Oh Lordy, what a heavenly start to the Superstar finalist show that was.
11, yes 11 wannabe rock gods took to the stage, after Jon Moses was promoted from understudy to fully fledged finalist – hallelujah!
Host Amanda Holden looked a vision in a tight fitting black dress as she introduced the esteemed panel of judges: Mel C, Jason Donovan, Dawn French and of course, the good Lord himself, Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The first hopeful thrown into the lions’ den was David Hunter from Warrington, who sang Forget You by Cee Lo Green.
A forgettable performance? We think not and the judges seemed pretty pleased with the first act of the night too.
Melanie C said: “It’s fair to say you had the toughest job opening the show but what an opener. You are such a strong vocalist and have such a unique style.”
Dawn French also praised David’s style, but she was thinking more along the lines of his fashion sense. The one-time Vicar of Dibley said: “How exciting for you and what a massive vote of confidence, and may I say… what excellent tight trousers”.
Next up, it was time for Scotland’s bonnie lad, Dirk Johnston, who hails from Crieff.
He delivered a moving performance of Adele / Bob Dylan hit Make You Feel My Love and while Spicey Mel described it as “absolutely sublime”, the good Lord said he would like to see more from Dirk on the acting front. Get voting Scotland!
The next Jesus wannabe to grace the stage was Nathan James from Reading, who sang Sign Your Name by Terence Trent Darby.
Jason Donovan said: “Nathan you are confident, sensual, and sexy, the way you layered that song was amazing, you really made it your own.” Praise indeed!
Andrew added: “It’s the vulnerability we need to see, but you have over confidence, you have a god given rock voice but we need to see a softer side?” Will we get to see a more soppy Nathan (don’t you just want to run your fingers through those golden locks?) tomorrow night?
Ben Forster from Sunderland was up next and he sang Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye, beginning his performance lying down on the stage.
Mel said: “Technically that is a very difficult song to sing, I hate singing lying down but that didn’t faze you at all, it was emotional and dynamic.”
Jason agreed, telling Ben: ‘You sung it so well, it was giving me shivers, you were in control and you could see that you were enjoying yourself.”
Niall Sheehy from County Wicklow, Ireland sang Stay by Hurts and while we were slightly disappointed to see that he had hacked off his curly locks, he made up for it by delivering a heavenly performance.
Dawn French had one of the best comments of the night when she told Niall: “You also have a winning vulnerability, something of the Lee Mead about you which is a good thing, and remember Niall…..Lee married one of the judges”. Run Niall run!
With that, it was Tim Prottey-Jones from Birmingham chance to shine as he performed Stone Cold Sober by Paloma Faith.
After an emotional rollercoaster during the auditions for the series, Mel C has nothing but praise for Tim as she said: “I think you are one of the most musical contenders in this competition and what a transformation you have made over the weeks in training.”
Jason added: “Tim you came out fighting, that was a fantastic falsetto.”
But it was Andrew Lloyd Webber who most impressed as he said: “I have a funny feeling that you are what this programme is all about, you could change the whole perception of the way Jesus is cast in the future”.
Roger Wright from East London had the daunting task of performing Whiter Shade of Pale by Procul Harum on tonight’s show and the former Simba delivered a grrrrreat rendition of the much-loved hit (please forgive our god awful puns).
Dawn gushed: “Oh Roger Roger Roger, yes indeed….. You are an extraordinarily imposing presence on that stage, you are a beautiful cat”.
Andrew Lloyd Webber added: “ As a cat lover, you were pretty pretty good, you would sound amazing with Tim Minchin and I’m really proud to have you on the programme.
Comeback kid Jon Moses from Newcastle was next and he sang Since You’ve Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson, proving the good Lord was right to place his faith in him.
Mel C told the former holiday camp entertainer: “Sometimes there can be a bit of snobbery about where you come from but you have proven everyone wrong, I really respect how you fought for this place that you truly deserve.”
Andrew agreed, telling Jon: “It’s great to have you as the 11th man, the one thing of course you have to leave Butlins behind you, the energy is what this songs about and it’s what you had”.
Afnan Iftikhar (swoon) sang Next To Me by Scottish star Emile Sande.
Jason told him: “I think you’ve grown a lot since we first met, you gave a lot of energy and lots of light, shade and charisma, it was all there”.
Dawn agreed: “I really enjoyed that and you have a real twinkle, just when I thought you were going to over-act you pulled it right back, well done”.
‘Baby Jesus’, as youngest competitor in the competition, 21-year-old Jeff Anderson from Newtonards, Northern Ireland, has been dubbed, delivered a heavenly rendition of Red by Daniel Merriweather.
Mel told him: “For me I forget your age, when you’re in the moment, magic happens and you’re a great talent”.
Andrew Lloyd Webber had sound advice, as he said: “The thing you have to do is inhabit your own skin, you have to be more comfortable in yourself but it was a great performance”.
Last, but by no means least, Rory from The Wirral proved he is every inch the rock god as he belted out Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz.
Jason summed up the performance as he told him: “What a great way to finish the show, you have an amazing rock technique, I’m looking forward to seeing other genres from you”.
And Andrew has nothing but praise for the band frontman, as he said: “I’m struggling to think of a musical theatre star that could do that tonight, you were completely in your own skin there, fantastic.”
With that, our Jesus wannabes retired to their mangers to get their beauty sleep ahead of tomorrow night’s show.
But there will be nerves aplenty at Superstar HQ, as tomorrow night our first hopeful will be eliminated. Who will be heading on the Highway to Hell? We’ll find out when the show kicks off at 9pm on Monday July 16 at 9pm.
- Check out each of the hopefuls performances in the highlighted links above
- Missed the show? Watch it now on the STV Player
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