I’d Do Anything – week 3 report

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This post refers to the live shows of 29th & 30th March 2008.
If you are looking for my post on I’d Do Anything for 7th April, click here
If you are looking for my latest post on I’d Do Anything for 13th April, click here

I’d Do Anything is well and truly underway; the first live show is complete and the first potential Nancy has left the building… but how was week 3?

The 12 Nancy’s
I thought the overall standard was absolutely fanstastic, and the final 12 are better than in the previous 2 series. As an example, these 12 girls are light years ahead of the Marias in series 1, which should make for significantly better viewing in the coming weeks.

Why are they better? First and foremost – because they can sing better. When chosing finalists, the judges and casting agents seems to have remembered that Oliver is a musical, so it’s worth having people in the competition who are strong musically. This hasn’t always been the case (I’m thinking in particular of Anthony in Series 2 whose tuning was pretty awful) so it’s a pleasant surprise.

Also, a great range in type of voices – from the slightly raw and more rock-y (Jessie and Tara) to the more classical musical theatre voices (Francesca and Sarah) that I prefer.

On the night, there were 3 Nancy’s that stood out for me though (in no particular order)

  1. Rachel – fantastic voice, very professional, great performer; given her talent combined with previous professional experience, I think she must one of the favourites to win. I’m a fan.
  2. Jessie – incredibly impressive for someone so young with no training – the 2 drama schools that turned her down must now be wondering what happened! Can she keep up this level for the whole series, or will she be another Leanne from series 1 whose age and lack of experience counted against her further on in the series?
  3. Sarah – she has a really beatiful voice, which I think is the best in the competition; no idea about her acting from this show, but her voice is certainly good enough for any part
For my top 5 Nancy’s, take a look here
The song choices
Not a great start – given that this is a show to find someone to star in the West End, wouldn’t it be a good idea if the finalists were singing songs from musicals from time to time? (if you’re wondering what they sang, find out here)
I thought the choices were pretty bland this week, particularly the choice of balads (chosing ‘Hero’ and ‘ Get There’ don’t do the singers any favours at all!).
I’d like to see at least a few songs per week coming from shows – it would be even better if they were less well-known ones. Then the primetime audience might have the chance to discover some new shows as well as new performers. Unfortunately, based on previous series, I think that’s wishful thinking on my part!

The 12 Olivers
Very cute, very talented, very impressive as an ensemble. Despite this still feeling a little like an afterthought to the main competition for Nancy, it’s great to see how these boys cope with pressure of performing to so many people. I was hugely impressed by Gwion, the first Oliver to make it through to the sem-final, who displayed amazing confidence for an 11-year old. Well done!

The judges
My initial instincts were definitely right on this one. Already missing Zoe’s honesty, as the judges were all a little too positive this week. Only Denise seemed willing to give constructive criticism, so I’d like to see the judges doing this more next week.

Admittingly there weren’t any very poor performances, but there were some issues that I saw that the judges either didn’t agree with or at least didn’t comment on! (Samantha – awful diction in places, couldn’t really understand what she was singing; Niamh – tuning was awry in a few places)

And what is the point of Barry Humphries! He is looking like a terrible addition to the panel. He semed unable to find anything interesting to say, and seemed more concerned with looks than talent. Someone is going to have to tell him to start commenting on performance. Did anyone actually talk to him before signing up for this show, or was he signed on the basis of having played Fagin before? Needs work or will really annoy me for one! 

The result
I feel a bit sorry for Amy who I don’t think deserved to be in the bottom 2. Her performance was quirky, and strong vocally, even if she has a slightly painful tone at the top of her voice. Having said that, she went to pieces in the sing-off and deserved to go. It’s a shame though – I think she looked like a great actress and would have liked to stay for longer.

As for Francesca, I thought she was disappointing on Saturday but pulled it out the bag for the sing-off. She wasn’t one of the weakest 2, but given her experience she should have done better, so probably deserved the pressure of the sing-off.

Personally, my bottom 2 would have been Ashley and Niamh. I thought Ashley’s performance was pretty uninspiring, although fine vocally. Niamh was the weak link for me and didn’t deserve the praise she received. I thought her vocals were comfortably the weakest of anyone on the night, so she’ll have to improve significantly to stay in next week

In summary
A good first live show – the series is turning out better than expected, mainly because of the selection of Nancy’s. As I’ve said, I’d like to see more constructive feedback, less talking from Barry and more musical theatre songs, and then the show will continue to improve in the coming weeks.

P.S. Kevin Spacey’s view
Since I first posted this article, Kevin Spacey has been having his say about ‘I’d Do Anything’ – take a look at the Guardian’s coverage here. In cae you’re wondering though, he doesn’t like it, and has complained to the BBC Trust….


2 Responses to “I’d Do Anything – week 3 report”

  1. 1 Dance Teacher March 31, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Totally agree with your comments about the song choices. I moaned about this in the Maria and Joseph shows, but hey it’s prime time TV and half the audience have probably never been to their local theatre, never mind the West End!

  2. 2 Paul Savage April 1, 2008 at 8:30 am

    I totally disagree with your comments on Niamh. I believe her pitch was pretty spot on and of the three Irish girls (my main interest for productions here) she definitely came across as a strong yet vulnerable character with appropriate expression and tone for the stage.

    I do agree with the judges that Amy was the weakest on the night but to her credit had to work with material that certainly did not showcase her voice.

    Rachel and Sarah I agree were pretty impressive and should go far but I felt that Jessie overacted and oversung – which is a pity because we have seen some fantastic work in the auditions.

    Song choices are important but so is versatility and acting ability (as well as audience appeal!)so I can understand the approach but yes, I would certainly like to see some more musical theatre material.

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