Sunday, 16 May 2010

Let me be your Dorothy. No?

Semi-final results
Tx 16th May 2010

Graham welcomes us, resplendent in a shiny spludge-coloured jacket. He advises us to get tissues ready (fnar) and the girls swing into a repeat of their song that is not from The Wizard Of Oz. Steph is getting significant screams and whooping from the audience. Sophie looks like she is going to slip over in one of the little quick-step routines.

We are reminded that Andrew has a bulging collection (seriously, it's double entendre week) and one more Dorothy will be adding to it later. Graham introduces the panel, and Charlotte looks like Morticia Addams. He previews another non-mash-up and Sierra Boggess is the night's special guest star.

By the way, I've looked ahead, and there will be a LOT of time-wasting Toto action tonight.

Recap of last night - Sophie was really very good, and was over the moon with the nice comments; Steph was underwhelming with an unimpressive song, but couldn't have asked for better comments from John, who said she was the girl he was looking for (except not like THAT, obviously); Lauren's mum thought she was good; Danielle's vocals were FLAT until she threw in some vibrato but was thoroughly praised anyway. Sheila has been wrong every week, she says; Charlotte thinks they could all be Dorothy (isn't that the point of the show?); John is biting his nails.

Back in the studio, Charlotte says she wouldn't have a clue who should be Dorothy if she was watching at home. Some cruel people might say she doesn't have a clue when she's watching right there. Lloyd Webber looks deranged and makes a really odd gag about swallowing chipolatas. And then he realises what he's said and crumples in his seat with a fit of giggles. Anyway, this is all a prelude to the mash-up/medley/megamix, which is of songs to do with raining, starting with Singin' In The Rain, leading into Umbrella. Sophie struggles with the steps again. And interestingly with the vocal leaps in Singin' In The Rain, it is very evident who has range (Lauren, mostly) and who doesn't. Weirdly, Lauren is in yellow, Steph is in pink and Sophie is in green. Partridge is dancing in his seat, like he wants to rush the stage and join in.

Oh, time for a lot of footage of the search for a dog to play Toto in one single show that about 2,500 people MAXIMUM are going to see. And it's not even new footage, it's a montage of drivel we've seen earlier in the series and I'm really not recapping this. Sorry.


...oh, and there isn't even anything new,there'll be another VT later. Seriously, more dogs?

On the Dorothy bleachers, Sophie is beaming and would like to get to the final; Danielle is worried she might be in the bottom two and spouts some cod psychology; Steph did the best she could have done and hopes it was enough; and Lauren thinks it would be brilliant if Lloyd Webber wrote a musical for her and Danielle because they would be GREAT. [The musical itself, on the other hand, would probably be shit. - Steve]

More filler - the Over The Rainbow "live events", where people around the UK have been singing with Jodie Prenger, and reject Dorothys Amy, Dani, Bronte and Emilie. Emilie? REALLY? Teaching other people to sing? [She's had lessons! She KNOWS HER CRAFT! - Steve] People says how much they like the Prenj and the girls. And that's it. Weird VT.

And here's another weird VT - Sierra Boggess observing the girls in rehearsal and then sitting down for a little chat. She's a little less miserable about EIGHT SHOWS A WEEK than Outhwaite, saying that it isn't a job, it's a lifestyle, but seeming quite positive that it's a great life to have. She advises the girls to act more, like Lauren needs that particular tip.

Oh, gosh, and now she's in the studio and singing Love Never Dies, partly from the West End show of the same name and partly lifted from The Beautiful Game. Anyway, this is not the best showcase of the score, so fuck knows why Lloyd Webber keeps wheeling the poor girl out to sing it. She puts in about half the required amount of consonants, though, so that's a progression.

Not had enough canine action yet? Why, fret not! Time for another task - "acting out Toto's big scene". After a trip to the dog grooming parlour. Really? Is my licence fee really paying for slices of cucumber to be put on a dog's eyes? REALLY? The dog trainer lady reckons that these dogs are now household names. Oh, dog trainer lady. Your self-delusion will go down in legend. Anyway, the dogs are acting out the scene where they pull the curtain back to reveal the Wizard, aka Lloyd Webber himself. Some dogs can do the trick, some cannot. This is prime-time entertainment, kids. Lloyd Webber gives his award for the day to Troy; the panel give their award to Eddie. Now, tell me honestly that you know which dogs they are just from their names.

There's time for a quick VT in which the girls talk about why they want to be in the final. It's the usual platitudes - cut-and-paste the stock phrases of "fighting", "upping my game", "don't want my journey to end", etc etc.

And the panel are asked who is not Dorothy - Sheila says Steph; John says Steph (WHO JUST A FEW HOURS AGO SAID SHE WAS HIS FAVOURITE) [bloody turncoat - Steve]; and Charlotte says Steph. The audience howl their disapproval. The girls are given a recap of their comments they got earlier, and then it's time for the results - Danielle is OF COURSE the first one through (and Lloyd Webber surreptitiously hides his mobile phone under his chair, satisfied with a job well done); Lauren is in the bottom two; Sophie is through to the final, which leaves poor Steph in the sing-off again, with resignation written all over her pretty little face. Lauren is looking just like Idina Menzel at the moment, by the way. If it was down to viewer votes alone, Steph would be out. She's plastered a grin on and so clearly knows that whether she sings Another Suitcase In Another Hall or not, she's on her way out. Lloyd Webber adds insult to injury by telling them they're both too old to play Dorothy, and gives a big-up to Tim Rice, at which the idiots in the audience applaud (to his credit, Sir Tim tells them all to shush). [If there's one reality TV trope that irritates the living shit out of me, it's telling someone halfway through the run that they're "too old" - they're hardly likely to have got younger since you started, are they? - Steve]

So the girls sing. And Lauren's voice is better, though her acting is still musical-theatre-by-numbers (I particularly like her face for "gloom"). Steph sings it perfectly well but she has lost her spark. Lloyd Webber fusses a bit about it being like losing a member of his family, but of course he saves Lauren, who looks crushed for her friend. Steph gets a standing ovation from everybody (including Lauren's fans), and she cries a little bit. Lloyd Webber says he doesn't get the connection between head and heart with Steph's acting, but she is very talented and she will go a long way. Steph's dad is beaming with pride as she shouts her thank-yous to everybody. Oh, bless him, he's had a few tears as well.

The Dorothys bid us farewell. And with the numbers thinned out, the girls all have chance to have a bit of a cuddle, which is oddly sweet. Lauren really isn't singing very much at all. Sophie is gazing into the distance. Steph begins her solo and Lauren seriously falls apart. Oh, Lauren, bless you. As the sparkly moon rises, the applause from the audience threatens to drown out Steph's vocals. Her dad, God love him, is still smiling at his little girl and clapping vociferously. And she belts the hell out of the last notes. Well done, Steph, another classy exit to be proud of.

So next week is the final! Will Lloyd Webber get his opportunity to svengali Danielle, or will the great British public thwart his nefarious plans? Join us then!

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