Carrie and Georgi have stocked up on spirits and are here to liveblog the I'd Do Anything final for you. Remember, kids, keep the Bailey's AWAY from the laptop.
Thousands auditioned, and one by one they fell. Three remain - Pirate Jessie, lovely Jodie and beautiful Samantha. A new West End star will be born. Fucking hell, that's Liza Minnelli in the pre-titles montage. Who will we choose as our Nancy?
Graham Norton macro. Purple suit, yellow shirt, and the Nancys are wearing red Nancy dresses. [Does that mean Niamh was Nancy all along? - Steve] Lewis notJoseph is in the audience. The panel are there, as is ALW, even though what they think matters for fuck all any more. The final 12 Nancys perform I'd Do Anything with the final 12 Olivers, and Norton has a little cameo with the "and back again" line. Dear God.
After tonight, life for one girl (woman?) will never be the same again. Norton tells us this is not a talent show, but a casting competition, and the prize is a West End role that carries with it great responsibility. He struggles to keep a straight face, but manages it. One girl will be knocked out shortly, and then the final two duke it out. Barry Humphries is wearing a white tux. CamMac is we're-not-worthy-ing. Instead of the Phantom music, we get Power to the People. Norton dances. And the girls will meet up with the ACTUAL Liza Minnelli.
VT - the girls need to think about their journey so they get sent to Paris [on an Actual Journey? - Georgi]. Jodie talks to the birds, like Mary Poppins. All three girls cry. If you want to vote for Jodie, and let's face it, you should, you should ring 0901 121 2001. CamMac talks about usually having the final say. We don't really care what he has to say, because he has been a great disappointment to us. ALW says Sam is a heartstopper, Jodie is a heartwarmer and Jessie is a heartbreaker. What. The. Fuck?
First up, Blackpool's Jodie Prenger! Vote Jodie! She VTs about being fat and not getting any roles, and how it doesn't happen to people like her, and how she thought she got through because she was "jokey Jodie", but then 'Send in the Clowns' blew everyone away, including ALW. She wants to really prove she can do it, getting the role would be "the ultimate dream", she can't believe she's in the final, etc. Get on with it already. Graham asks ALW what her strengths are, and he says that she has never wavered, and that she took criticism in her stride.
Jodie is singing 'Son of a Preacher Man', in a purple dress that is verging on being a nightie. We're not sure how this song is supposed to prove that Jodie would be a good Nancy, but whatevs, she's still awesome. Jessie could never get away with that song. Remember, you can VOTE NOW (for Jodie). Graham asks Jodie if it hurt when CamMac said she couldn't be Nancy, and she is like: yes, duh, but she is going to prove to him that she could be Nancy. Over to CamMac, and he says she has proved it - just through that song, obviously. John says that as a Leading Man, he wants his leading lady to be "believable, believable, believable", like Jodie, and wants to star opposite her in the West End - yeah, like that will happen. ALW says Jodie has "an outsize talent", but he's not sure it will be quite enough. Fuck off, calling her a fat cow. Gah.
Sam is next. We see the VT from last week's sing-off, and she talks about showbiz being "a world of rejection", despite the Nancy audition being her first ever. She giggles about having to wear hotpants. She cries, and thanks the public for voting for her. Except for last week, obviously. Working with John did a lot for her, apparently. Various clips of performances, voiced over by weepy platitudes. ALW says that a lot will depend on the directorial team if Sam wins - everything is there, but it depends what can be fashioned from her. I think he's just called her insanely vapid.
Sam is singing Anyone Who Had A Heart, and wearing a blue dress with a diagonal sequinned strap, which as Georgi points out makes it look like she's got a handbag slung across her. She uses the second verse to do Acting into the camera, and as Barrowman pointed out last week, she does Angry very well, but she's not good on the simple emotional stuff. Agreeing with Barrowman puzzles me slightly, but he's right. [I really didn't expect to agree with Barrowman as much as I ended up doing this series. - Steve]
Sam talks about meeting La Minnelli, and is dull. Denise says that Sam has the voice of Nancy, and out of all the girls, she has had the most incredible journey. Drink! [Aye, the boat crossing from Man can be choppy at the best of times. Pass the sick bag - Louise] Then Denise's microphone breaks, and Barrowman leans across to lend her his. Barrowman is incredibly professional. [Which he ought to be, considering that he is on every TV show in the world! - Georgi] Denise talks about needing a good director to make something of her. Barry leers at her [no change there, then - Louise]. ALW says his question is whether or not she would be able to take the direction she needs and could she build up the stamina to do eight shows a week. Drink! [Your bitching team have just been checking the price of tickets, and discovered that the winning Nancy is actually scheduled to perform on Monday and Tuesday evenings, Wednesday matinees and Friday evenings. Our maths isn't the best, but we're pretty sure that only adds up to FOUR SHOWS A WEEK, YOU FUCKING LYING SCUMBAGS! If they hire the losing Nancy for the other four shows, I, for one, will be demanding my voting money back from the Beeb. - Georgi]
Finally, the "only remaining Irish Nancy of the competition", Pirate Jessie. She says she is "no longer Jessie - I am Nancy". Yes, whatever. She is overcome by Andrew believing in her. John has been criticising her more and more, hee hee. She "lost Jessie", ohnoez! Footage of ALW fawning over her, ugh. Jessie: "No matter how many times you get put down, if you can pick yourself up, you can do anything." Yes, whatever. [Tell that to my childhood pets. - Steve] ALW says she "delivers a ballad as well as any young girl" he's seen, and he is "touching everything tonight for her" - WTF?!?!?
On the plus side, Jessie is wearing the ugliest dress so far, like a long green curtain. She has a stool, so perhaps they will get it right this week and she'll stand up on the key change, or maybe they thought it was a good way to stop her waving her tomboy arms. She's singing 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face', or "The Foist Time", if you're Jessie. Bored now. Does Jessie think she's ready for this part? Obviously she does. John was bored by her last week, but he says she captivated him tonight, but he's worried about her consistency. She is like a baseball player - sometime she hits a home run, sometimes she strikes out. Thanks for that metaphor. He is right though. CamMac wants her to be Nancy, and says it's not about the delivery [Eh??? WTF??? - Louise]. Stupid CamMac. ALW says he never thought he would sit in a chair anywhere in the world and entirely agree with CamMac, but Jessie has "the sacred flame of star quality". Shame she CAN'T FUCKING ACT. He points out that she hasn't had training - because she hasn't been to drama school because she CAN'T ACT! And then says it will be okay because they have six months to train her before the show opens. What is the fucking point of this show?? [Sun readers today will have spotted that ALW and CamMac fell out last week because CamMac wanted Rachel in the final. Hee! - Louise]
The Nancys go to meet Liza Minnelli. She takes the piss out of Jodie's accent. Oh, we're not going to see the VT now, we're back to the studio, and Norton is with Bullseye and the three Olivers. The boys are going to perform with a Nancy each, apparently because they have "chosen their favourite". Mysteriously, that has worked out evenly - Laurence and Jodie are singing Getting To Know You first. There is some bizarre choreography where they throw their legs into the air. Jodie is Maternal. Afterwards, she gets to talk to the camera, and she says that she has the motherly instinct and the oomph to perform Nancy "as a woman". Awww.
Now, Sam and Harry are going to sing Singin' In The Rain. They have prop umbrellas. It is difficult to work with props, as we know. Harry sings out of the side of his mouth. WHY, GOD, WHY? [Ghastly. No chemistry. Sam could barely look at Harry. Bring back Chester. - Louise] [Agreed. This one was painful to listen to. - Steve] Sam gets to talk to the camera, and says she is the right girl for Nancy, she has taken all the criticisms on board, she has a raw edge, and she won't let us down.
Jessie and Gwion are singing Truly Scrumptious. OH MY EYES, MY EYES. Ewwwwwwww. There is inappropriate touching and too much skirt-swishing. ZOMG and a piggy-back - and THE AUDIENCE APPLAUD. Why are you clapping a piggy-back, you fucking morons? And HAND CLAPS. Oh, I can't look any more. Rachel is in the Nancy bleachers, crying presumably with horror. Or maybe she poured acid in her eyes in an attempt to stop looking. Jessie says she has been on a journey, and has journeyed into the very heart of Nancy. Drink and drink, kids. CamMac says Jessie and Gwion were the best ones. He is wrong. ALW agrees. He is also wrong.
Time for a reminder of all three Nancys' performances: Jodie was awesome, Samantha was dead behind the eyes, Jessie looked vaguely confused and did nice singing but bad acting; all the duets were pretty terrible, but Jessie and Gwion were truly awful. The lines are still open.
In a moment, the Nancys are going to sing 'Maybe This Time', having been coached by Liza Minnelli, an old friend of Andrew's. Jessie calls it an "opportunity of a lifetime to sing in front of Liza Minnelli". Yes, just to meet her would be nothing. Liza tries to teach Samantha to act. "Yes, you will! You will win!" Hee. She stops Jessie fairly quickly to teach her to enunciate. It's not working. ALW tells Liza that Jessie's comfort zone is that sort of material - would be if she could pronounce her Ss. Liza tells Jodie it has to come from inside, which she did, because she knows more about that kind of emotion, and she is "just wonderful". Jodie cries, and says "that woman" is fabulous. Liza observes that "it's hard when they're all up for one part". No shit.
For 'Maybe This Time', the Nancys are wearing white tassley dresses, for no apparent reason than to make Jodie look awful. Good shoes though. Jodie goes first, and inevitably Jessie gets the money note. Then, after the key change - drink! - she shouts to show us how emotional she is. The audience is going crazy. Jodie, naturally, is the best one.
OMGZ! THE LINES ARE FROZEN! One Nancy is about to be gone for good! But first, Lee Mead, who knows what the agonising wait for the results is like. He is singing 'Any Dream Will Do', with accompanying Olivers. We're quite bored with this song. I, for one, want to hear 'Paint It Black'. [Whereas I for one would rather disembowel myself than have to sit through his insane overrated jazz-handsy rendition of that song one more time, but different strokes for different folks and all that. - Steve] He has golden shoes - they must be the Barrowman's Leading Man Shoes, we conjecture. Lee shows Jessie how to do hand movements. We heart Lee Mead. Lee says that the Nancy who wins will have "a lot of hard work" ahead of them - more for some than others, though. Graham asks who his money is on, and Lee backs Jodie! Hoorah! Then Lee has to go back to his theatre - "Go, go, go Joe!" quips Norton. Hee.
More VT filler. We see Sam's mum, who is black - who was expecting that? Have they been hiding her away so that the racialist British public didn't vote her off? Other than that, all their relatives cry and stuff. Blah.
Here are the results. One Nancy will be voted off in, like, 20 seconds. Jessie could still be Nancy. The rejects hug her. It's between Jodie and Sam for the final place...and the Nancy in third place, and out of the competition, is Samantha. Awww. She is lovely, and beautiful, and has a gorgeous voice, but it is not really a surprise, is it? Jodie screams, and hugs her mum and a gay who is wearing a Team Jodie t-shirt. Sam witters inanities, and Barrowman cries and gives her a standing ovation. ALW says this is the result he was expecting. The audience boo. Why? "Sammy, I think you did wonderfully well," he says.
So Sam and the final two sing us out, and Jessie and Jodie fumble taking the locket off. Shockingly, Jodie then bursts into tears. It's a good sing-out, but now, bitches, it is time to vote for Jodie. 0901 121 2001. We'll be back in a bit for the results.
Welcome back, bitches! Hopefully you have all been using the last few hours profitably and voting for Jodie. Now they go head-to-head for the role of a lifetime, but who will walk away as Nancy? Fingers crossed for Jodie!
Earlier tonight, Samantha went out - not a surprise to anyone, to be fair - and backstage she says she is disappointed, but Barrowman tells her not to let it knock her back, bless. Usual stuff about it being an amazing experience.
As though it were necessary, Graham welcomes back the panel. For some reason, ALW's music changes to Snap's 'The Power', which coincidentally was probably in the charts when he last had a good musical in the West End. Quick reminder of what happened earlier - vote Jodie, 0901 121 2001. Backstage, she says she will fight for it - that's a fight we'd like to see. Jessie can't believe she's in the final two - neither can we. She says she believes 100% that she can go all the way in the competition.
Graham speaks to CamMac about Jodie and Jessie. He says "the winner is me, because I'd be happy with either of them". Except Jodie, who he hates. He says Jodie would be traditional, Jessie would be raw, which: if he means talentless, that would be correct. ALW reminds us that Connie sang 'As Long As He Needs Me' in the final of Maria, which is what Jodie and Jessie will now be singing.
Jodie goes first, and I'm not sure what she makes of the key change because the studio audience are too busy going mental and drowning her out. Also, they're not getting to sing the verses. Jodie's fiancé cries. Aw, he seems lovely. "Ash long ash he needsh me," begins Jessie, and she continues with her usual Cockernee accent, shouting to convey emotion, and flapping her arms around like an epileptic penguin. [Jessie's Cockney accent is actually improving, to give her credit, and given that she'd have about five months to work on it even before rehearsals begin, I think she'd be able to pull a decent one off in time for opening night. Her limited emotional repertoire is still a problem, though. - Steve] On the last note, she leans backwards and almost falls over, but Barry and CamMac are delighted. For fuck's sake. ALW says nobody could sustain the intensity that Jessie just showed. Sigh. [That'll be the intensity of Awfulness, then - Louise]
This week, there have been special Nancy events across the country, but we don't get to see much of that. Instead, we get to see the reject Olivers and Nancys sing Never Forget, presumably because it is from the Take That musical ["musical" - Georgi] Never Forget. The Nancys strut down the stairs, and various pairs of breasts are wobbling about all over the place. Sam sings the line about it being someone else's dream, and Ashley appears to kick her as she takes her place next to her. They end on a really fake group hug, and that was excruciating. Yet again, Barry and CamMac look delighted.
Madeleine and Marty are Jodie's parents. Her mum says she is a Northern star, and it's now her time to be a West End star. [It did not sound scripted At All. - Georgi] Then she cries. I don't catch what Jessie's parents are called, but the mum manages to shoehorn in a reference to them being FROM IRELAND. Gosh.
The lines are closing in a few minutes. VOTE JODIE. QUICKLY.
The Nancys have one final chance to impress us with the song from the series they think can win it for them. Jodie has chosen 'I Have Nothing', while Jessie predictably has gone for 'The Man Who Got Away'. Jodie is on first, perhaps trying to prove that she isn't cabaret-with-a-small-c. Carrie predicts a key change, and fills our glasses just in time to Drink! Jodie just does emotion (all kinds) much better than Jessie, probably because she has the requisite life experience. She looks like she's about to cry at the end. Her fiancé is crying, awww.
Jessie's dress has a weird one-shoulder thing going on. When she sings "got away", she looks over her shoulder, to demonstrate what she means. Thanks for that. Her enunciation is as bad as it ever was, and she is shouting at us again. Apparently that and breathiness are all you need to communicate the whole gamut of emotions. Sorry, but HAAAAAATE.
THE LINES HAVE CLOSED! The audience boo, which: what? Jodie is about to cry, and Jessie is hyperventilating. The final panel votes are: John - Jodie; Denise - Jodie; Barry - Jessie; CamMac - Jessie; ALW - Jessie. Fuck off. CamMac says that Jessie "is Nancy", suggesting some phone-vote fixing going on. Before the results, time for a look back at the Nancy journey - drink! Dreadful dance routines, ALW having a tantrum, Olivers being adorable singing songs from Bugsy Malone, Laurence, Gwion and Harry winning, Niamh battering Sikes to death, the girls snogging the face off Ben James Ellis in front of their dads, Jessie doing a dreadful accent in an East End pub [and Babs Windsor judging it with her Face of Truth - Georgi]. Aw, it's been a good couple of months. What will we do now? [Pub, anyone? - Louise]
It's time to announce the winner! Blackpool's Jodie and County Kerry's Jessie hold hands and skip down the stairs. Jessie looks like she might be having a heart attack or alternatively an embolism. The nation has decided that the winning Nancy is - Jodie! She goes apeshit, as you may imagine, and the only people who look happier than Jodie are Denise and Barrowman. [I think they high-fived. That was cute. - Steve] ALW looks vaguely pissed off. Norton takes Jodie's hand, and she wails at him, throwing her arms round his neck. Jodie thanks everyone for their support, and Barrowman and Denise look ecstatic. ALW says it is the people's choice; CamMac says he is thrilled for Jodie. Not so thrilled for himself, obviously. HA! Take that, CamMac, you fucker! Norton thanks the panel, and us, for creating a new West End star. Jodie sings us out, and Denise's microphone has fallen off in all the excitement. The Olivers are gathered together and look really happy. Aw. She's getting to sing all of it, mind, ALL THE VERSES, and Jessie is sitting in the audience weeping. Confetti explodes everywhere, Jodie gets a bouquet, and then she waves her arms manically.
Well, that's it, bitches. Congratulations to Jodie, and to us for picking a deserving winner. We'll be back in August with The Bitch Factor, and then in the autumn for Strictly. See you then!