So we're back for the results show. The band strike up 'Consider Yourself', and Norton wanders on in a pale blue suit and red satin shirt. It's not a triumph of fashion, but it's better than last night's rig-up. He warns us that it'll be an emotional half-hour, and then introduces the nine Nancys performing 'Consider Yourself', yet again, with a lot of red petticoat swishing, stomping, and shite Cockney accents.
Norton explains the concept of the programme again, yawn yawn, sing-off, ALW saving Keisha, final, blah. He then welcomes our panel again, yawn yawn, Barrowman, Van Outen, Humphries and live from Vegas Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, who does a bit of dancing.
Now, exclusive backstage footage combined with tedious filling recap! Jodie is excited because she got fantastic comments; clearly nothing exciting happened for Sam apart from being shouted at by Barrowman; Ashley was ripped to shreds by ALW; Niamh's fringe was happy that ALW was proud of it; the Olivers were appallingly stage-school but KWAYEDZA IS THROUGH!; Keisha sang higher than normal; Jessie sang out of the side of her mouth and bashed her knees together and really pissed me off; Sarah was awesome with her new hair, and did a little jig backstage; Fran's bosom was old-fashioned, according to ALW; Rachel couldn't pronounce 'beautiful' and ALW offered to give her an Andrew.
Norton talks to the girls. Ashley was hurt by ALW's comments and hopes to get him onside later. Sarah felt amazing and very lucky to have positive comments. Wow, insightful.
This week, they have performed in front of a Tough West End Audience at Wicked, where they meet up with Kerry Ellis, who gives them a leading lady pep-talk. Then they are shoved on stage after the matinee and forced to sing one of Ellis's big numbers. As they perform, Ellis is in the wings whispering and clapping quietly to herself. Random audience members admire Keisha, and Fran ("she was better this afternoon than she is on the live shows" - ouch), and Rachel, and Jodie (except for one cow woman who calls her 'cabaret girl'), oh, and everyone else too. They finish, and rush out, and squeal.
Norton throws over to ALW, who is now wearing sunglasses. He wrote a song for Elvis. "It was the last song he ever sang. That was the end of him!" he says. There is embarrassed, uncomfortable silence. Norton tells him that wasn't funny, and promptly introduces the girls singing Viva Las Vegas, in honour of the absent Lord. [Bah. I hoped they were going to sing something from Wicked. - Steve] They are wearing FOUL COSTUMES - sparkly tasseled dresses, and feather ruffs - and the choreography is shite beyond compare. Niamh's skirt seems to be shorter than everyone else's. But she does have really nice legs. ALW has been on our blog steeling mi jokez, and says, "Divas Las Vegas!" He praises Sarah. Barrowman praises Ashley - "I rate you as a performer, and if others don't, why did they put you in the final 12?" [Much as I hate to agree with the Barrowman, I was asking myself exactly how someone got through to the final 12 when Lord Webber didn't like their voice. Doesn't say much for the rest of the auditionees, does it? - Georgi] Barry liked Jessie and Sam. Van Outen says that Sam is "on fire".
Back to the Olivers, and Kwayedza. He is 13. He loves drawing and songwriting. He likes R&B and Motown and Beyonce. If he could win Oliver, he would be the happiest boy in the world. Aww. And then for the group number, he leads the rest of the boys in 'I'll Be There'. Joel, what do you think - racialist song choice? Anyway, Kwayedza is awesome. Well done him. [I think Motown Oliver is my new favourite. He has a voice that is actually soulful as opposed to little choirboy. - Georgi] [Heh, Didn't I say right from teh start that Kwayedze was like a young Michael Jackson? I still don't see him as an Oliver though - Louise]
Time for the panel to say who they want to get rid of. Barrowman says, "Keisha", and someone from the audience whoops, presumably in error. Van Outen says Keisha, Barry says Fran. Ooh, it's exciting!
Results, in no particular order. Rachel is crying already, but she could be Nancy. Sarah can still be Nancy, and looks bewildered. Samantha and Niamh could both still be Nancy - they hug and scream and rush off the stairs together. Keisha might be in the sing-off. Oooooooooh. Jodie can still be Nancy, and she thanks everyone in the world. Jessie could still be Nancy. Ashley, Keisha and Francesca all step down to the stage to form a line. Francesca is in the bottom two, and will sing off; Keisha could still be Nancy, and she goes insane!
So it's a Francesca/Ashley sing-off. They are the Least Popular Nancys, and if it were down to viewers' votes alone, the person who'd be leaving would be Ashley. They are going to sing 'Whistle Down The Wind'. Ashley looks pissed off and kind of resigned to her fate already. It's a terrible song, let's face it, but Ashley is singing it in a really weird, subdued way, and Fran is doing her old-fashioned musical theatre stagey acting. It's a tedious performance from both, but that's partly the song's fault, but I don't imagine ALW will point that out. He, meanwhile, has his head in his hands, possibly thinking, "I knew this was a shit song, but I didn't realise how shit it could sound."
ALW says both of them sang wonderfully and it was an extraordinary sing-off - and I am seriously beginning to doubt his hearing ability. He says that the panel obviously see something in Ashley that he doesn't, so he saves her, and Francesca is out. ALW is gutted, but he has taken into account what the panel have said, and she has a long professional career ahead of her. She cries. She says she will take all the advice into account [and learn to sing in tune? - Georgi], and then heads up to the stage to sing farewell in a hideous accent. Niamh is blubbing away, Sam and Jodie are both holding back tears, and Ashley is sobbing. This lot are nearly as bad as the Josephs. [Well, shit. I mean, I know I'm the only member of Team Francesca in the universe, but I had hoped she'd last a little longer than this. Then again, it was obvious she was never going to win, so at least now she's free to go and get a job that will be decided by a casting director rather than a public vote, and I will be free to fanboy her without fending off the internet haterz. - Steve]
Well, bitches, that was a turn-up for the books. Join us next week for more Olivers, more Nancys and of course much more Bitching!