Freshman Makes the Dean’s List and the Cut for ‘Dance War’

Freshman Chris Holyfield is facing off against 11 other young singer-dancers

January 15, 2008

In the midst of this election season, 12 candidates are engaged in a nationwide contest of talent that doesn’t include campaign promises. Among the candidates is a Cal State Fullerton student.

Freshman Chris Holyfield is facing off against 11 other young singer-dancers Monday nights on ABC-TV’s new primetime reality show “Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann.”

The 18-year-old pre-business major from San Bernardino was among 30 young hopefuls picked in open auditions held late last year in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville. They went next to Hollywood for a two-day callback, where the group was narrowed to 14 finalists for a series of “live-audition” shows that began airing early this month.

On Jan. 7, contestant Holyfield introduced himself on national television as a full-time freshman at Cal State Fullerton and sang an excerpt of “My Girl” before a cheering crowd.

“He’s a natural,” declared judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba. “This is exactly what we’re looking for,” added Tonioli. “He can sing; he can dance . . . This guy has got it.” Holyfield went on to perform on the live portion of the show as part of the ensemble.

This past Monday night, he performed with the ensemble, then as part of a foursome that performed “Larger Than Life” and survived the next cut. He was Inaba’s second pick for her team of six performers, which is competing against Tonioli’s team of six.

“Entertaining is my life, and I like performing for my family,” Holyfield said in a videotaped segment that aired during the show.

“My mom is my biggest inspiration, and I really want to make it for her. Years ago she was diagnosed with M.S.”

Holyfield, who in his first semester at CSUF made the Dean’s List, was shown playing the piano in the family living room, with his parents and two younger brothers gathered around singing along.

Holyfield’s performances have drawn enthusiastic responses from audiences and judges, who have praised his personality, dancing skills and singing.

On the Jan. 14 show, when Inaba was asked to comment on the performance by the men, she said “There were a few that stood out — Chris,” and pointed to Holyfield, which drew loud applause and cheers from the audience. “Amazing  . . . and that voice doesn’t let me down,” she added.

“He has the voice of an angel,” declared Tonioli.

In the coming weeks, viewers will be invited to vote for their favorite teams, and contestants will be eliminated along the way.

The next show is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21.

Holyfield’s bio can be seen at this link on the ABC website:



Chris Holyfield
Chris Holyfield

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