in front of the judges again!

  10. #150
    Reality TV fan UOrealityfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    In the mountains waiting for the snow to arrive

    Re: Benji - Season 2

    Quote Originally Posted by jmb;2418754;
    Really? I saw the video but didn't recognize Benji... I'll have to watch it again.
    I just watched it - you can't miss him. He is the one doing the swing with Christina. He is good...
    Faith grows from little seeds of Hope.

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