Melissa Gorga is learning how to work the stage from the best, as choreographer extraordinaire Cris Judd made his debut appearance on Real Housewives of New Jersey last night to teach Melissa a few things. Judd, who's worked with everyone from Michael Jackson to Jennifer Lopez to N'SYNC, had his work cut out for him with Mrs. Gorga, but he tells us that she was a trooper through it all.
Cris tells us exclusively that Melissa had "a lot of work to do" based on her initial performance for him, and he also dishes on a bit of a blooper where Melissa "busted her ass" during practice.
One of the first things you make Melissa do when you meet her is just dance naturally so you can gauge where she was at. Be honest: What were your initial thoughts after seeing her strut her stuff?
My initial thoughts were "we have a lot of work to do." I wanted to see how well she moved naturally and what was in her vocabulary ... She was very nervous in front of me and I needed her to get past that.
When it comes to new pupils, where was Melissa on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a huge undertaking and 10 being a dance whiz?
On a scale from 1-10 I thought of her as around a 4 or a 5. She had natural movement but not a lot of experience. This was her second single so there wasn't a lot of stage and performance experience. The project was to get her to be comfortable with herself and not have a bunch of nervous energy but to harness that fear and learn to deal with it and demand her audience to watch and listen to her.
Was she a quick learner?
I wanted to have time alone with her first well before the dancers got there so we worked privately for a couple days. Melissa was a very hard worker, she did everything I asked of her. If she didn't get it we worked on it until she did. She was a trooper and a true professional. You can tell that she really wanted to do a great performance. She was great to work with.
Any good bloopers or embarrassing stories to tell?
Not really any bloopers but during one of the run throughs she was wearing her heels and was really going full out and went to change direction and slipped and literally flew up into the air and busted her ass on the floor. It was a "Holy S---!!!!!" moment. She laid there stunned and I ran over to see if she was OK, and once she realized that she was we laughed our asses off. It happens to the best of us -- it's happened to me as well in my career. Sorry Melissa!
Did you share any moves at all with Joe Gorga? He’s been a dancing machine on the show lately.
No I did not share any dance moves with Joe. I think he was taking the back seat to Melissa on this one -- it was all about her.
Are there other Bravo stars you’d want to work your magic on?
I'm loving Kathy Griffin's new show. I think it would be fun to do something with her or be a guest on her show.