Previously on Some Children Are Waiting: it was double elimination week, and several buses were chartered by the production crew so that they could be completely sure they would have at least one to throw Jenny under, thanks to their strategic deployment of Jodie Prenger's Moment and a suspiciously poorly-trained professional dog actor. Meanwhile, in the land of those who were given half a chance, Danielle blanded her way through another adequate performance but was still the second coming of Pirate Jessie as far as the panel were concerned, Jessica finally found an appropriate outlet for all of her tics, Steph continued to deliver all-round pwnage, Sophie added 'I Enjoy Being A Girl' to her previous performance of 'If I Were A Boy' and is set to get a high 2:1 in her Gender In Contemporary Performance module, and Lauren did a lot of strange facial expressions during 'Being Alive', otherwise known (to me, at least) as the second-worst song in the history of musical theatre. (If you're genuinely puzzled regarding what's above it, I refer you to last week's singoff. ) All went to plan, and Jenny was in the bottom two and quickly disposed of, and then the phone lines opened again to determine the fate of one more hopeful - but who will it be?
Titles. Despite having a conniption fit the second he realises there's a camera pointing at him, that scarecrow still looks more comfortable than Sophie does most weeks.
Studio. Graham. The five remaining girls stand on the Stairs Of Doom, and the place does look kind of cavernous and empty now. Maybe Stephanie's mouth was bigger than I ever realised. Graham reminds us that "last night" Jenny was
Graham reminds us of Jenny's elimination once again (rub it in, why don't you?) and re-introduces the panel. Charlotte's still looking happy, despite having demonstrated yesterday that she probably needs a bit more practice before relaunching her singing career. Or her songwriting career, for that matter. Graham teases another "mash-up", and a performance from Tamzin Outhwaite. Before all of that, though, we get a brief recap of what happened in the performance show. Danielle took on 'On My Own', and a rather unfortunate piece of VT editing means that we're exposed to "all my life, I've only been PRETEND-AAAAAAAANG" again. If she really is the chosen one, they might want to think about compiling highlights packages for her that don't showcase the worst part of an otherwise acceptable performance. Jessica took on 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' in a performance that seems to have divided opinion (personally I liked it, but can see why many others didn't). [It would have been much more acceptable if she'd had a chorus line of cartoons accompanying her, or at least a couple of chirpy Cockernee chimney sweeps. - Carrie] Steph's emotional performance of 'Somewhere' moved John, while Jenny's no-win performance merely moved her UNDER THE BUS. Sophie did a song that no one has heard of [except for musical theatre geeks - Carrie], and John and Charlotte argued over whether she could fill a West End stage, while Lauren closed the solo portion of the show with a Tribbiani-worthy performance of 'Being Alive'. Charlotte wobbled her way through what I assume is her new single, then Jenny and Lauren found themselves in the sing-off, with Jenny getting the boot, obviously. John thought it was "another shock result", then everyone lined up to do a few lines from the few songs that are actually in the show, where Danielle was the only one who actually got to sing as Dorothy and thus turned me even more into some sort of alarming conspiracy nut. [You really are getting worse. Have you considered valium? - Carrie]
Back in the studio, Graham's with the panel. Andrew says that we must remember the importance of comedy, because there was a lot of vaudeville performance in the original movie. So we're supposed to remember the vaudeville performances, but forget the central one? Just making sure we're clear on that. Apparently the cast is going to be rounded out with "very experienced comedians" in the Palladium, which makes my heart sink even further. Sheila says that everyone who's left is very special, and she's very glad the decision isn't up to her at this point. John says it's incredibly important that they all hold their nerve, because "the bottom two is changing week on week" (it would have to, dear, because inevitably one of the bottom two must go home, surely?) so it's anyone's game. Charlotte is asked if Jenny was the right girl to leave, and Charlotte's all "yes, because that's what I said 'last night', like."
Oh God - it's Toto time. A yellow brick road has been laid diagonally across the stage, and the girls have all been matched with a potential Toto: Jessica's with "Dangerous" Dave, Danielle with Troy, Lauren with Eddie, Sophie with Missy, and finally Steph with Spider. Spider bounds out to a series of "awws" from the audience, and Steph cracks up. Hee. The whole thing's accompanied by some hilariously arch narration from Graham, but I can't really capture that in recap form. Sorry. From here we segue to a VT: Jodie tells us we're at the Richmond Theatre to see how the girls bond with the dogs. Since there are six girls (Jenny's still there at this point) and five dogs, the dogs will get to choose who to perform with, and one girl will not get to perform. The girls line up to call the dogs over, and Dave is unleashed first, running over to Jessica, before switching to Sophie at the last minute. Eddie runs past all of them, but we're told eventually picks Danielle. Troy picks Steph, Spider picks Jenny, and Missy with the casting vote, runs to Lauren at first, but then runs past her and into the wings, at which point Jessica darts across to be in prime dog-catching position for when Missy returns. If the West End thing doesn't work out, I think Jessica may have an excellent career ahead of her in animal control. So Lauren is kept out of this week's competition: "maybe they could sense that I have cats at home?" she wonders. I would've thought they'd have mauled her if that was the case, but I'm no Barbara Woodhouse.
The girls who did get dogs have a chance to bond with them. Things do not appear to be going well - Eddie ignores Danielle, Troy sneezes on Steph. A group of scary stage children arrive at the theatre to sit in judgement. Missy and Jessica perform first, and make their way through the scene with minimal disturbance. Danielle manages a better performance with Eddie than she did with Bobby yesterday. Steph is less fortunate: Troy is completely uninterested and keeps wandering off while she's trying to sing. Hee. Rumours that Lauren was seen shortly before the performance offering Troy a box of Bonios to throw the performance remain unsubstantiated. Sophie sings to Dave, but he yawns his way through it. Jenny appears to struggle with 'Over The Rainbow', and Spider howls along. Jodie thinks Spider might have a career in stand-up comedy if the Toto thing doesn't work out. The kids vote for their favourite dog while the judges confer. The panel choose Spider as their top dog because of his enthusiasm, while the kids vote for Dave, which pleases Sophie.
In the studio, it's mash-up time again. Andrew suggests adding "a dash of olive oil" to his mash. Well, la-di-dah. Tonight's "mash-up" is the worst one yet, seguing awkwardly from 'Matchmaker' from Fiddler On The Roof into Gwen Stefani's 'Rich Girl' (at a tempo that none of the girls can keep up with), while Sophie struggles with the shawl-waving choreography. Then it's briefly into about 12 bars of something I don't recognise, and then into 'I Gotta Feeling'. I assume they choreographed all this just for five girls, but didn't necessarily know which five were going to be doing it? It doesn't bear thinking about too closely, I suppose.
After that, it's time for a bit more filler as the panel talk about the contenders thus far: Charlotte thinks Danielle is very West End, while Sheila thinks she needs to retain her uniqueness and not lose her subtlety. Sophie has the most natural voice in the competition, per Charlotte, but needs to be less sensible, according to Sheila. John thinks Sophie has it in her to play this role, but he's not sure that she knows that. Sheila thinks Lauren was "a bit too glib" before she hit the sing-off, but transformed after that. John thinks she's delivered solid performances and sets her up for the Rachel Tucker Memorial "you probably don't like her but she's a safe pair of hands" edit, while Charlotte thinks Lauren's vocals are phenomenal and she wants to see her in the finals. John thinks Jessica was the obvious choice at the beginning (really?) but he's not sure if that's true any more. Sheila thinks she needs to be careful not to overdo the kookiness, while Charlotte thinks her kookiness is her best selling point. Steph has had a tough journey, but has blown Charlotte away every week. Sheila thinks she's an all-rounder, while John thinks she needs to step it up a level and keep pushing.
Graham's on the Sofas Of Sanctity with the girls, commenting on how "it's very spacious" now. He asks Steph where her strength comes from, and she's all "dunno, really. Drugs?" He asks Lauren if she was shocked to be in the bottom two, and she carefully replies that she wasn't, and hopes she's done enough to stay out of it second time around. He then turns to Jessica and asks her about being the only girl remaining who hasn't hit the bottom two yet, and she credits her fanbase (she actually uses that word) and thanks them all for supporting her. [Oh, Jessica. You haven't been paying too much attention in your short kooky quirky life to the way the fickle finger of fate operates, have you? - Carrie]
What's this? More filler? The girls went to the West End opening of Sweet Charity this week, and get to be snapped by the paparazzi. [There's a nonsensically short clip of the show that carefully edits out the featured supporting cast, making it look like it's simply the Tamzin Outhwaite Show. - Carrie] Afterwards, they get to meet Tamzin Outhwaite backstage, and Lauren says it's got them all thinking about what the buzz of their opening night might be like. Tamzin says that whatever happens, they will all have an opening night of some kind. Then, back in the studio, Tamzin performs 'If My Friends Could See Me Now'. The audience clap along to the entire thing, because they're morons. I've not seen the show, but the performance seems...a bit small. Especially on the heels of John complaining that Sophie's performance from "last night" wouldn't have filled a West End theatre, because I wouldn't say this straight-from-the-West-End performance is noticeably more dynamic. [To be fair, she's been off sick this week, and her understudy, the lovely Miss Tiffany Graves, has been on... - Carrie] Graham joins her for a post-performance discussion and asks her what progress she thinks the girls have made. Tamzin says she's very proud of them all because their voices hold up and their dancing is coming along. Wow, steady on there! Don't go inflating their egos with your effusive praise! Graham asks her about opening night, which prompts her to get all sage and talk about EIGHT SHOWS A WEEK and having to make the most of opening night because it's never that exciting again. Well, that's my desire to go and see that show kind of destroyed.
Time for a Why Do You Deserve To Be In The Semi Final? VT. Steph thinks she deserves it because she's had a rocky ride but come back fighting every week. Danielle feels she has more to give and doesn't want to leave now. Lauren wants to be in the semi-final because it is one step closer to her dream, bless her. Sophie wants to be in the semi-final because she's been knocked down a lot but always comes back, and Jessica thinks she deserves it because she always pulls something new out of the bag. [The bag of QUIRKINESS. - Carrie]
The girls are on the bleachers again, which means it's time to announce the results in no particular order. Sophie is declared safe first, and she looks shocked. She wishes the others good luck before rushing over to the Sofas of Sanctity looking tearful. Danielle is told she's in the bottom two. Lauren looks horrified, most likely because she thinks this means she's in the bottom two with Danielle, and knows full well that Judy Garland herself (whoever she is) would not survive a sing-off with Danielle at this stage. Luckily she's safe, and breaks a huge sigh of relief. So that leaves Steph and Jessica awaiting their fate, both thinking they're doomed. It's Steph who gets the reprieve, which means Jessica is in the bottom two. Graham reveals that Jessica received the fewest votes overall, but there's still hope because Andrew might save her. Jessica does well by not laughing in his face at this absurd notion.
The sing-off is 'Take That Look Off Your Face', which Andrew, in his position as songwriter, explains is about wanting someone to take that look off their face. That's why he earns the big bucks, folks. Both girls sing well, though Jessica seems unsure whether she's going for resigned or angry, while Danielle has a general air of defiance. Jessica's voice hits the skids a little bit halfway through, but she battles on valiantly and manages to get it back under control by the end. With the song over, it's down to Andrew to decide who to save. Andrew tells them they're both terrific, but he has to make a decision, and thinking about who's more suited for the role of Dorothy, he opts to save Danielle. Jessica knew this was coming, of course, and takes it with a smile. Andrew tells Jessica that he sees her doing something more like Sweet Charity or Funny Girl, which Jessica seems fine with. She tells Graham that she's going to train in September, "unless something major comes up", heh. [But how will she afford it in her POVERTY? - Carrie] She's enjoyed every moment and can't wait to go and see whichever of the girls eventually wins.
Graham reminds us that the remaining four will battle it out in the semi-final next week, and then it's time for Jessica's sing-out. Jessica hugs Danielle warmly after the shoe-removal, and heads to the moon. Her version of 'Over The Rainbow' is a little patchy with a few sharp notes, but there's definitely a good voice in there that can be prised out with a little training. Steph is openly weeping at this point, and the audience come to their feet as Jessica rises into the air. Jessica goes all out for the last note and grins at the girls, telling them she loves them as the song finishes.
And there we have it. Who would've thought at this point that Sophie would be the only girl not to have been in the bottom two more than once, or that whoever wins would have been in the sing-off at some point? It's been a very interesting series, and we'll be back next week with a recap of the semi-final. Don't miss it!