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Two former TV stars and on-set lovers, characters A.C. Slater and Jessie Spano of the beloved television show “Saved by the Bell,” now share something new in common.
They are no longer dodging Mr. Belding during their Bayside high school days. Instead, they are both taking on new TV personas.
Mario Lopez, who played A.C. Slater, and Elizabeth Berkley, who played Jessie Spano, are now playing the role of dance competition TV hosts.
Lopez is currently the host of the popular MTV dance show called “Americas Best Dance Crew.”
The show features 12 dance crews, who come up with innovative choreography each week, recreating famous music videos, movie scenes and classic dance moves.
The judges include J.C Chasez, a former member or ‘N Sync, choreographer Shane Sparks, and rapper and dancer Lil’ Mama, who comment on the performances.
The ultimate votes are in the hands of the viewers, who vote for who they want to stay. The group with the least amount of votes gets eliminated each week.
America saw Lopez back on TV as the runner-up on the third season of “Dancing with the Stars.” He is continuing his dancing career on MTV with the job of finding the best dance crew in America.
Jim Sturges, a freshman integrative physiology major, said he thinks that Lopez is trying to ride out his fame from previous shows he has appeared on.
“Mario Lopez is trying to come back in the spotlight and continue the fame because he was on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’” Sturges said.
According to MTV.com, Lopez is also a recurring commentator for “HBO Boxing” and the host and executive producer of SITV’s “Dating Factory.”
Berkley is going to be hosting a new dance competition show on Bravo called “Step It Up and Dance,” premiering April 3.
Sturges said he also thinks that having these former stars as hosts is drawing in the large audience that watched them growing up.
“It might be that since they were such figures to kids back then,” Sturges said. “Now that they’re grown up, they might appeal to us more because they’re figures from the past among young adults who used to watch them.”
Berkley’s new show is a reality competition series, where the contestants will dance to a music video one week or a Vegas spectacular the next. The series will feature challenges in which the dancers audition for a range of parts, designed to showcase their versatility and moves.
The winner who gets the last “call back” will receive $100,000.
World-renowned director and choreographer Vincent Paterson, known for his creative work in film, television and music, and choreographer Nancy O’Meara, who works with “Hannah Montana” and the “High School Musical” tour, will serve as judges for the competition.
Megan O’Connor, a freshman open-option major, said she finds it interesting that these two former cast mates are both trying to get back in the spotlight and jump onto the popularity of dance shows.
‘It’s funny that they were both popular in the 90s, and 15 years later they are looking to make a comeback,” O’Connor said. “They still look good though. The whole dance thing is old. Too many dance shows are on at once. They’re trying to go along with whatever’s popular right now and trying to make a comeback.”
Reshma Shrestha, a sophomore pre-journalism major, said she agrees with O’Connor, and thinks that dance shows are dominating TV screens in America. She said the former “Saved by the Bell” stars are trying to latch onto the dance show craze.
“It’s ironic that they’re both doing it,” Shrestha said. “Dancing has taken over America with all the dancing shows. I think they’re both trying to get back, especially Elizabeth Berkley, because you don’t see her around and she hasn’t been in the media as much.”
Contact Campus Press staff writer Melanie Cohn at Melanie.Cohn@colorado.edu.