Carrie and Georgi are here to take you through another hour of bitching, whining and screeching - and that's just from the judges. Welcome to your Saturday night Liveblog!
Last week! Keisha and Niamh were in the bottom two and the Lord threw a wobbly. Hee! This week he's "taking matters into his own hands". No one is safe! Erm, safe from being in the bottom two, that is, I'm not suggesting that Mr Webber is a danger to our Nancys. Who will you choose as your Nancy?
Enter Graham Norton, in the de rigeur mismatched suit and shirt, this week lime and tangerine. Eugh. Graham tells us the Lord is angry and he pulls a Nosferatu. The Nancys and Olivers are singing 'Who Will Buy?', yet another song that Nancy doesn't actually sing. There's some terrible camerawork. We still HAAATE Jessie. Key change! Drink! Gah. Whatever.
Graham calls them "magnificent" and then jokes about how they should take the red roses back to Labour central office because they need them. Topical joke - drink! Then he calls the Lord "Angry Lloyd Webber", and then anxious, but his acting's not quite up to it.
Let's welcome back the panel - John Barrowman, DVO, Barry Humphries, as you already know. And "be afraid, be very afraid - Andrew Lloyd Webber". I don't think he can be any more scary than we already thought, to be honest. He says that in the canteen someone called him "the incredible sulk". Ha. Apparently he took them through their acting performances this week. That's good then.
Jodie and Sarah are up first. Jodie says last week she sang notes she had never sung before. Hee! We heart Jodie. She's rehearsing with ALW, and he seems enthusiastic. He wants her to make the song her own. Drink! Sarah got really good comments last week. Andrew is trying to explain the story of 'Mr Bojangles' to her. She doesn't get it. Carrie is bored of Mr Webber already.
Graham explains that the tenuous theme this week is "big band numbers". Hmm. Time for a chat to ALW - filler? They don't usually bother talking to him between the VTs and the performances. Jodie has to "explain to us what luck is" and Sarah has to explain "a figure from the past".
Jodie is first. If someone could explain to me why she's singing 'Luck Be a Lady', I would appreciate it. She looks rather glamorous. She has dancing Boys, who with any luck will doing dice-rolling dancing. And there it is! Drink! Jodie is doing excellent interacting with her Boys. It is lacking in backing singers ("Roll will ya, roll will ya, what's the matter? Roll the dice!"), but another great show from Jodie. Sarah begins in a nostalgic seated position on the stairs. 'Mr Bojangles' is a bit of a weird song for her too. I wouldn't really consider it a big band song, personally. [Sam Nixon did it on Big Band night during Pop Idol 2, but it did seem really out of place tonight. Not that that's Sarah's fault. - Steve] Sarah's dress is nice though. She is dancing when the lyrics talk about dancing - was this choreographed by Brian Friedman? Nice acting at the end. I suppose she made the best of it.
Graham asks if they found anything surprising about working with Andrew. Jodie says that he was "a humble gentleman" and made them feel at ease. Sarah says she feels "lucky because we know how busy you are". Ha! [Yeah, so busy he can fuck off to America to work with the Idols there and utterly neglect the Nancys for a week. - Carrie]
Denise says that they both have pizzazz. Jodie was strained at the top, and it was difficult because it was written for a man, but she sang it better than Ewan McGregor in the West End. Denise thinks Sarah is a great actress and has a "magical quality", but she needs to not overpronounce her words. Barry thinks they both took on board Andrew's points. He says that "jokey Jodie was under wraps", but he thinks Sarah has "a limited range of expressions". Boo! She seems a bit surprised [so was I, but then the Dame doesn't fancy Sarah, I suspect she's too old for him - Louise]. John says Jodie made the song her own - drink! - and has leading lady quality. He says that Sarah had "multiple expressions on her face" - not that he's necessarily the best one to judge. Andrew is concerned this week because he has been working with the Nancys. He wibbles about what luck is, and then talks about how they are playing cards in Guys and Dolls. Yes, that is why they were ROLLING DICE. He says that Sarah sang for TV, like he asked her to.
Now we have Rachel, who Barrowman thought "set the bar" last week, despite the fact she was shit. She was scared to work one-on-one with ALW, who gave her some pointers, which were very different to the way she'd performed it. He doesn't like her top notes - "so what?" he says, and he's got a point. She is going to take it on board. Drink! Last week, Sam had "bags of Nancy attitude", according to Denise. The Isle of Man has been renamed the Isle of Sam in her honour. Seriously. Airport, street signs, everything. What the FUCK? [I have this lovely mental image of boats floating aimlessly around the Irish Sea, wondering where the Isle of Man went. - Steve]
More filler. ALW says that Rachel needs to show some joy this week, and Sam is going to do some choreography. How very exciting.
Rachel's dress is quite nice - yellow with silver trim. She is singing For Once In My Life, and clicking her fingers. She has Boys. She is putting on a really dreadful fake Yankee accent and singing with a sneer, for some reason. [Isn't that just her face? - Georgi] She begins to fling her arms around and do a lot of pointing. The Boys are really, really good. Georgi is highly taken with them. Rachel misses a top note towards the end - I think she was trying to chest-belt it, and FAILED. [Such a DULL performance. Rachel is a one-trick pony who should have been served up in a French restaurant several weeks ago - Louise] [Haterz to the left, I still think she's great. - Steve]
Sam dances with a Boy, she is wearing a lovely turquoise dress, and she is singing Sway. ALW looks delighted with the dancing. [Did you see how she SWAYS? And the song is called 'Sway'? Do you SEE? - Georgi] She is singing with a certain amount of smugness, which is unsurprising, because she is basically groping two very pretty Boys on national television through the medium of dance. The one thing I would criticise is that she isn't managing to sustain any notes at the ends of phrases, obviously because she doesn't have the breath left after the exertion of the groping. Sorry, dancing.
Rachel says it was GRATE to hear concerns from ALW, because she is Not Perfect, and he is brilliant, and she wants to get better and better. Sam laughs about the Isle of Sam, and says it is the most flattering thing that could ever happen. [Except perhaps a fractionally lower hemline. - Steve]
Barry says both of them have what it takes to be Nancy. Denise has to fan him down. He says, "I'm just thinking what island I'd like to be shipwrecked on" [proving yet again that his job on the panel is to leer at the younger contestants - it's not amusing or interesting and none of them would look twice at him - Louise]. Sam dimples appealingly. Denise is excited to see a different side of Rachel, and says that Sam is very aware of her sexuality, and that is what Nancy would be like. Barrowman says that emotional cracking is better than perfection. But that was not emotional cracking! It was poor technique! He tells Sam she was "simply sensational". ALW is proud of both of them, and is glad that he is not producing the show. Then - WHO IS PRODUCING THE SHOW, IF IT IS NOT HIS SHOW?
Graham reminds us that Andrew saved Niamh last week, but now it's time to check on the Olivers. They have been working with the cast of High School Musical [and their choreographer Tara Wilkinson, who once upon a time played Annette in Saturday Night Fever opposite the very lovely Adam Garcia in That West End - Carrie]. Cameron wants to see how they take direction, and the Barrowman just wanted to play too. They're doing a basketball-dance routine. The Olivers say it was "so cool! Amazing!" Bless them. Cameron says it's "important for their reactions". John and Cameron are "keeping a close eye on the boys' moves". I'm saying nothing. The Olivers are performing in from of some other kids. The Barrowman is joining in with the choreography from the bleachers. The Olivers just aren't that good at dancing, bless them.
The next Oliver through to the semi-final is Harry [despite Jordan clearly hoping this would be his week. You can smell his desperation - Louise]. He's 12 and likes rugby, football, cricket and tennis. He is a Martine McCutcheon fan though. Graham refuses to give him a hat because it doesn't go with his basketball kit. Harry says that the Nancys are all great (drink!) but his favourite is Rachel. So, you know, he can fuck off. The Olivers are singing 'Breaking Free' from High School Musical. Carrie is complaining about watching skinny little boys on the television. [Singing a love duet when there are no girls on stage. I felt skeevy just watching it. - Steve] Key change! Drink! Sam is still scary. Kwayedza looks the best in a basketball kit. Hee! That was tedious.
Graham talks to John about "Team Oliver". John says he was impressed and they worked as a team and supported each other. He says if he had 12 pairs of leading man shoes, he would give them all a pair. Except unfortunately he gave his to Lee last year. D'oh.
Niamh has to justify her continuing place in the competition this week. She is, predictably, in tears. She has to prove to Andrew that she deserves to be here, and takes breaths where he tells her. He says that when she's in her mid-20s, anything could happen with her. Emo junkie? Just guessing. Andrew calls her "a real, acting, intelligent girl".
Niamh is singing 'They Can't Take That Away From Me'. She is rather swimming in a curtain-like dress. Nice necklace though. Her voice has a sort of squeaky edge to it that annoys me. I'm just not a fan, sorry. Key change! Drink! Okayish, but it doesn't scream "Nancy" to me. Niamh says she was surprised when Andrew was angry about her being in the bottom two. Denise worked with the Nancys on acting this week, and she thinks she is strong enough all-round to be Nancy, "and the nod at the end said it all - 'I'm back, baby'." Whatevs. Barry thought it was a great reading of a Gershwin song. John says she shouldn't be in the bottom two this week, and he'd buy a ticket to see her. ALW says he feels nervous this week, but she did what he told her. He's concerned though about her age and whether her voice isn't strong enough, but "Barbra Streisand didn't have a strong voice at your age". What the fuck does that have to do with anything?!
Last week, Jessie cried like a stupid teenage girl, which is coincidentally what she is. She goes to sing for ALW wearing what appears to be a hideous tea-towel. He cries, possibly at the ugliness of her dress. He says he is not going to meddle with her. I should hope not.
Ashley looks kind of evil, actually. Clearly the acid of bitterness is corroding her soul. ALW tells her that she is extremely talented, and wants her to sing with naughtiness. ZOMG, this is going to be awful.
More filler - ALW says these are very tough songs to sing and they need to make it their own. Double drink!
Jessie is singing The Man That Got Away, from A Star Is Born, which is my favourite film of ever. She does Acting, and seems shaky on the melody, but she covers it up by singing quieter. ALW looks so happy as she breaks into the bridge and sings long notes and the audience whoop. Oh, fuck off, you slack-jawed pirate bint. Georgi wonders if Barrowman taught Jessie how to stare into the distance in a meaningful way, as she does on the last note. It was less annoying than usual, but honey, you ain't Nancy, and you most certainly ain't Judy Garland, no matter what that cloth-eared peer of the realm tells you.
Ashley looks DREADFUL. Her dancing Boys are lovely, though, but they have horrible suits on. She does a weird thing with her voice - possibly half American accent, and half singing through her nose. Oh, she really has to go this week. Srsly. If she doesn't, then Scotland, we are wise to your tricks and there will be retribution. [Absolute shite yet again from Ashley, clichéd performance and horrible vocalising - Louise]
Last week, Rachel named Jessie as a serious threat in the competition. Jessie plays humble. Yawn. Ashley was really nervous going to work with ALW, and was really pleased she was kept in by the public last week. Yawn. Barry thinks Jessie's was the star performance, and that she has the gift of stillness and purity. He witters on about something Dickens wrote in the third edition preface of Oliver Twist. [Aww, bless, he has been doing Research! - Georgi] He didn't feel that Ashley's saucy looks and coy expressions really worked. Booooooooooo! Barrowman was worried that Jessie might be too young, but he's been a friend of Judy Garland all his life (AHAHAHAHA) and that performance was as good as hers. Or! Not. He thought Ashley did good Acting, and Denise agrees. She thinks that Jessie was mindblowing and gave us the performance of the series. [I had to resist hurling my glass of wine at the telly. - Georgi] [I had to be restrained from hurling MYSELF at the telly in an attempt to throttle her. - Steve] ALW says Jessie's was the greatest performance he has ever seen from a girl of her age. He says that when he works one-on-one with Ashley he sees something that he doesn't see on stage. He would like to get the chance to work one-on-one with her again. Arf.
Recap - Jodie was Marlon Brando and rolled dice, or played cards, depending on what fucking planet you live on; Sarah was chums with a strange dancing man; Rachel clicked her fingers and missed high notes; Sam wore a lovely dress and groped attractive men while swaying; Niamh wore a curtain, which we can't take away from her; Jessie wasn't Nancy, nor was she Judy Garland; Ashley is going this week. Surely. The lines close in an hour, bitches.
The Nancys and Olivers work together all week. Arthur thinks Jessie should be Nancy. He is wrong. Kwayedza tells us Sam eats a lot of chocolate. Heh. He also points out that Rachel is very focused (read: competitive bitch). Ashley tells jokes, Sam plays games. Blah. The boys vote on who they want to sing with them tomorrow. And we will find out tomorrow, when we will also see Barbara Windsor doing an acting masterclass with the girls. Dear God. Join Steve then!