Leah Miller Takes the Lead for So You Think You Can Dance Canada
Source: By CHRIS JANCELEWICZ
Posted: 09/10/08 1:31PM
Filed Under: Television
MuchMusic VJ Leah Miller is stepping up to host the astoundingly popular So You Think You Can Dance, which is making its debut this year in Canada. As a former dancer, Miller has a great appreciation for what she's seen so far in the audition process. And she even thinks we're better than Americans! We sat down and talked about what SYTYCD, and what Canadian audiences can expect.
The show starts this week. Are you excited?
You have no idea how excited I am. I'm a huge fan of the American show, and I've watched it for years. I'm so proud to be a part of this. I was doing voice-overs for the first episode this weekend, and it's the first time I've ever seen the first episode - and I'm not just saying this because I'm the host of the show - it is unbelievable. I think it's going to blow people away.
Like the production values, that sort of thing?
Yes, it looks better than the American show. I hate to say it, but it does! The editing, everything. And our dancers are unbelievable…and good-looking.
Who was your favourite dancer from the last American SYTYCD?
Oh, that's a tough one. This year, I wanted Twitch to win. I loved Joshua, but I loved Twitch even more.
How is the Canadian talent going to shape up against the American talent?
I know Canadians are talented - we've got all the actors, the comedians, the singers that are successful worldwide. I didn't know what to expect from the dancers, and it was beyond my expectations, by far. The dancers we have on our show are better than the Americans, and I'm not just saying that. One of the funniest things I found in the audition process was that when dancers didn't get through, Canadians are so polite. All they can say is 'Thank you for the opportunity', 'I'm such a big fan', and this is when they're getting cut! The American contestants would go nuts, yell and swear at the camera.
Are there are few try-out episodes at the beginning?
Yeah, we travelled across Canada: we went to Calgary, Vancouver, Halifax, Montreal and Toronto in the spring. I don't know how they narrowed it down to the talent we have now, all the dancers were phenomenal. The first episode will be the Toronto auditions, and we had such a great turn-out there. Every city was amazing, with different styles of dance - we had belly dancers, lindy hoppers, hip-hop dancers, things I've never seen before. So those are the first couple of episodes, and then starting in October we go live in the studio with our top 20.
Are there any bloopers or incidents that you can recall from the tryouts?
There's some interesting characters, especially in the first episode. There's a lot of laughter that'll be going on, that's all I have to say. Even the dancers that aren't super-skilled were really endearing. They were so cute, and I almost liked them better, because they were up there trying as hard as they could.
How did you get this hosting gig?
I've worked at MuchMusic for four years, and my boss sent me an email saying CTV was looking for the host of the show. Right when I saw it, I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I have to get this job.' Sometimes you want things. When I was younger, I dabbled in acting. You audition for parts you want, but you don't get them, and it's devastating. I wanted this job so badly…eventually I got a call back and I got the job. I was ecstatic.
Are you going to keep your day job at MuchMusic?
I'm going to do both at the same time. Obviously, when the show starts in the fall, I'm going to focusing mainly on So You Think You Can Dance. It'll be pretty intense, you know? Because there'll be two episodes a week.
You have a history of dance, don't you?
I grew up dancing. My brothers were put into hockey, so my sister and I were put in ballet classes when we were like 3 years old. I couldn't figure skate. I'm so uncoordinated when it comes to that. I have those ankles that turn in, you know? It was horrible. But anyway, I kept with the dancing, and my sister and I danced for years and years, we competed all over, and I actually went to an art school for dance.
So what kind of a dancer are you?
I haven't taken a dance class in a really long time - I'd probably have to go into an adult class (laughs), or maybe a beginner class. But I used to be really good, back in the day. I took every style of dance possible. I took point, I took tap, jazz, lyrical. I like contemporary dance the most, though. My favourite to watch, my favourite to do.
I've read in many articles that you're a crier. How are you going to cope with the heartbreak this season?
Yeah, I'm a girlie girl. I'm a Cancer. I don't know if you believe in horoscopes, but I'm such a Cancer. I'm a homebody, I'm emotional, I'm just all-out family. I'm a sucky girl. I cry at movies…I don't know how I'm going to end up this season. Even during the audition process, the dancers would come to me kind of as a friend, and they'd break down and cry. It was hard. It's hard not to cry when someone else is crying. I don't know how I'm going to do it on the show.
I'm worried for you.
I'm worried for myself!
How are you going to differentiate yourself from [American host] Cat Deeley?
Well, Cat is Cat. She's an unbelievable host, and I'm not going to try to be anybody else. I'm just going to be myself, that's all I can do. I've been on TV for four years, so I'm just very comfortable at this point. I'm human, I make mistakes, and that's it. That's all I can be, I guess.
You're not going to be all rigid or anything, are you?
My gosh, no! I won't be like a robot.
Unless you're doing The Robot.
Yeah, exactly, but I don't think I'll be doing that. Not in four-inch heels.
So You Think You Can Dance premieres on CTV on Thursday, September 11th at 8 pm ET.