Several months ago, it was announced that you will be back with Burn the Floor for the Australia Tour in May, 2020. What are your thoughts on getting back with this wonderful production and will you be dancing and/or hosting? Any other cast news?
I can’t wait to go back to Burn the Floor. A few months back, I got to host it in the Sydney Opera House which was unreal and while I was there, I was so inspired by the dancers that I wanted to give it a try. Physically it’s very demanding, and I feel I miss that a little. I train and run and keep active but that routine and those demands are always difficult to get used to when you remove yourself from that environment. I wanted to see where I could go with it—coming back all these years later just for myself maybe just for my head. I’m also going to go out of my comfort zone a little. I will host and dance and I’m gonna sing a little in this show!! Not 100% on who the cast is just yet but I’d well imagine a lot of our pros from DWTS here in Oz will make up a lot of the cast as well as the amazing vocalists and musicians who make the show what it is and always has been!
We recently saw the notification on Twitter and via Broadway World that you will join the cast of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in July. What can you tell us about this production so far? How did you become involved with it?
Snow White, yeah, that’s another one where I thought ah sure I may as well give it a craic!! I have known Bonnie Lythgoe for a little bit now and I had gone to see a friend Jimmy in her production of Jack and the Beanstalk last year in Sydney. We took the kids and saw how much they loved it so when it came up this year, I said that it would be great for the kids to come along again. We as parents are always trying to encourage the kids to do as much as possible and as many different things as possible to grow and develop and, sometimes, we don’t take the advice ourselves, so this time I did! Echo said I’d be a handsome prince and that sealed the deal then!
It’s been nice seeing you back as a judge on Dancing With the Stars Australia. Is there anything special that you learned from being a judge last year that you have carried over to this year’s show? Have there been any surprises with regard to any of the cast or what you’ve seen this year?
I loved last season of DWTS. It’s nice to back in that environment with a different attitude to it and being happy. I learned a lot last year for sure, and it’s just continuing to learn. You have to be open to the other side of any argument to have a full understanding. I think maybe last year I rambled so much trying to justify why I had the role and being worried about what I said coming across different to how I meant it. Now I have just learned to let it go. My and others’ opinions are just as valid based on our own experiences. They may not always be right, but they are our own.
Nobody ever surprises me in that I don’t have any expectations good or bad because I know the gig and I know that even though everyone always tries their best, they won’t always do their best and vice versa. I want them all to do well and always hope they do but the validation has to come from themselves and how far they have come.
In terms of the show, I’ve learned that I’m more productive and beneficial when I focus on the positives and motivation. I’m only disjointed if I’m giving info that I don’t believe in myself. We have three judges, Each has to comment on what they believe in first.
What is the most difficult part about being a judge on DWTS?
The difficulty is not getting carried away with public opinion. I’m generalizing now for the sake of this answer, but dancers can get infuriated with things they hear and see on the show—comments and scores and fans of certain people who won’t see the opposite side of their adulation for who they love, for example. Others will never change their opinion on someone they don’t like and will just never give someone a fair crack and then some will never get over the fact that if they don’t know them then they aren’t stars—conspiracy theories galore! It’s hilarious and entertaining at the same time. The difficulty is not letting that overrule what you as an individual think. Lucky for me, I don’t pay attention to that. All I’m worried about is not hurting anyone’s feelings when they feel as though any of this is anything but personal.
What do you think makes a performance worth a score of 10?
A 10 can come from anywhere and everywhere. It has to be entertaining, engaging, relatable, and enjoyable for the people doing it and the people watching and trying to understand it. It can’t just be about something. It has to be that thing happening that inspires you in some way or another and sometimes it could be a breakthrough moment for somebody.
Finally, some “lightning round” questions.
The most fun things your children have said or done recently
The kids are hilarious. We have a family pillow fight most nights and when we suggest it, they lose their minds. With Oisín, all you have to say is “pillow fight” and he will hit the deck wherever he is. Echo asks for a cuddle, and when you go for one, she pays you on the head and sticks a wet finger in your ear!
The last movie you’ve seen
Last movie was Frozen 2. I’ve seen it about 7 billion times now. If I get to watch anything else, I can pick Frozen 1. Myself and Tahyna need a date night.
The last play you’ve seen
The last play I can’t remember—maybe Billy Elliot with Echo and Cirque du Soleil with Tahyna if you would call that a play, maybe more a show.
The television program that is watched most frequently in your house
Something you miss about America
Our friends. I miss the Farbers most days but just in general we had a great gang in America when we were there, so you always miss that being on the other side of the world.
The last sporting event you’ve watched or attended
I stay up or get up pending how nervous I am every Saturday night/Sunday morning and watch Leeds. It kicks off 2 a.m. and then I get an hour or two sleep and go judge the show.
Since July, 2012, we have interviewed Tristan 75 times and each is posted here with the most recent first. All interviews are posted elsewhere on this website, including our forum.