After last weeks' formulated drama, there were nerves all round as Andrew Lloyd Webber and his team continued to search for a leading man to star in the new West End production of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Glenn Meads presents recap #2, looking at the highs and lows of Saturday night's show.
The performances were mixed, to say the least. But unlike in previous weeks, there was only one clear favourite, who deserved to be donning the outfit and wowing a London audience.
Following two weeks in the 'sing off' Ben stepped it up a gear slightly in terms of vocals. He sang Addicted To Love and Zoe Tyler said she was "addicted" to Ben. The one great thing about this spirited performer is that he bounds across the stage like a Spring lamb; full of life. He was a bit tuneless but he still has real star quality. He really looks like he wants it and entertains the crowd with ease.
Unlike Craig, who had to perform following a V.T featuring his mum saying this classic line: "I feel Craig has the perfect package"! If only there was some of this naughtiness in his performance. He seemed to sleepwalk through an 'oh so safe' version of Oh What A Night and there is still a 'P & O Ferries' to his turn. Ultimately Craig cannot act or fake enthusiasm; he is simply not Joseph.
But even the experienced singers did not come over well this week. Lee sang rock classic, Alright Now and over did the earnestness again. He came across as completely desperate and was just alright, but only for now. Denise Van Outen said he "shouted" the lyrics and Zoe called him "flat." I agree because, despite all his experience there is something too stiff and almost cagey about this performer.
The viewing public is desperately seeking a leading man and Keith is the one! He sang Love Is All Around and it certainly was, in both the studio and at home. He blew the competition out of the water. He completely owns the stage and looks like a musical star, in waiting. John Barrowman said "You could run away with this show." Denise echoed my thoughts, describing Keith as "amazing." This is the Joseph who will sell tickets and give it his all.
V.T's are often used by the contestants like a party political broadcast. Lewis mentioned that he was bullied, but he needed more than a sympathy vote. His Dancing In The Moonlight was ok. But like many other 'Josephs' tonight, he looked petrified. His acting is always believable but he was simply bettered by others tonight.
As Rob the builder sang the line "I guess now it's time for me to give up" from the Take That song, Back For Good, I was inclined to agree with him. Clean shaven but still looking more villainous than good guy, this performance proved one thing only; Gary Barlow is an underrated singer. Like Antony last week, Rob murdered another 'famous four' song. Andrew described Rob as "nervous." But he was simply out sung and the novelty of the 'ordinary Joe-seph' has worn off.