It’s going to be a busy 2012 for choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo. Fresh off a stint on X Factor, their show Mobbed is returning to Fox tonight (Wednesday January 4), they’re the resident choreographers on American Idol and somewhere between highlighting new talent on the 9th season of So You Think You Can Dance, the power-duo will welcome a baby (which, frankly, will be mostly Tabitha’s responsibility at that point).
In an exclusive chat with Wetpaint Entertainment, the D’Umos talked about what’s to come personally and professionally, and how they’ll manage to do it all.
Wetpaint Entertainment: On behalf of Wetpaint, congratulations on the pregnancy! Is it rude to ask how far along you are?
Tabitha: No, not at all. I think I'm about seven or eight weeks.
What does that mean as far as the shows we're used to seeing you on this year. Are you guys both going to be part of So You Think You Can Dance?
Tabitha: I mean, I'm very optimistic. I’d like to think that I'll have a big old fat belly, but you can keep moving and do quite a bit if you have a healthy pregnancy up until maybe a couple of weeks before you're supposed to deliver. So if it permits, Napoleon and I will still do part of So You Think You Can Dance this summer. I'm really hoping.
I've seen you in action. You're very bouncy.
Napoleon: Yeah. That part's going to be interesting.
Tabitha: I might have to tone down a little bit and give all the heavy bouncing to Napoleon.
Napoleon: That's how we got to this place...
Mobbed looks really fun! How did you two get involved?
Napoleon: There was another flash mob show happening at the same time on NBC, and luckily for us, the day that that got dropped, Howie asked us to come on board for Mobbed.
What were the challenges for you compared to other projects you've done?
Tabitha: It was our first time going into anything at this scale. We kind of didn't know what to expect. We didn't know how many people were going to show up. We weren't sure how well they would participate or how excited they might be or how problematic things would be as far as just going from location to location because Howie definitely was very ambitious and wanted to do quite a bit for the pilot. So it was really a learning curve for both them and us. We were like ‘I hope this works,’ and we had one day to pull it together.
Were you surprised that it all worked out?
Tabitha: You know what? I don't want to toot our own horn, but our managerial skills, I guess you could say, paid off. We did a lot of planning. We‘d troubleshoot problems that might happen. ‘If we don't have enough people, then what will we do?’ We had a plan B and C and D prepared just in case. But either way, it was just one quite big hectic day but really rewarding at the end.
I think that viewers might assume you did the choreography, maybe even teach the people, but that’s not all. I mean you get everyone from A to B to C, and it's a lot of people.
Tabitha: Yes, yes. It's our ship to run. And it's also our ship to sink, really. So we feel that pressure. When you see us on set, we're running around with a megaphone. And we're like, ‘You don't understand! If we don't make it to this point, it won't happen!’
How many times was the outcome not what you expected?
Tabitha: We had one very close call where we almost lost our mark in the ruse because we pushed him too far. Howie pushed him to the edge to get a reaction from him, and the reaction almost had him walk off. So we were like, oh my God..
Napoleon: He actually tried to walk off, and one of the girls luckily grabbed him and coaxed him back in. But he was headed out the door.
What were your favorite scenarios?
Tabitha: Well, I'm a sucker for emotion. There was a really emotional one with a son meeting his father for the first time. He was 37, never knew who his father was. It was quite emotional. And then the one that almost didn't happen was such an adrenalin rush because of the circumstances that we were in. When we finally got him involved in the performance, his reactions were completely surprising. We didn't see it coming.
Napoleon: That entire episode is my favorite. The dancing was my favorite. The music we used. The amount of entertainment that we put into that when we were really ambitious, and it all worked out somehow.
Are we able to set that episode up at all, as far as what the scenario was?
Tabitha: Well, it was two brothers who were in a band that got into like a huge fight and hadn’t spoken in quite some time, and the one brother was trying to the mob the other brother to apologize basically.
Napoleon: It sounds like it was a small one, but they were best friends. And their band broke up over them, and the ruse was to tell this brother [about] this outrageous idea that Howie had, and if he didn't take it, the band would break up. And it worked out amazing. We had an amazing electric drummer, that his brother came out and drummed with. A really amazing, famous guitarist. The band actually got together and played on the show for the finale. So it was really good.
Mobbed premieres Wednesday, January 4 at 9 pm ET/PT on FOX. Stay tuned this week for more exclusives from Tabitha and Napoleon!