Week 4: tx 19th April 2008
Last week! The competition stepped up a gear! [Drink! - Georgi] Rachel could be Barrowman's Nancy, but he thought Keisha was like a cruise ship singer. Denise told Jessie she could win this competition. Fran cried. Tara sucked, but then went home. Who will we choose as our Nancy?
Here's Norton, in a green suit and yellow shirt. Ew. Tonight the search for Nancy and Oliver "goes global", because Lloyd Webber is in bloody Las Vegas. (Next week's American Idol will be ACE.) [Although it will be less ace now that Kristy Lee Cook's gone. What? I liked her. - Steve] Van Outen and Barrowman are in their little gang, and Barry Humphries is once again excluded.
The Nancys and Olivers are performing Consider Yourself. Sam is so pretty. Niamh's fringe looks weird. Jodie is bursting out of her top. Jessie's accent is shit. Norton waves a glittery rolling pin. Twat. Chester appears to have forgotten the words.
Norton explains the premise of the competition to us once again, and introduces our "expert" "panel". You know who they are. ALW gurns at us via satellite. He says he is excited because he is watching it on TV for the first time, "just like the viewers at home".
Last week, Jodie was awesome. She was pleased because she thinks ALW is starting to like her, and then she was even more pleased because she and her boyfriend got engaged! Whoop! Congratulations, Jodie! There was much girlie screaming amidst the Nancys as she flaunted her new rock on her left hand.
Barrowman wanted to take Sam and work with her. [Do you think he will Teach her his Craft? - Georgi] They are in some weird white room and practising emoting. Sam weeps. Barrowman is proud of her.
This week's theme, such as it is, is Divas. Wail. Jodie's singing '9 to 5'. She has an odd flouncy dress, which is tied too tight at the back. If you like pop songs sung in a musical theatre stylee, this is good, if a bit gaspy and breathy, and possibly a tad too fast, and with a really, really shitly arranged ending. ALW does token clapping, but looks reasonably happy. [I thought she sounded like she was concentrating too hard on getting all the words out, but I think she just about got away with it. - Georgi]
Sam is singing Christina Aguilera's 'Hurt', which, as the Strictly singers will tell you, is really difficult to sing. Barrowman looks emotionally invested and meaningful the whole way through the performance. [That's because he KNOWS HIS CRAFT, I bet. - Steve] She goes all musical theatre and does shouting in rhythm to convey Feelings, which I'm sure her new mentor will like. [So being more emotional means either speaking or shrieking instead of proper singing, then? I'd have thought you could be emotional and also sing, but then obviously I do not Know My Craft. - Georgi]
Norton congratulates Jodie and Steve. She tells us she doesn't know what to start planning first, but she is going to have her hen night in Blackpool. Norton says, "Hmm, count me out." YOU WEREN'T INVITED. A picture of Sam as a child. Blah. Barrowman says Jodie is showing us all the colours of Nancy, then tells Sam that she was emotionally fantastic, fantastic, FANTASTIC. [Fuck off, fuck off, fuck off, Barrowman. - Georgi] Denise is crying, by the way. Barry admires Jodie and her avoidance of karaoke, and says that it was Sam's best performance so far. She dimples. Denise says, "It's all good." She tells Jodie that her diction was perfect, and Sam that her work with Barrowman paid off. ALW says that Jodie could get married in Vegas by Elvis. Yeah, but she's not in bloody Vegas, is she? He witters about them being contrasting Nancys, and says, "Sammy, I always knew you had it in you. Unlike some." Heh.
Falkirk's Ashley, Bangor's Niamh, but remember that you shouldn't vote for them based on where they're from. Ashley was upset when ALW said that we might get bored with her voice. She wheels out a nan again. Niamh lost confidence in herself last week [told you she was emo - Georgi], and is still shocked that ALW knows her name, let alone gives comments on her performance. She is visited by her sister Ciara, and there is much sororal bonding, as Niamh says she is dedicating tonight's performance to her.
Ashley is singing 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody'. There is something about her that really reminds me of Jan Ravens. It might be the fake voice she's putting on in an effort not to bore us. She also picks some random new notes to sing instead of the tune, which is certainly innovative. Key change! [Drink! - Georgi]
Niamh's song for her sister is 'The Wind Beneath My Wings'. Ciara is crying. It's all right, I guess. Her dress is pink and sparkleeeeeeee yaaaaaaaay! [I am starting to like Niamh, especially now that her fringe has grown in a bit, but I still wish she'd give everything a bit more oomph. - Steve]
Norton talks to them about how far away from home they are, and Ashley talks about SCOTLAND and TARTAN, and Niamh thanks everyone AT HOME IN IRELAND for their support. Denise thinks they are both possible leading ladies; she mentions "some possible pitch problems" for Ashley. SHE SANG THE WRONG NOTES. She says that Niamh gave a wonderful performance. Barry warmed to Ashley last week, and continues to do so; he thinks Niamh is exquisite and has a wonderful candour in her performance. He says that she would redefine the role of Nancy and he would be happy to take a curtain call with her. [Actually he told her she *has* redefined the role of Nancy, which is a bit much, frankly. - Georgi] Barrowman tells Ashley she needs to work on her leading lady look. OUCH. He tells Niamh to have more confidence in herself. ALW jabbers about Irish eyes and an Irish smile, because Niamh is FROM IRELAND. He then slices Ashley to pieces, concluding, "I don't rate your voice. Sorry."
The Olivers had their bravery tested this week. What. The. Fuck? ALW tells us that Oliver was brave to walk from the Midlands to London, so the best way to test whether these boys could act that kind of bravery is to make them abseil down a 100-foot wall. I look forward to the week when they're starved for a few days, as Oliver was incarcerated in a workhouse and fed on gruel, and the week where they hone their criminal skills by shoplifting from the local Tesco, as Oliver was forced to act as a villain's accomplice in various acts of house-breaking. [And the week where they kill all their parents, because Oliver was an orphan. - Steve] Lots of pre-pubescent excitement. Gwion is wearing a WELSH RUGBY JERSEY and complains, "I've got a wedgie! A big one!" Then they go to the rehearsal studio to work with Claire, the Lord and the Sir. And the next Oliver through is KWAYEDZA! HOORAY! Your Bitching team is VERY HAPPY! [Someone is listening after all.... - Georgi] He thinks that Sarah would be the most fun to work with, but of course he likes all of them. The Olivers then sing 'I Whistle A Happy Tune' from The King And I. Sam still scares me a bit.
Back to the ladies. Keisha has been saved twice by ALW, once entirely unjustifiably. However, she has given me one of the highlights of the televisual year with her "OMGZ I AM SOOOO HUMBLE, thank you for saving me...oh fuck, no, I'm in the bottom two again" face last week. She's singing 'My Heart Will Go On', in a key about a tone and a half higher than Celine Dion's version, so perhaps someone somewhere has finally realised that they keep giving her songs that are too low. However, her higher notes are very shaky indeed. Key change! [Drink! - Georgi] Why is she shouting at me? It is like watching the bloody X-Factor.
Norton says that Keisha has had a difficult journey. Drink! She says it has been an emotional and tough week for her. Fuck off. [And stop crying all the time! - Georgi] She does more humble speaking about fighting and working hard "if I'm here next week". Denise was concerned about Keisha's Nancy qualities last week, and still is, saying that she doesn't connect with the words. Keisha asks her what she would like her to do. Denise doesn't actually know, and mumbles something about hoping the viewers save her. Barrowman disagrees. Barry says it was a warm and powerful performance, and that she delivered the song, and lived the song. Keisha cries. ALW stands by his decision last week, and is very proud of her. He understands what Denise is talking about, but Oliver! is not his musical or his production, so he has to think about what Cameron Mackintosh would want. Well, fuck off, then, and let Cameron Mackintosh have the casting vote.
Next, County Kerry's Jessie, and Cardiff's Sarah. Last week, Jessie was poor, but the judges loved her. Everyone in her town is supporting her, including her sisters, who are colouring in posters and taking the piss out of her shit Cockney accent a bit. Barrowman challenged Sarah to dye her hair, and so she has done, with lots of honey-coloured highlights. Exciting week for her, then. [It doesn't quite have the same level of drama as makeover week on America's Next Top Model, does it? - Steve]
Jessie is singing 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love', and has some really excellent silver shoes. She is singing out of the side of her mouth and swinging her arms and strutting in a knock-kneed fashion. Sorry, judging panel - haaaaaaaaaaaate. [Jessie is getting on my tits more and more every week. Vote her off! - Georgi]
Sarah and her new hair are singing 'Midnight Train to Georgia', and are doing some excellent Acting, as well as singing incredibly powerfully. Incidentally, this week she's wearing a black dress with green accessories [because black is for Serious Acting - Georgi]. She has nice shoes as well.
Norton talks to Jessie and her Eighties hair about her family, and asks how she would cope with living away for them so long. Jessie treats it like a job interview and gives a hugely diplomatic answer, which stresses how keen she is on the role but also how much she loves her family. Barrowman is pleased with Sarah and says she is a threat in the competition, and then interestingly is RIGHT when criticising Jessie's movement. Denise says she thinks her comment in Week 1 about Jessie's posture made her self-conscious, and that Sarah's singing made the hairs on her arms stand on end. Barry says that he loves Jessie's crooked smile and coltish movements, and that if he was watching Sarah in the West End he would give her a standing ovation. So to speak. ALW says he would like to work with Jessie and Sarah when he gets home, and may get his hair dyed before the results show. I think that was supposed to be a joke. [But srsly now, could the panel please FUCK OFF with all their comments about how dying her hair has made any bloody difference to Sarah? It was bollocks when John said she ought to dye it last week, and it's bollocks this week when they're saying it made any difference. 1) she was great anyway, and b) she's still just as bubbly and cheerful-looking as she was before. - Georgi]
Francesca finds stepping on stage nerve-wracking [You've been in London's Trendy West End with Denise van Outen! Pull it together! - Georgi], and ALW's comments made her cry last week, so this week she has practised a lot. Which is a good idea, I'd say. Claire Moore tells her that the only problem is when she gets on stage and the nerves kick in, because she's ace in rehearsal. Barrowman reminded Rachel that it's a competition and she shouldn't try and tone down and fit in, despite her plaintive pleas about being "a team player", because she needs to stand out. She says she'll fight for her place. [Like Nancy! Who is a Fighter! - Georgi]
Fran's breasts look amazing again, so well done to them. [Best supported actress, arf arf. You could kind of see her nipples this week, too. - Steve] She's singing 'What's Love Got To Do With It', and has too much blusher on. She begins by sitting down and doing musical theatre Acting, then gets distracted going into the chorus by the bounciness of her hair, which she has to flick out of her face.
Rachel is singing 'The Way We Were', and she too begins by sitting down and doing subtle wistful musical theatre Acting. Her dress is so long it drags along the floor when she begins to walk, and she looks a bit like a yellow-clad ghost hovering on the stage. She pronounces 'beautiful' in a really weird way.
Norton asks Fran about the nerves, and she says she enjoyed it. Rachel says that she doesn't feel secure in the competition despite her consistent comments. Barrowman tells Fran he loves watching her and that her performance was "pretty dang good", and then tells Rachel that Barbra Streisand's version of 'The Way We Were' is no longer in our heads because hers has replaced it. A clue, Barrowman: FUCK NO. [Although I was much amused by the Barrowman telling her it was the best performance of the night, as the camera cut to Jessie looking very pissed off. Hee! - Georgi] Barry tells Fran that she is too glamorous. Denise carps about it, and says it was a strong, edgy performance. She then tells Rachel that she was amazing. ALW says Fran's performance was good, but a little musical theatre-stagey in a old-fashioned way, whatever that may mean. He thought Rachel was fantastic, singing a song that "won an Oscar 34 years ago. If I was there, I'd give you an Andrew." Ew. Ew. EW! Norton is clearly thinking the same thing as I am, and sniggers.
Recap: Jodie was engaged; Sam was Barrowman's protege; Ashley was unrated by ALW; Niamh loves her sister; Keisha was Titanic; Jessie sang out of the corner of her mouth; Sarah had new hair; Fran was musical theatre-stagey in an old-fashioned way; Rachel was propositioned by a peer of the realm.
That's your lot for tonight, bitches. Join me again tomorrow to find out who'll be singing off!