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Superstar Update: Tuesday 17th July 2012

Once again the glamorous Amanda Holden opened proceedings Jesus Christ Superstarbeing escorted down the stairway by two cool looking dudes! I guess she never wore those heels as Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical and at that height might need a helping hand!

The third night of live shows kicked off with a sexed-up version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. To be honest I quite liked it.

Andrew Lloyd Webber took the opportunity tonight of thanking Tim Rice for writing the lyrics for this fabulous musical. It is a shame that the show didn’t get the full backing of Tim Rice as I feel his presence would have added real value.

First up was the selection of the bottom two and tonight we had Tim Prottey-Jones and Dirk Johnston singing Christina Aguilera’s Hurt. Tough to be in the bottom two and then you have that song choice! They both gave it their all but Tim got the nod from ALW to be saved.

Dirk had been in the same position on Monday night but won out over Afnan Iftikhar on that occasion. He was gracious in being voted out and thanked ALW for giving him the opportunity saying: “I’m only just out of uni, and you took me all the way up here.”
Well done for getting this far Dirk!

On with the show and the group of contenders are starting to be revealed, not based on popularity but on how good they can sing and perform. Some voting will be for the person and not the actual singing or performance, but talent should win through!

For some, I would expect that once in the bottom two then their stay in the show will be short-lived, except for a miracle. And you really cannot afford to be ‘pitchy’. If you can’t sing all of the notes now then what chance in a few weeks time at the O2? The stronger candidates won’t be in the bottom two just yet and also won’t be pitchy.

There are some strong personalities in this group and for some they will find it a struggle to convince the judges of their suitability for the role. They of course don’t have to convince the judges in front of them but those at home with their phones. But rest assured the judges’ comments will influence many voters, and whoever wins this competition will very likely be one of the ones that ALW wants to win it.

On the subject of confidence – I have some sympathy for some of the contenders, especially Nathan James, as ALW seems to be on a mission to undermine him. I am sure that is not the case and that he just wants Nathan to do well but maybe just give the guy a chance to be himself.

Likewise it seems that if someone performs badly then it is down to them and not the poor song chosen for them, but if all goes well it is down to how the judges have guided them from their comments the night before. Maybe credit the guys who are performing for once?

The judges each add their own style to proceedings and you do have to smile at some of their comments. They don’t have long to think about what to say and at times it shows! Dawn French of course adds humour to the show, but occasionally comes out with the most meaningful and constructive of the comments made. I think she gave a house and a cat to one of the contenders on Monday and tonight it was a house and double glazing – what will she give away tomorrow?

The ultimate prize is of course getting the role of Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar and for some their personalities or physical presence may just not be suitable for the role. That doesn’t detract from their ability to sing, it just means that this role isn’t for them. In which case make the most of the free publicity you are getting and enjoy the ride!

The ones that I believe are in contention at the moment and who again gave really strong performances are: Jeff Anderson, Nathan James, Rory Taylor, Ben Forster and David Hunter.

Maybe that will change after tomorrow’s performances, we shall see.

You may well think differently so get voting!


090 16 16 10 01 – Roger Wright
090 16 16 10 02 – Nathan James
090 16 16 10 03 – Rory Taylor
090 16 16 10 04 – Jon Moses
090 16 16 10 05 – David Hunter
090 16 16 10 06 – Ben Forster
090 16 16 10 07 – Tim Prottey-Jones
090 16 16 10 08 – Jeff Anderson
090 16 16 10 09 – Niall Sheehy

The new production of Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice’s musical goes on tour in September, featuring Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, Chris Moyles as King Herod and former Spice Girl – and Superstar judge – Melanie C as Mary Magdalene.

By Neil Cheesman

Wednesday 18th July 2012


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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