On last week’s Over The Rainbow, Andrew Lloyd Webber and his panel of judges whittled down 20 Dorothy hopefuls to just 10. Tonight the public get to save one of last week’s rejects and see the final 11 perform.
Stephanie Davies & Lauren Samuels
Stephanie sings Pixie Lott’s Mama Do. They seem to be doing a lot of Pixie songs at the moment. Not that there are many, I suppose. Sassy vocals and she manages to look good in a yellow skirt.
She’s followed by Lauren, who sings Leona Lewis’ version of Run. We get a good look at her tonsils during this belter of a performance. Enjoyed her voice and how she tried to pump a bit of drama into it.
John: Both of these performances were leading lady performances. Stephanie – little miss Mama Do. I definitely do! And after that performance all the studio audience and everyone at home do as well. You’re a natural born entertainer. I loved it. Lauren – you took on a diva song and it required a diva to sing it. And you sang it. That was absolutely fantastic. Charlotte: Definitely. You’ve both got the voice to carry off a West End show and be Dorothy without a shadow of a doubt. Stephanie – you were so self-confident and you have every right to be, Lauren – you completely made that song your own. I’m in awe of your voice. Shiela: I’m gonna bang on about interpretation though. We’re not looking for a pop singer. We’re looking for somebody who can act a song. Lauren, you had a really good crack at it. Didn’t quite come through to the eyes yet. Andrew: I don’t want to get too deep into comments at the moment. I think both of you were terrific, and I hope I’ll see you next week.
Dani Raynor and Steph Fearon
Dani takes on The Saturdays’ Ego. She looks cute, but she’s uncomfortable on stage, especially when coming down the stairs. And her voice isn’t a patch on the previous two singers. Oh, the dancing’s so jerky. Not enjoying this one at all. Sorry.
Steph is up next and she’s singing Michael Jackson’s I Just Can’t Stop Living You. She’s great for the most part – beautiful and more self-confident than Dani. If I’m nitpicking, she sounded poor on the chorus first time round. But overall a better performance. I could see Dani going home after that performance.
Charlotte: I think Dani struggled a little bit with that one. I think your overall performance was good, I think the way your expression in the song was good. It was a little bit sharp in the middle. Not bad, but could do better. Steph – I love the tone of your voice, that high note in the middle was a little bit shaky. I really want to see you back next week. Shiela: I thought they both had a really good crack at it. I was really pleased with Dani, because I think she’s apt to think that the dimply smile is an advantage, and it’s crept in at other times. But you managed to keep it at bay. I thought you could have been angrier. Steph – it’s interesting, here’s a man who does yelps and yelps, and they always come from his gut. I thought you did get the meaning of the song, but it could have had more colours. I knew you were in love, but there were other things in there like amazement and fear. But I thought you both sang beautifully. John: Steph, you can tell that you are a girl about town. You came down those stairs effortlessly. I really enjoyed your performance. That big note in the middle, that was slightly pushed for me. I think less is more for you. Dani, I think you struggled a little bit with that. Be careful that it doesn’t become too presentational. Because when it becomes too presentational, it becomes a little stagey. When it becomes stagey, you’re losing the truth. Andrew: This is an intriguing situation, because Steph you are a fantastic singer, but your instinct is toward the big power ballad. I’m not sure that the home for you is the Wizard Of Oz. On the other hand, Dani I know your performance was very raw tonight. I’m not saying that you’re not a great singer, but I’m not saying that you gave a good performance, because you didn’t.
We break from the competition for a few minutes to see the wildcard Dorothys visiting Andrew Lloyd Webber’s estate (and we don’t mean council estate). He calls the ten into a room and announces the result of the public vote. It’s Emilie Fleming. She rejoins the final ten on stage while the nine rejects get booted off.
Amy Diamond & Danielle Hope
We heard Katie Stevens butcher Fergie’s Big Girls Don’t Cry on American Idol the other week. Amy Diamond thankfully gives us a better, more tuneful version. It’s not a perfect vocal – and do we detect some covering up by a more prominent backing vocal? Still, she looks good, but perhaps a little too worldly for our Dorothy?
Danielle sings Daniel Merriweather’s Red, an excellent power ballad. It’s possible she’s oversinging it a little bit, but it’s still a good vocal and I like her voice.
Shiela: Amy is a fantastic performer. Very attractive. What worries me is that Dorothy is a girl who looks at things straight in the eye. She never uses guile, she never uses girliness. If she did, the relationship with the Wizard and the three men on the road might become very suspect. It’s got to be a girl that is absolutely straight, doesn’t flutter her eyelids. Danielle I thought was terrific, you could go further. It was an intelligent interpretation. That would focus it, I think. John: You’re going to have to start being less MTV and more West End. You’re going to have to be less Diamond and more Dorothy. Danielle, that was another song where you had to sing on your break. It’s making me wonder how much range you have in your voice. I’d have liked to see you go for those top money notes. Charlotte: Amy, that was really good, you’ve got a really lovely voice. I’d like you to straighten it out a little – less R&B, you don’t always have to riff and stuff. Danielle, I thought the interpretation of it was brilliant, I really believed you. But it was to the detriment of the vocal a little bit. Andrew: To Amy: I think you’d be fantastic in Legally Blonde, that would be ideal for you.
Our wildcard contestant gets to perform on her own. She’s singing Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway. I’m not convinced. She’s a tad wobbly, possibly nerves affecting her voice. The judges may enjoy her interpretation though, she seems to be ‘acting’ it slightly more than others have done.
Charlotte: Maybe you’ve lost a bit of your self-confidence, but you should take so much confidence from the fact that the general public voted you through. I think that lacked a little bit of vocal control, and you need to work on that because you’ve got a big instrument. Shiela: I didn’t want her to go in the first place. You have to fight back – you sort of did, but not enough. John: Watching you on VT, you’re a really gutsy, feisty girl, and I just wish you’d put a bit of that personality into that performance. I just feel that it was a little bit lacking. Andrew: I agree with Shiela. I think you deserve to be here. I do hope you go further in the competition, because you’ve got everything that Dorothy should look like.
Bronte Barbe and Jessica Robinson
Bronte treats us to I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt. An almost spellbinding version, simple and earnestly sung. Nice to see her wearing her nightshirt on stage.
Jessica drags Amy Winehouse out and sings Rehab. She earns a jowly shake of the head from Lord Andrew. I think vocally it improved as the song progressed, but some of Jessica’s facial expressions bordered on manic.
John: Quite similar performances in that neither of these girls has the best voice in the competition – but they make the best of what they have. Jessica, you took a contemporary song and you made it musical theatre. You’re the first girl to do that tonight, so you should be commended for that. Bronte, it was a good performance. Did it blow me away? No. But it was competent. Charlotte: Bronte, I think you’ve got the most natural beautiful voice of all the girls in the competition. The vocal was spotless, but it’s one of the saddest songs and I didn’t get that from you at all. Jessica, you have not got one of the most natural voices, but I didn’t care, because that was unbelievable. Shiela: I think they both could have gone a little bit further. Jessica, there’s a childishness about that lyric, isn’t there? A hysterical childishness. I didn’t think there was enough frenzy in some direction. Bronte, terrific. I though the end was particularly lovely. Again, it’s a girl facing a very complex fact and you handled it beautifully. Andrew: Bronte, there’s something in your eyes that’s a little sad. I think there’s more that needs to come out. Jessica – that’s a pop song, very difficult to make as a theatre song, and you did it. You’ve got all the wit you could possibly have.
Sophie Evans and Jenny Douglas
Sophie sings us Beyonce’s If I Were A Boy. Massive potential for making this a dramatic number. It’s like she’s shouting at us through the television screen. She’s quite expressive with her arms, isn’t she? We like.
Jenny’s got a Pink song – So What? Plenty of attitude, and a lively performance, but she doesn’t look remotely as crazed as Pink did in the video for this song. We have a minor debate her on the sofa about whether it should be sung in a half-crazed, bitter style or if she should be happy to be moving on? What has Shiela Hancock done to us?
Charlotte: I thought that was brilliant Sophie. It’s a really really massive song, so some of the notes you did struggle on. Overall, I thought it was good, you’ve got a really beautiful tone of voice. Jenny, that was just brilliant, I loved it. Shiela: Two cracking performances. Jenny is so witty, physically and every other way. She absolutely lives it right from the fingertips. I thought you were wonderful Sophie. We know you can do radiance, because you just are (radiant), and we know you can do happy, but I didn’t know if you could do serious. I thought you did it beautifully darling. John: Jenny, once again, you’re the only girl who played a part throughout that whole performance. You knocked it out of the park again.