Julianne Hough had a load of pressure sitting on her shoulders when she was cast as Sandy in Fox’s Grease: Live, the live televised adaptation of the classic musical Grease that aired early tonight. After the performances, everyone shares the consensus that Julianne couldn’t be more perfect for the role. The Dancing with the Stars dancer didn’t just give justice to the Olivia Newton-John classic, Miss Hough gave it a fresh spin that made the track even more appealing to the modern audience.
Julianne Hough, 27, was a big fan of Grease as a child growing up. In her interview with Variety, Julianne said that being a Grease fan is ” kind of like how kids know Michael Jackson and Mickey Mouse and Elvis.” Hough recalled in the interview how she used to go to the basement to put ‘Grease’ on when she was a little girl so that she can sing and dance the way Olivia did in the original Grease.
“I’d do the dances and songs and try to be Sandy as long as I could — until the dance scene, and then I went into full-blown Cha Cha.”
When Julianne was asked what her favorite Grease song was, she mentioned “Hopelessly Devoted” as her favorite one for singing.
“To sing, I love singing ‘Hopelessly Devoted.’ We’ve moved where ‘Hopelessly Devoted’ was in the movie and put it a little bit later so you can really see [Sandy’s] struggle of like, ‘Ugh, he’s like this, but I’m so in love with him and I have no options. I’m hopelessly devoted to him.’ So I love singing that.”
In tonight’s performance for Grease: Live, Julianne showed everyone why she was born for the role. Call it blasphemy, but her performance on Grease: Live was even more impressive than Olivia’s, if only for the fact that she performed it for a live audience.
For comparison, here’s the original performance by Olivia Newton-John.
Hough, who was known more for her dancing and acting before her Grease: Live performance tonight, showcased her incredible singing skills in front of an impressed audience. The singing, the acting, the body language – everything was perfect. The nod to the classic version added some nostalgia to the experience too as the performance featured Julianne Hough rocking an elegant white dress (same with Olivia in the original version) and used a front porch as a backdrop.
During her interview, the 27-year-old dancer/actor/singer admitted that she was worried more about the logistics involved rather than the singing.
“I’ll be getting on a golf cart right after the dance and [busting] my butt. [Then I’m] traveling to Sandy’s house in like a minute and a half, have to get prepared, and belt it out.” (All the fun challenges that come with filming a live musical.) Luckily, it seems that with all of the action, Hough barely had time to feel nervous, which was a concern of hers when she was cast.”
Julliane’s worries were all for naught. As of this writing, the overall reviews for Grease: Live have been overwhelmingly positive. However, there was one unfortunate incident that slightly spoiled what would have been a perfect live performance: the audio had some slight static right in the middle of the song. Fortunately, Julianne’s performance was so amazing that it made the static barely noticeable.
Fans of Grease: Live and Julianne Hough (and some celebrities as well) sounded off on social media to express how much they enjoyed the live performances.
Umm @juliannehough is killing it. The perfect sandy— Chloë Grace Moretz (@ChloeGMoretz) February 1, 2016
Do you think Julianne Hough’s live rendition of “Hopelessly Devoted to You” lived up to Olivia Newton-John’s version? How would you rate her overall performance on Grease: Live? Feel free to share your thoughts below!
[Image via Fox/YouTube]