Sunday, 23 May 2010

There's no place like home

Final - part 1
Tx: 22nd May 2010

Now, you may not know this, but Andrew Lloyd-Webber has been looking for a girl to play Dorothy, and people auditioned and were put through and sang on live television and were eliminated thanks to your phone vote and NOW IT'S THE FINAL. Ready?

Titles!

Graham marches on, and the girls aren't made to stand around on steps clapping along. They are elsewhere. Notably, Sheila is clapping but she is refusing to clap in time; she is merely applauding the appearance of the show's presenter. Anyway, he introduces the audience, the panel and Lloyd-Webber, and once more recaps the entire concept of the show before calling on the final 11 Dorothys who perform a Wizard Of Oz medley. Danielle, Lauren and Sophie descend on swings with roses entwined up the cables. Then some children appear to be munchkins, dancing round with the girls, and Graham fakes playing a gay-rainbow-pride violin. Incidentally, the Lion costume looks like it's been at the back of a wardrobe somewhere for at least three years. Jessica pulls some crazy faces, of course; it's nice to have her back.

Graham explains YET A-FUCKING-GAIN what the point of the show is. As with the previous series, the third-placed girl will be eliminated at the start of the first programme, and the final two will fight it out in the results show. And then he introduces the panel again, even though they will be doing pretty much nothing tonight, but it is worth noting that Andrew is wearing a brooch in the shape of ruby slippers. We're also supposed to be getting excited about the fact that there will be a Toto selected tonight. Yes, for ONE BLOODY PERFORMANCE. Anyway, the phone lines open.

And yet we still get no singing. Instead we go to Lloyd-Webber's big fat Tory house, for a fake-out Dallas title montage. Sophie is the first to get her own VT, and bless her, she wheels out a bunch of cliches about "being Dorothy"; Lauren cannot believe she is in the final three, and is excited about recreating the role (shouldn't she be redefining the role?); Danielle says she has never wanted to do anything else with her life. You're 18. You've barely HAD a life.

Lloyd-Webber has chosen the girls' first set of songs. He delays the performances by having a quick thank-you session for the production staff and the girls, and then listing all the qualities his winner should have, which surprisingly does not consist of the two-word answer "Be Danielle".

Sophie is first to perform, and in her VT she finds it hard to believe that she is in the final, and reminisces about the scariness of the audition process, playing rugby, and all sorts of other useful skills you need to be a West End leading lady. [Maybe she's auditioning for the role of Hazel in Up 'N' Under: The Musical? - Steve] She knows that she can do it. And the way Andrew Lloyd-Webber has chosen to illustrate this is by asking her to sing the most famous song ever sung by a red-headed girl, 'Tomorrow' from Annie. Sophie is standing on circular perspex steps, and employs a bit too much rubato for my tastes, but some of her top notes are very nice indeed. She's even getting the American accent dead-on. Incidentally, John Partridge is SINGING ALONG. Interesting acting choice from Sophie for her last note, opting not to belt, but going for a quiet whisper for "away".

Sophie reminds us that she is from Tonypandy, and she gets a VT from Dame Ruthie Henshall, who tells her that she is a winner regardless of what happens. Sheila says Sophie has true glamour, not in a "WAGgy, blingy way, but old-fashioned allure", and her transformation is amazing. John says he has been her harshest critic but he is very proud of her and WALES WHERE SHE IS FROM HAS A WINNER IN HER. Charlotte says Sophie looks pretty and has an emotive face and WALES WHERE SHE IS FROM SHOULD BE PROUD OF HER, "good girl". Andrew says WALES WHERE SHE IS FROM SHOULD INDEED BE PROUD OF HER and 'Tomorrow' is also sung with a dog. Seriously. That's what he says.

Lauren's next up. She has been in the bottom two a gazillion times and she is worried that she is the most unpopular girl on the planet. She thinks the public haven't warmed to her because she hasn't shown vulnerability. But she shoehorns in some humility, saying she never thought she'd be here and thanks Andrew for saving her.

For some reason she is singing 'I Could Have Danced All Night' from My Fair Lady, beginning by sitting on the Brian Friedman Memorial Chair Of Shiny Seating. Brilliantly, she points to her head when she sings the word "head". And for an even more opaque reason, the audience decide to clap along. WHY? It is the least clap-along-able song in the history of musical theatre. Lauren's last note is DEMENTED - she goes for the top B flat rather than sticking to the F (I believe), and she's very shaky, though the range is clearly there. [I love how we're 0 for 2 on closing notes at this point. MOST TALENTED GROUP EVER! - Steve]

Lauren does the humility thing again, then she clearly wins at life because Sheridan Smith does a VT for her - "I feel like a proud mother. Well, big sister" (adorable wink). John says Lauren is definitely not the most unpopular girl on the planet. Resounding praise there. [I was half expecting him to say, "look, Amy's over there." - Steve] He says she is a leading lady and she is ready for the challenge; and if he was producing the show he'd have cast her weeks ago. Well, that would have been a little bit naughty to break the rules of the competition. Charlotte lies that the top note was gorgeous and that she is jealous of Lauren. Then Sheila reminds us all why she is the best reality TV judge around by saying that she initially thought that Lauren was all "eyes, teeth and tits" and when the idiot audience gasp, she dismisses their horror with, "I don't care, it's the end of the show, they can't sack me." Incidentally, Stephanie's face when Sheila says "tits" is something to see. Andrew says it was the first top B flat on any of the shows, so well done for that. But it wasn't a GOOD one, was it? [I'm not even sure it was actually a top B flat. - Steve]

Danielle reminds us that she is a little girl from Urmston [there's two ways to get to Urmston - Steve] and has had to make a HUGE decision between education and performing, because of course they don't let you back into college after the age of 17. She is scared that the public might not be behind her, and then hilariously says that as a performer you have to be able to handle rejection, despite the fact that she is 18 and has never auditioned for anything before.

Holy moly, she's singing '76 Trombones' from The Music Man. She seems to have some backing vocals from somewhere. I really don't understand why she shouts so much; is that her Acting, or is she going for volume? Also, at the key change, her "Se-ven-ty-SIX trom-bones" is a HIDEOUS ROW. On the plus side, she can certainly dance.

Danielle reminds us ONCE AGAIN that she is a little girl from Urmston, and then loses at life because Tamzin Outhwaite does her VT and says, "If I was as good as you at your age, I'd have been laughing." To be fair, Outhwaite, if you were as good as her now, you'd be laughing. John says Danielle has always been a contender; Sheila is grateful to the public for picking up on her ability; Andrew argues that the song is witty and THE AUDIENCE AT HOME SHOULD REMEMBER THAT DANIELLE WAS DANCING DURING THAT NUMBER.

More VT bollocks at Lloyd-Webber's house. He has found a dog from somewhere, and sits on a bench with Danielle and the dog so DANIELLE LIKES DOGS AND THEY LIKE HER, REMEMBER THAT, THANKS. When Lauren sits at the table with Lloyd-Webber, the dog is sitting on the lawn, about five metres away. Andrew advises Lauren to forget all her training. Right. That sounds good advice. And when it's Sophie's time for a little chat, the dog is nowhere to be seen. OK? Have we all got that? Understand?

Recap. (See above.)

Time for the girls to perform side-by-side with the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow. Danielle seems to have developed a really irritating habit of flicking her hair back, for which I judge the hair department. I also get sidetracked at the thought of Toto possibly chasing the Lion's tail round the stage. Sheila says Lauren was fantastic; Charlotte says Danielle is one of the most remarkable talents that has ever emerged from these shows; John says that nine weeks ago, Sophie couldn't even walk down the stairs in her shoes. Andrew says he is purring away (ew) and all three girls could be Dorothy.

Oh, for fuck's sake, Toto montage where all the crazy owners talk about how lovely their dogs are, which I'm sure is true, but seriously, this is for ONE PERFORMANCE. Or as Dani and Pirate Jessie would sing, ONE NIGHT ONLY. How much time and money has been wasted on this? Anyway, the panel sit down and talk about the dogs, and Lloyd-Webber is there too, despite not being a dog-man. Also, they say that Spider would be the first performing beagle ever, though I feel Snoopy would take issue with that.

So, who will be Toto? It is Dangerous Dave! The Prenj comes on with him and says how awesome he is and then fusses him. Love the Prenj. [I wish she'd been on the real panel rather than on the stupid dog search. - Steve] She wishes the girls luck. And then she and Dave go away again.

And the lines are now frozen! So while the votes are counted, time for another VT of all the eliminated Dorothys, who go to see Sheila in Sister Act. Sheila wants them all to have a good, well-planned future - Emilie has a scholarship, Steph has some auditions, Stephanie has an agent, Dani is doing her A-levels, Bronte looks like she was actually in Chicago as Roxie. Amy Booth-Steel looks really, really odd, and says that I'd Do Anything opened so many doors for her; for example, being in a show that closed after three performances.

Back in the studio, the former Dorothys sing Empire State Of Mind while leaning on black boxes. Emilie is fucking awful and cannot do melisma. Add that to the list of things to cover in those well-publicised singing lessons, please.

So, time for the results. Danielle could still be Dorothy, of course; and so could Sophie. Lauren is out in third place, and does a little curtsey as the audience and panel rise to their feet to applaud her. Danielle is clapping too, while Sophie is flapping about like a lunatic, though she does eventually get herself together. Lauren says she has learnt a lot about herself and made some friends for life. Yeah, we'll see, girlie. Andrew says he is not surprised by the result because she is SO VERY OLD but he will be in touch with her in the future. Fnar.

Graham's autocue seems to break at this point, or he's being shouted at through his earpiece, and he is really odd. Anyway, Lauren has to hand back her shoes and sail off on a sparkly moon. The Lion applauds. I wish I knew who that was. The Tin Man and the Scarecrow are on their feet at the end too.

So the lines are open again, all votes will be carried over...and Steve will be here shortly to recap the results!

1 comment:

  1. I loved the bit when Sheila was all 'Who chose this crap song for Danielle to sing?' and Andrew started blustering about how witty and clever it was.

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