Any Dream Will Do Recap #2
After last weeks' formulated drama, there were nerves all round as Andrew Lloyd Webber and his team continued to search for a leading man to star in the new West End production of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Glenn Meads presents recap #2, looking at the highs and lows of Saturday night's show.
The performances were mixed, to say the least. But unlike in previous weeks, there was only one clear favourite, who deserved to be donning the outfit and wowing a London audience.
Following two weeks in the 'sing off' Ben stepped it up a gear slightly in terms of vocals. He sang Addicted To Love and Zoe Tyler said she was "addicted" to Ben. The one great thing about this spirited performer is that he bounds across the stage like a Spring lamb; full of life. He was a bit tuneless but he still has real star quality. He really looks like he wants it and entertains the crowd with ease.
Unlike Craig, who had to perform following a V.T featuring his mum saying this classic line: "I feel Craig has the perfect package"! If only there was some of this naughtiness in his performance. He seemed to sleepwalk through an 'oh so safe' version of Oh What A Night and there is still a 'P & O Ferries' to his turn. Ultimately Craig cannot act or fake enthusiasm; he is simply not Joseph.
But even the experienced singers did not come over well this week. Lee sang rock classic, Alright Now and over did the earnestness again. He came across as completely desperate and was just alright, but only for now. Denise Van Outen said he "shouted" the lyrics and Zoe called him "flat." I agree because, despite all his experience there is something too stiff and almost cagey about this performer.
The viewing public is desperately seeking a leading man and Keith is the one! He sang Love Is All Around and it certainly was, in both the studio and at home. He blew the competition out of the water. He completely owns the stage and looks like a musical star, in waiting. John Barrowman said "You could run away with this show." Denise echoed my thoughts, describing Keith as "amazing." This is the Joseph who will sell tickets and give it his all.
V.T's are often used by the contestants like a party political broadcast. Lewis mentioned that he was bullied, but he needed more than a sympathy vote. His Dancing In The Moonlight was ok. But like many other 'Josephs' tonight, he looked petrified. His acting is always believable but he was simply bettered by others tonight.
As Rob the builder sang the line "I guess now it's time for me to give up" from the Take That song, Back For Good, I was inclined to agree with him. Clean shaven but still looking more villainous than good guy, this performance proved one thing only; Gary Barlow is an underrated singer. Like Antony last week, Rob murdered another 'famous four' song. Andrew described Rob as "nervous." But he was simply out sung and the novelty of the 'ordinary Joe-seph' has worn off.
You have to wonder what is behind the selection of the V.T material as we saw Chris crying again! His performance made me cry, but for all the wrong reasons, as this is the first time I have seen a straight-jacketed version of the Lionel Ritchie hit All Night Long. Chris lacked fun and looked too serious and scared to be a contender. Barrowman called him "nervous and bland." Again, he was outclassed by superior performers and looked like he was going to cry, again!
Smiling through songs might be seen as a vote winner but there comes a time when it can be really cheesy. Daniel looked more gorgonzola than ever tonight. His V.T showed him writing a song for Cats when he was just 6 years old. This did him no favours and his song, McFly's All About You was exactly that; all about him, rather than the song, itself. He lacked sparkle and over pronounced the lyrics to such an extent he sounded like he was auditioning for Brief Encounter. Barrowman summed it up, describing the performance as "nice, nice, nice." Daniel always argues back though, counteracting any advice he is given, which will not endear him with the public. He is not Joseph as he comes across as 'nicey-nicey' but actually remains a know-all, even when he is being given constructive criticism by professionals.
We saw who was the fittest as they were all asked to perform on the barricade set in Les Miserables. Most of them looked distinctly unfit. But Ben shone, giving a breathless performance, as opposed to 'out of breath.'
The judges chose their performer who they thought was not Joseph. Bill Kenwright and Denise chose Rob. John chose Lewis and Zoe chose Lee. The viewers disagreed as Craig and Chris ended up in the sing off.
Craig surprised everyone by performing The Long And Winding Road incredibly well. He really rose to the challenge and for once, looked like he had some fight in him. Chris, on the other hand seemed subdued and ready to go. Andrew saw this and sent Chris home, leaving him to sing Close Every Door.
Who will survive next week? Apparently, you decide, although my money's on Keith.
ONE TO WATCH: KEITH (left)
Any Dream Will Do - BBC One
Next show, Saturday 12th May, 6.45
Visit www.andrewlloydwebber.com to view Webber's latest video blog and his thoughts on the "Any Dream Will Do" contestants.