Hi-5 (American band)
|Origin||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Genres||Children's music, Edutainment|
|Associated acts||Hi-5 Australia
|Past members||Kimee Balmilero
Shaun Taylor-Corbett (2003-2006)
Karla Cheatham-Mosley (2003-2006)
Yasmeen Sulieman (replaced Karla)
Sydney James (replaced Shaun)
Hi-5 (also known as Hi-5 USA) was an American children's television series that started in 2003. It was based on the original Australian TV show. The show was nominated for an Emmy Award three times and won other awards in its short lifespan.
Due to the popularity of the show in Australia, an American group was assembled and Hi-5 made its U.S. debut in February 2003 (featuring American performers in the same roles as the original Australian version). The American version was shot in the same studios in Sydney as the Australian version. The American show had episodes airing every weekday on TLC and Discovery Kids, and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 2005, 2006, and 2007. In addition, the Fall 2004 Parent's Choice Award was given to their first CD, Jump and Jive with Hi-5.
As the show became increasingly popular, the cast appeared and performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, on CBS's Early Show, and NBC's Today Show, among others. During one Today Show appearance, Matt Lauer, the show's host, compared the group's popularity to The Beatles.
Hi-5 toured theatres and arenas in the U.S. in 2005, on the "Move Your Body" Tour, playing live to sold-out crowds in Hartford, Boston, Columbus, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Green Bay, Tallahassee, and Raleigh. Beginning August 19, 2006, over two weeks of concerts were held at Vancouver's PNE, with additional concerts at Sesame Place and at Target book festivals in Minneapolis and New York City. Their second tour, "Hi-5 Live", was also a sell-out.
The members of Hi-5 visit families and kids alike during their 'off' time, helping in relief efforts for victims of both Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina, visiting children at Target House (a facility servicing St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis), and helping with other benefits. Individual members often work with their own project or charity, such as Karla's work with middle school-aged kids at an after-school program.
Cast members and Puppets
- Curtis Cregan, from Okemos, Michigan, starred on Broadway in Rent.
- Jennifer Korbee, credited as Jennifer Peterson-Hind, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, toured with The American Folklore Theatre for three summers. Her solo album, Give a Girl a Reason, was released June 12, 2007. Her first single is "Good Night Tonight". She was seen as a contestant on season 8 of American Idol. Though she did not get much camera time during her brief stint on season 8, her appearance on the show was nonetheless notable since she was joined by husband Tom, also a Hollywood finalist. The two were American Idol's first ever married couple. Neither was selected to be in the top 36.
- Kimee Balmilero, a Filipina born and raised in Hawaii, performed in Miss Saigon on tour and made her Broadway debut in Mamma Mia!.
- Sydney James, an African-American performer who auditioned for American Idol and made it to Hollywood. He played Simba in the Lion King on Broadway.
- Yasmeen Sulieman, an African-American singer born in Oakland, California and raised in Hawaii. She toured with Little Shop of Horrors.
- Jup-Jup, is the silly 5-legged puppet that can be found in Kimee's "Puzzle and Patterns" segment. He continues to take ordinary things from Kimee and gives her other things she can use to help her solve the problem.
- Chatterbox (Chats), is the best friend of Jenn in her "Word Play" segment. Together Chats and Jenn sing about various topics.
Segments and songs of the program
- Kimee specializes in "Puzzles and Patterns" to help with math and logical thinking.
- Karla/Yasmeen focuses on "Body Move" to emphasize physical activity and coordination.
- Curtis creates "Music" to show melody, rhythm and beat.
- Jenn works with "Word Play" to expand children's vocabulary, often using rhyming and song.
- Shaun/Sydney helps identify "Shapes in Space" - visual and spatial awareness, shapes, colors and sizes.
Video titles released on DVD/VHS in America (Region 1):
- 2004 Game Time: Ready or Not
- 2004 Color Craze: Living in a Rainbow
- 2004 Music Magic (Winner of the iParenting award for 2004): Feel the Beat
- 2006 Move Your Body: Move Your Body, Five Senses, North, South, East, and West
- 2006 Action Heroes: Action Hero, T.E.A.M, Underwater Discovery
- 2007 Making Music: Making Music, Feel the Beat, Robot Number One
- 2007 Wonderful Wishes: Some Kind of Wonderful, Three Wishes, Sleigh Ride
- 2008 Animal Adventures: So Many Animals, Underwater Discovery, North, South, East, and West
- 2008 Hi-5 Hits: Features every Hi-5 song
- 2008 Summer Rainbows, Living in a Rainbow, Five Senses, Feel the Beat
- 2008 Season 1: Robot Number One, Five Senses, So Many Animals, North South East and West
- 2009 Season 2: Ready Or Not, Move Your Body, Three Wishes, Feal The Beat
- 2009 Season 3: Living In A Rainbow, Making Music, Action Heroes, T.E.A.M.
- 2009 Season 4: Some Kind of Wonderful, Underwater Discovery
- 2010 The Best Of Curtis: Action Heros, Robot Number 1
- 2010 The Best Of Jenn: Making Music, T.E.A.M.
- 2004 Jump and Jive with Hi-5 **Winner of a Parents' Choice Award in 2004**
- 2005 It's a Hi-5 Christmas
Awards and nominations
- Barrera, Sandra. (August 18, 2007) Los Angeles Daily News Hi-5 cast members talk about what it's like to be pop icons and role models. Section: LA.COM; Page L12