Reality Check: 'Breaking Pointe' over; 4 Savini grads on Syfy


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Two seasons of dance and drama were enough for the CW, which announced earlier this week it would not be renewing the summer series, "Breaking Pointe."

The show, which followed a handful of professional members of Salt Lake City's Ballet West company, had production ties to the BBC.

Allison DeBona, a Pittsburgh native and Charters Valley High graduate, was the breakout star, a natural actress who made even the most contrived dramatic scenarios appear more real than usually found in reality television.

Over two seasons, Ms. DeBona was promoted from demi-soloist to soloist. Her on-again, off-again relationship with fellow dancer Rex Tilton was at the heart of the show. Despite hints that she planned to retire after last season and settle down with her previous longtime boyfriend in Michigan, she re-upped with Ballet West.

"It was fun while it lasted!" said Ms. DeBona, adding that exposure from the show has created new dance opportunities. "I'm going to finally get a dance agent."

Ms. DeBona, Mr. Tilton and Ballet West veteran soloist Christopher Ruud will be performing at the annual "A Gala for Ballet" in Cleveland on Feb. 28 and will be teaching a class the next day. Details at www.balletincleveland.org.

Season 6 of Syfy's "Face Off" debuted Tuesday with four grads from Monessen's Tom Savini Special Make-up Effects program in the mix. The artists worked in groups of two and three to create a "Beast" that was both frightening and sexy, the better to accompany a bevy of Belles sporting drastically different looks.

Of the four with local ties, one immediately ran into trouble. Tyler Green and his partner tried to mirror their beast's castle, a Taj Mahal-type structure. By sticking little turrets on the creature's head, they managed to create something "kooky," according to judge Ve Neill, and were in danger of elimination. But another team was even worse, so, whew.

Daran Holt, Tanner White and Tess Laeh are the other Savini grads.

Mixing the concept of two MTV shows produced "Party Down South" on CMT (debuted Thursday) and the results were not pretty. A bunch of 20-somethings were whisked down to Murrells Inlet, S.C., last summer for the usual debauchery. Producer Sally Ann Salsano of 495 Productions, who created "Jersey Shore," threw in some shades of "Buckwild."

The cast is an eclectic bunch. In an interview with the Hilton Head-area newspaper, the Packet, N.C.'s Taylor Wright, nicknamed "Lil Bit," confirms that she is indeed multifaceted. "If you walk into my room right now, you'd see my gun and my Bible."

Bravo has cooked up a new special series, tentatively titled "Top Chef Extreme." Fans can vote for their favorites from previous seasons of "Top Chef" and "Top Chef Masters" to suggest "chef'testant" pairings. Go to www.FaceBook.com/TOPCHEF or tweet @BravoTopChef using the #TopChefExtreme hashtag.

CBS has announced the start dates for its two venerable reality shows, "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race." The 28th (!) cycle of "Survivor" kicks off with a two-hour show Feb. 26, while an all-star cast of TARacers Past (including "Bopper") compete beginning Feb. 23.


Maria Sciullo: msciullo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.

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