Over The Rainbow – you're not Dorothy

Jenny Douglas and Jessica Robinson’s West End dreams are over as they become the sixth and seventh contestants to be eliminated from BBC One’s Over The Rainbow, in a double-elimination special across Saturday and Sunday night.

In yesterday’s live show, all six remaining Dorothy finalists performed solo renditions of musical theatre songs to show viewers that they have the singing skill and sheer charisma to carry one of the most challenging roles in musical theatre. Panellist Charlotte Church also gave her first solo performance in four years, performing an exclusive preview of the track The Actors, from the album she is currently recording.

After a public vote during the live Saturday night show, Jenny and Lauren were revealed to be the least popular Dorothys and Andrew Lloyd Webber decided to save Lauren, following the first sing-off of the weekend. So Jenny became the sixth Dorothy to leave the competition.

After performing their songs and receiving feedback from Andrew Lloyd Webber and the expert panel of Sheila Hancock, Charlotte Church and John Partridge, the Dorothys faced a nervous wait for viewers to cast their votes.

On Jenny’s performance John said: “When you perform an up-tempo number, I love it. With slower songs, however, your emotion becomes a bit half-baked. Did it move me or touch me? No.”

Charlotte disagreed with John, saying: “I disagree – there were moments of magic in it. Your voice sounded very ‘classic’ in places.”

Sheila added: “That is a very difficult song, normally sung by an older actor. It should have much more humour in it, but you went for sad and stuck with that all the way through. It needed more colour.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “You actually did better than I thought you might, as that is a song about an older woman. Sondheim nearly called it ‘send in the fools’ as the woman is really a fool for falling in love. A really tough song for girl as young as you.”

Before announcing who was in the bottom two, Graham Norton asked each panel member who wasn’t Dorothy.

John said: “Sophie”. Charlotte said: “Jenny” and Sheila said: “Sophie”.

Jenny and Lauren gained the least amount of public votes, and had to sing a rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Then it was up to Andrew Lloyd Webber alone to choose which Dorothy should be saved for another performance. Andrew said: “Lauren”.

On hearing the announcement, Jenny said, “It’s really tough to go. Toughest thing is leaving my girlies – we’ve been on such an amazing journey together. We’re definitely going to keep in touch. It’s been brilliant. My life has just changed so much – I never thought in a million years Id be here today. Thank you all to everyone who has kept me in the competition for this long.”

The remaining five hopefuls – Lauren Samuels, Danielle Hope, Jessica Robinson, Steph Fearon, and Sophie Evans – then went on to perform a Wizard Of Oz medley, before the close of the show, to keep their dream of becoming Dorothy alive.

In last night’s (Sunday) show, the result of the public vote for the final five Dorothys was announced. Jessica and Danielle were revealed to be the least popular two, and they then performed a sing-off – Take That Look Off Your Face from Tell Me On A Sunday.

Ahead of the sing-off, Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “You’re both terrific – it is going to be the most dreadful dilemma” and, following their performance, he decided to save Danielle.

He commented: “You are really, really terrific girls – we ask the public to think about everything you’ve done so far… there’s no question you will go on to other things, but I am thinking about the role of Dorothy here, so I am going save Danielle. I say this with the heaviest heart in the entire world, Jessica you are so wonderful and quirky – you’re a real star in the making”. So Jessica became the fifth Dorothy to leave the competition.

On hearing the announcement, Jessica said, “I’ve had the best experience of my life so far. I’ve got the opportunity to go and train in September, and that’s what I’m going to do. This has changed my life, it’s changed my life as a performer and as a person. Im stronger than ever. I’ve loved it, and these girls… well, I can’t wait to go and see one of them on stage.”

In next week’s semi-final, the remaining Dorothys (Steph, Lauren, Danielle and Sophie) perform once again for the nation to decide who should be Dorothy in the new West End production of Wizard Of Oz.

 

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