I’d Do Anything – week 4 report

Nancy\'s performing

This post refers to the live shows of 5th & 6th April 2008
If you are looking for my latest post (13th April), click here

You might have seen my brief post yesterday (written on Sunday morning), but this is my full response to this weekend’s entertainment, after watching the Sunday night show. The 2nd live show is complete, and we are now left with just 10 Nancy’s remaining. Here’s my thoughts.

The sing-off
Let’s start with the end of the show – the sing-off. I thought that the voting public were half-right as Keisha just about deserved to be in the bottom 2 after a pretty non-descript performance of ‘Get the Party Started’. However, I felt Cleo was really hard done by being in the bottom 2. Her performance this week wasn’t brilliant, but she was by no means one of the worst in my eyes. I suspect I’m not the person who wondered whether there might have been an element of prejudice in this week’s voting. I might be wrong, but this week more than ever I noticed that the majority of the audience is white, middle-class and middle-aged. I hope I’m wrong, and that people really voted on what they saw, but I had a sour taste in my mouth last night…

The result
Given the performances in the sing-off, I think that Andrew probably made the right choice on balance. Neither Keisha not Cleo were capable of winning the competition, but Keisha has the stronger voice and performed slightly better in another over-wrought sing-off choice (I suppose at least it was from a musical!). Having said that, I think Cleo ultimately has more raw talent, and with some training, she is more likely to end up on the West End stage. If possible, she would now be well served from some formal drama-school training which would help her make that jump

The weakest links
More people to chose from this week, as the overall standard was down, especially vocally. Much more shouting, and many more tuning issues, which need to be resolved before next week. But there are still 2 people that were lucky not to be in the bottom 3.

I’m not sure how Tara avoided being in the bottom 2 this week. After a decent performance of ‘Suddently I See’ last week, she gave a pretty terrible performance of ‘Without You’, most famously covered by Mariah Carey. There was way too much shouting for my liking, and this song really exposed the limits of her voice. She will definitely not play Nancy, and I think it’s only a matter of time before she is kicked out of the show. I think that the judges were pretty generous is not giving her more criticism (how was she not the choice of any of the 3 judges to go?!)

I was again disappointed by Niamh. She performed well, and commanded the stage, but her tuning was even worse than last week. I have no idea how the judges missed that, but it was painful at times. Part of the problem of not having Zoe Tyler or another singing coach on the panel. Whilst Niamh didn’t deserve to be in the bottom 2, but I can’t see her getting further than half-way. Having said that, she seems to be popular with the judges.

The strongest links
After only 2 live shows, 1 person really stands out for me – Rachel. Her performance of ‘Beautiful’ was sensational this week. Not only was her vocal perfect, her acting was brilliant as well. This was also highlighted in the task last night when she came out as one of the strongest in the acting challenge. Professional training obviously helps here, but as with Lee Mead this year, she has the ability to take a song and make it her own. I would be amazed if she didn’t end up winning the show.

From a vocal perspective, Sarah is probably the strongest of the Nancy’s. Another stunning vocal performance this week, and she also did a great job in the acting challenge from what Denise said. It looks like she still has a fair way to go to convince the judges that she could play the part of Nancy, but she certainly has the talent vocally. I’d expect her to be in the final few.

Clearly there were some other good performances, so I plan to write another post later today with a run-down of each of the performances. Check back for that if you’re interested!

Songs and costumes
Once again, no songs from music, instead including songs by Duffy, Christina Aguilera, Pink and Girls Aloud – it looks like someone is still confused and thinks they are chosing songs for ‘Pop Idol’. The ‘Olivers’ got to sing something from a musical, so why can’t the girls. It’s starting to get silly now…

I’ve also been quite surprised by the costume choices, given that this is shown on Saturday early evening. Whoever designs them seems to be going for the ‘slutty’ look in quite a few cases, given how low-cut the tops are, and short the skirts are. This will inevitably give some finalists an advantage which really shouldn’t matter in this kind of competition, so a little more modesty wouldn’t go amiss…

The judges
Some improvement from Denise and John, as at least they started to give some criticism. I’d still like them to comment more on the vocals but hopefully that will come in time. As ever, Barry Humphries was a complete waste of space. Seems unable to differentiate between competitors, as is far too sleazy for my liking (the Michael Douglas-Catherine Zeta Jones comment to Samantha was cringe-worthy). Will the BBC really be able to keep him for the whole series? Does anyone else hope they can find some kind of ‘personal problems’ excuse to fire him and replace him with someone competent. Whoever thought of hiring him must be feeling pretty stupid right now!

The Olivers
For the first time I felt that the Olivers had a chance to actually show whether they were any good, and I didn’t feel quite as much of a distraction. The overall standard is actually really impressive and it is not going to be hard to find 3 suitable boys to play the part. My personal favourites are Chester, Gwion, Laurence and Zwayedza, but I think there are plenty of other good people too…

In conclusion
The series is turning out pretty well, perhaps even better than I expected. I suppose I should have had more faith given the success of previous 2 series. Obviously there are still things that could improve significantly – better song choices, removing Barry Humphries, more comment on singing quality come to mind – but it hasn’t stopped me enjoying the show.

For my article on Nancy betting odds, click here


5 Responses to “I’d Do Anything – week 4 report”

  1. 1 Hazel April 7, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Can’t believe you haven’t picked Jordan as one of your favourite Olivers – he definitely stands out for me!

  2. 2 Amy April 11, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Go on Ashley love, I think you will continue to grow and creep through and before we know it you’ll be winning this bad boy!

  1. 1 I’d Do Anything - week 4 (Sunday’s reaction to Saturday night) « Coloured Lights Trackback on April 7, 2008 at 10:27 am
  2. 2 I’d Do Anything - week 3 report « Coloured Lights Trackback on April 7, 2008 at 10:30 am
  3. 3 I’d Do Anything - what the bookies say « Coloured Lights Trackback on April 7, 2008 at 4:59 pm

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