Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Reviewing the Situation

Apologies to my non-British readership, but I want to talk about I'd Do Anything. This is a BBC series in which a number of hopefuls are whittled down, one per week, with a view to finding someone to play Nancy in a West End production of Lionel Bart's Oliver! A similar format of programme has so far delivered leads for The Sound Of Music (How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?) and Joseph and the Amazing Techicolor Dreamcoat (Any Dream Will Do). Each week, the remaining contestants each perform a solo number (as well as undertaking various stage-related challenges and singing group numbers). A panel of judges (John Barrowman, Denise van Outen, Barry Humphries) delivers a verdict on each one, after which a public phone-in vote ranks them in order. The bottom two go into a sing-off after which the senior judge (Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber) reprieves one of them, with the other being eliminated.

So. Here we are with only four remaining entrants. One will be eliminated tomorrow night to leave three to go into the final, where only the phone-in vote will count (no reprieves). Last week the contestant eliminated was Niamh, for whom I had been rooting from the beginning, at least as a finalist and probably a winner. How she came to be eliminated while the supremely talentless Jodie (can't act, can sing if you don't want any kind of expression, and dances - in Sir Andrew's memorable phrase - like Meat Loaf) has sailed through without ever being in a sing-off is hard to undrstand. One can only assume that the home audiences like the thought of a contestant who isn't threateningly talented ("Eee, she's just like us..."). Either that or the producer of a rival show has been placing thousands of spoiler votes.

Anyway, Niamh has gone (doubtless to a decent career, though not as Nancy this time). We are left with Jessie, Sam, Jodie and Rachel. While Jodie is clearly the one who should be binned tomorrow night, on the basis of previous voting preferences it will be Rachel, who definitely should be in the final. However, if she goes out then the final will comprise three women none of whom has ever been in the bottom two and hence in a sing-off.

While the cynic in me expects Jodie to win such a final (after which I feel Osama bin Laden may as well nuke us all, so undeserving of national survival would we be), either of the others would be a perfectly decent Nancy. My hope is that common sense will prevail and Sam will get the job, as she's much the best actor and dancer of the three and I think is a slighty better singer than Jessie.

So: what I hope will happen tonight is Jodie's exit; what will probably happen is Rachel's exit. But either way I think Sam deserves to win, and probably has a decent chance.

Good luck, Sam.

Bring on the hate mail....

Update after Saturday's show

Well, I thought Jodie showed the first sign of being able to sing tonight, though not sufficiently that I would want to retain her next week. Rachel I thought was outstanding, and has for the first time moved above Jessie in my personal rankings to be right up there with Sam. However, I have little hope that she'll survive.

Update after Sunday's show

And yes, Rachel went out. What was really interesting was that when the panel were asked who they thought should be eliminated, two said Jodie and two said Jessie. So naturally on the basis of the audience votes it was Rachel and Sam in the sing-off.

I look forward to Boris Johnson's being elected Nancy next week.


Funniest moment this week was when John Barrowman told Jessie her performance hadn't excited him, and she cried out "John, what do I have to do to excite you?". Pause for the rest of the panel to start giggling, followed by JB himself, who eventually said "Yeah, a lot of girls have asked that....."


At 25 May, 2008 21:24, Anonymous Phil said...

I thought Rachel's solo was pretty dreadful, & that it demonstrated conclusively
a) just how good Liza Minnelli was when she did it
b) just how hard it is for a teenage girl to do justice to a song like that. (OK, Liza was 25 - but she'd had a pretty unusual life, even by then.)

But Jodie... ye gods. You look at her & you think, bold, brassy, been around the block a few times, yeah, she could be Nancy. Then you hear how she sings - and you see how she moves - and you see how she sings (with that "startled owl" expression last used by Gary Glitter)... Really awful.

At 26 May, 2008 13:46, Blogger Chip said...

Maybe there is a voting scam going on like on other phone in shows. It would be the only thing that makes sense...

At 28 May, 2008 01:56, Blogger Rob said...

I actually liked Rachel's solo, but there you go. What it did demonstrate, undoubtedly, is the difference between a performance done live in front of the cameras after four or five days of rehearsal, and one done after months of preparation in a studio, with as many takes as are needed (and indeed where necessary the vocals and movement recorded separately, though I doubt Liza M needed to do that). I'm sure at the same age Liza Minnelli would have risen to the challenge of the live performance and still blown Rachel away: but let's compare like with like.

Oh, and Rachel is 26, so less of the "teenage girl" if you please.

At 28 May, 2008 12:47, Anonymous Phil said...

I beg her pardon, although it doesn't make me think any better of her performance!

In a way I agree with John Barrowman - "you gave us Rachel, Rachel, Rachel!" I felt she gave us "Rachel under pressure to sing, dance and emote at the same time, and finding the third one a lot harder than the first two". But fair play to her, she certainly wasn't the worst performer there. (Jodie isn't actually going to win, is she? Surely not.)


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