Goodbye Dorothy. Hello Believers. If it’s not one all singing, all dancing reality show, it’s another and the current Sunday night offering from Five continues to baffle me. It must be difficult to navigate a live TV show and I appreciate this is Emma Bunton’s first attempt but it might as well be broadcast from the Yorkshire Moors amidst gale force winds and the odd shower. I want to throw something at the screen when she repeatedly interrupts the judges with “Thank you judges” as the voice in her ear tells her to move things along; yes the judges ramble on but perhaps someone could give Emma a few tips on subtlety and how to play catch up if needs be later on in the broadcast.
Last week I was encouraged to be more supportive of those performers on the show who have enjoyed professional training. And at this point I should say there are several friends of mine on the show, and I certainly wish them all the very best and hope they get something positive from the experience. My support is of course extended to all the contestants, and I just hope the show itself puts you out in a good light.
This week’s edition saw the Bridgwater Show Choir (BSC) take to the stage. Would I be supporting them just because I was born there? No. I’m sure Bridgwater Football Club are great but I’m afraid they don’t get my support so easily either. In fairness no football club does. But I did take the time to watch the BSC Don’t Stop Believers video and then fast-forwarded to their live stint on Sky+ (after watching the Sondheim Prom… twice).
Yes, it was camp as a box of tutu wearing frogs and the pink scooters were possibly a contributing factor (perhaps their sole purpose in fact as they did little else) but do you know what, they did themselves and Bridgwater very proud! Easily the best dressed group so far - fun, simple, suited to their ages and they were together and sounded good. If anything let them down it was probably the song choice - after all, there are only so many times you can sing “wuh oh, uh oh oh” before it grates, even in harmony.
However, what followed was altogether more farcical. Duncan ‘that one from Blue’ James, recently seen as Warner in Legally Blonde thought the performance was “too well rehearsed”. There are times when you can rehearse something until it becomes stale but that wasn’t the case here. They had enough energy to power most of Minehead with extra halogens for Butlins; they were bouncing off the walls for goodness sake! If only we could levy the same criticism at Duncan’s recent west end stint.
Brace yourselves…. because then came the Don’t Stop Believing Supergroup (soon to be trademarked I believe). The basic idea involves Joe Public belting out a pop hit in a travelling pod and each week 3 new members will be added to the Supergroup, with current ranks standing at 15. Again, I know a few people in the group and they know that I think they’re wonderfully talented in their own right but this just wasn’t pretty.
There was questionable raincoat stripping, wardrobe disasters left, right and centre and ‘riffing hands’ all over the place as each new soloist seemed to want to out sing the previous group member - hardly a group and currently far from super. And then Emma Bunton commends (most of) them for not tripping over their brollies. I wonder if she saw the cast of Legally Blonde with their skipping ropes? Or the basketballs in High School Musical? If you can’t work with the prop, get rid of it.
My better side is slightly more sympathetic as they have been thrown together quickly and so hopefully as the show progresses, so will they and it’d be great to see a real Supergroup, who sing well and can dance slick choreography. Best of luck to them I say and I hope it comes together.
This week also saw me meet with the director of Bells Are Ringing for a quick chat about the show and plans for rehearsals. I’m already excited and with a great cast in place it looks set to be a lot of fun but as I’ve ranted about the Believers for so long, I’ll talk more about the Bells next week.
And I’ll leave you with the words of that loveable rogue Fagin, cheerio but be back soon.