Over The Rainbow

The latest contestant to leave Over The Rainbow has voiced her annoyance over the songs she was given on the show.

17-year-old Stephanie Davis was eliminated on last week’s show and has criticised the song choices, claiming she was given too many “big ballads” which didn’t allow her to show off her flexibility.

“It was just too soon. I felt like I had so much more to give. I just felt like with the song choices, that I didn’t get to show, what I could do,” she told website Digital Spy.

“I’ve done the best in a bad situation. It wasn’t a brilliant song compared to everyone’s upbeat ones. And it came from the heart, which is what I always do with my performances.”

Davis said she didn’t find Mr Bojangles a hard song to perform but was disappointed it was another ballad.

“ I had one upbeat one, ‘Get Loud’, which everyone seemed to agree on. They all said, ‘Oh, she can sing and dance at the same time’.

“So I think they decided to keep giving me ballads to test me. I constantly kept getting these big ballads and didn’t get to show my upbeat side.”

Source: Digital Spy

Over The Rainbow judge Charlotte Church will perform on the BBC show next week.

It has been announced the 24-year-old will give a live performance on next Sunday’s episode, marking the first time in four years the singer has performed on UK television.

The singer said: “I’m really looking forward to performing on the show next week. I so enjoyed singing with all the girls last week – it was brilliant fun and a real privilege. They’re a hugely talented bunch.”

Church will give a rendition of her new single The Actors on the Sunday night show, which screens at 7.15pm on BBC One.

Source: Digital Spy

Stephanie Davis has been eliminated from Over The Rainbow.

After placing in the bottom two for the first time, the 17-year-old became the fifth contestant to leave the BBC show.

Davis, who hails from Merseyside, stood alongside Steph Fearon in the bottom two who received the fewest public votes.

Andrew Lloyd Webber chose to save Fearon after hearing their renditions of Tell Me On A Sunday.

”I’m gutted.” Davis said following the elimination, “I’m absolutely devastated because I wasn’t ready to go – it was too soon. I feel I had so much more to give.

”But I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s been an amazing journey and I’ve learnt so much.

”I didn’t expect to get this far.”

The final six will be cut to four next week with a double elimination show of Over The Rainbow.

Source: Telegraph


The next contestant tipped to bow out of the Over The Rainbow competition is Sophie Evans.

The 17-year-old is the bookmakers pick to get the boot from reality show Over The Rainbow, after narrowly scraping by last week when she found herself in the bottom two.

Emilie Fleming was eliminated by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Evans was given a lifeline.

Evans’ odds to win the place as Dorothy in the West End production stand at 20/1 whereas favourite Stephanie Davis is sitting at 5/4. Lauren Samuels and Danielle Hope follow as strong contenders.

Over The Rainbow continues the audition process this Saturday on BBC One at 7.10pm.

Source: Digital Spy

Dani Rayner’s West End dream is over as she becomes the third contestant to be eliminated from BBC One’s Over The Rainbow.

After a public vote, Dani Rayner and Danielle Hope were the least popular Dorothys and Andrew Lloyd Webber decided to save Danielle Hope. So, Dani Rayner is the third Dorothy to leave the competition.

In yesterday’s live show, all nine remaining Dorothy finalists performed solo renditions of pop songs to show viewers that they have the singing skill and sheer charisma to carry one of the most challenging roles in musical theatre.

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 Dani’s performance John said: “Nine boys, yet you came out centre front and sold it. You let the audience know what you were thinking and feeling. Your strongest performance to date.”

Charlotte said: “I love that you’re not self-conscious about giving it everything. Your voice gets nasel sometimes so be careful – listen as the note is coming out. It’s only occasionally, other than that it was great.”

Sheila added: “I didn’t quite understand what the song was about from your performance, but it worked great as a pop song. From what I gather it’s about a girl who doesn’t want to commit – hardly Dorothy or your age group but you made a good crack at it. Would have liked more light or shade to clarify the emotion.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “This is not just a singing contest. This show is about getting the whole package together, not just singing. Can we believe in you, can you really move and feel the music?”.

Before announcing who was in the bottom two, Graham asked each panel member who “wasn’t Dorothy”. Sheila said: “Jessica.” John said: “Emilie,” while Charlotte said: “Jenny.”

Dani Rayner and Danielle Hope gained the least amount of public votes, and had to sing a rendition of Maybe This Time, from Cabaret.

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

On hearing the announcement, Dani Rayner said: “Just to say thanks so much. I’ve learnt so much through this whole experience, it’s been a long one but a great one. Good luck to all the girls still left in.”

Safe for another week are Stephanie Davis, Lauren Samuels, Danielle Hope, Jessica Robinson, Steph Fearon, Emilie Fleming, Jenny Douglas and Sophie Evans.

The remaining hopefuls will go on to next week’s show where they will again perform for the nation, who will decide who should be Dorothy in the new West End production of The Wizard Of Oz.

In last night’s Over The Rainbow results show (Sunday 18 April) on BBC One, the specialist panel of dog experts – This Morning animal expert Sarah Fisher and Gerry Cott (biog details in Notes to Editors below) – led by previous winner of I’d Do Anything, host Jodie Prenger – chose their final 11 potential Totos.

They are:

Name: Eddie
Age: 1
Breed: Pug/Shi tzu
From: Brighton
Owner: Lucie
Special trick: “He can speak, he can go and get in his box and he can spin left and right. He can also wave.”
Why should Eddie be Toto? Lucie: “Because he’s confident, he loves attention, he’s charming and quick to learn and everyone that meets him loves him.”
Previous experience: None.

Name: Bertie (Bert the Flirt)
Age: 10
Breed: Yorkie/Daschund Cross
From: Kent
Owner: Sabre
Special trick: “Bert’s claim to fame is that he is cute. He can also stand on his hind legs for ages.”
Why should Bertie be Toto? “Because he is the most adorable doggie I have ever known in my lifetime and he would absolutely love to do it.”
Previous experience: Bertie was on Animal Planet once and has appeared at Crufts.

Name: Dave
Age: 1
Breed: Mini Schnauzer
From: Lake District
Owner: Rachel
Special trick: “He can jump up and spin round, he can jump into my arms, he can ‘stay’ and he can roll over.”
Why should Dave be Toto? “Dave is a farm dog, so being a farm dog makes him a perfect companion to Dorothy. He’s loyal and full of fun.”
Previous experience: None.

Name: Bumble
Age: 3yrs 11 mths
Breed: Labrador
From: Wolverhampton
Owner: Demi
Special trick: “She can do a high five with both paws or just one depending on how she feels.”
Why should Bumble be Toto? “because she does everything for me on a daily basis and doesn’t ask for anything back. I think it’s her time to shine.”
Previous experience: Entered Crufts for the last two years.

Name: Qannik
Age: 2.5 years
Breed: Samoyed
From: Essex
Owner: Hannah
Special trick: “He can speak, he can crawl and he can limp. Hannah is trying to get him to say ‘sausages’ but it’s not working…”
Why should Qannik be Toto? “Hannah: “Because I think he’s got charm, charisma and he has the Samoyed smile that is only typical to the breed.”
Previous experience: He recently went for a photo-shoot and is currently on the cover of Dogs Today Magazine.

Name: Teasel and Spider
Age: 4 and 6 yrs respectively
Breed: Beagles
From: Staffordshire
Owner: Lucy
Special trick: “They both like to pretend to go for a wee on things and they both like to wave.”
Why should Teasel and Spider be Toto? “Because they are outgoing confident dogs that really love performing. They are in it individually but I think they could both win as they both have different characters.”
Previous experience: They’ve done some “heelwork to music” freestyle dancing and they’ve done some demonstrations of this to music at local shows and Crufts. They both got into the intermediate level in “heelwork to music.”

Name: Dennis
Age: 4
Breed: Border Collie/Poodle
From: Suffolk
Owner: Maggie
Special trick: He skateboards he pushes pushchairs with dolls in. His latest trick is pushing me (Maggie) in a wheelchair.”
Why should Dennis be Toto? “Denis should be Toto because he loves to work and he’s a very very happy dog. He’s got the looks of Toto and the personality of Toto. Most importantly, Dennis will work for anyone.”
Previous experience: He won an agility competition last year and he was awarded first place. He did the course in 28.2 seconds. He has also won prizes for “best trick” at a few local dog shows.

Name: Strider
Age: 5
Breed: Great Dane
From: Nottingham
Owner: Shelley
Special trick: “He does a twirl and he can take a bow and he speaks”.
Why should Strider be Toto? “Because we need to show the world what big dogs can do.”
Previous Experience: He attends obedience competitions and agility for giant breeds – he has won a few rosettes.

Name: Troy
Age: 4.5 years
Breed: Mother English pointer type/Red Setter Retriever Cross Breed
From: Stratford upon Avon
Owner: Jackie
Special trick: “He’s quite good at bowing. He can do a figure of eight. At the Toto auditions he had his dinner on a plate and then brought it to Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber to ask for more. I (Jackie) asked him to bow to Lord Lloyd Webber and he did.”
Why should Troy be Toto? “Because he is what I think Dorothy would look for in a dog. He is gentle, he is kind, sensitive, and extremely loyal and all he ever wants to do is please. I think he’s the type of dog Dorothy would want”.
Previous experience: None.

Name: Missy
Age: 3
Breed: Bearded Collie cross Springer Spaniel
From: Stoke on Trent
Owner: Anna
Special trick: “She can speak on demand. She can also turn round in a circle on two or four legs.”
Why should Missy be Toto? “Because she loves showing off and loves showing the world why she’s the best thing ever and she can’t understand if anybody doesn’t love her.”
Previous experience: Won her local dog show “best cross breed” twice.

These 11 finalists will then be invited to appear in front of Andrew Lloyd Webber, who will select five dogs to continue into the competition.

Viewers will then see the dogs in a series of tasks over the course of the next few weeks, and Andrew and the Toto panel will decide on the dog who will win the coveted place to appear on stage, in a one-off gala performance of The Wizard Of Oz in the West End next year.

The winning Toto will be announced in the final Over The Rainbow show.

Viewers can follow the progress of the dogs each week on Over The Rainbow.

Check out this funny promo that the BBC have made for their series Over The Rainbow

Charlotte Church, John Partridge and Sheila Hancock to join Andrew Lloyd Webber in the search for Dorothy and Toto

A new line-up of judges will be helping Andrew Lloyd Webber and the nation to decide who will make the perfect Dorothy, in the forthcoming Over The Rainbow for BBC One.

Charlotte Church, John Partridge (Christian Clarke, EastEnders) and Sheila Hancock are to form the expert panel providing insightful opinions and comments but, ultimately, the viewers determine the rightful heir of those famous ruby red slippers.

Over The Rainbow will reunite host Graham Norton and Andrew Lloyd Webber who, along with the panel of experts and BBC One viewers, will choose a Dorothy to perform in the West End production next year.

The show will transmit in Spring 2010.

Andrew Lloyd Webber commented: “Each member of the panel brings something new and exciting which will take Over The Rainbow even further than the previous shows.

“We have a fantastic wealth of talent within our judges, and I know they’re going to be bringing some incredibly valuable expertise and opinions in our search for Dorothy.”

Charlotte Church added: “I’m so looking forward to working with Andrew – he’s an icon of the music industry, and a real hero of mine.

“My career started with Pie Jesu which was, of course, written by Andrew, so it feels like I’ve come full circle!”

John Partridge confirmed: “Musical theatre has always been my first love – it’s where I began my career – so I’m hugely excited to be joining the panel.

“I can’t wait to work with Andrew again and to see what talent the country has to offer. Dorothy is such an iconic role, for so many reasons!”

Star of stage and screen Sheila Hancock commented: “I’ve had such an interesting and varied career and I’m so looking forward to working with the panel and Andrew to seek out some fantastic new talent.

“I’m incredibly interested in TV series which really show the ins and outs of live theatre, and Over The Rainbow will do just that.

“The Wizard Of Oz has to be one of the most well-known and best-loved musicals, so it’s a real thrill to be involved in the process of updating it for new audiences.”

Jay Hunt, Controller of BBC One, said: “It is hard to find a team of judges who can match Andrew Lloyd Webber in terms of enthusiasm, knowledge and a love of musical theatre but I think we have got them here – they are going to be a huge asset to the show.”

The search for Dorothy has already begun.

Auditions have taken place in five UK cities – Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, Manchester and London – and contestants are currently working their way through the ongoing audition process.

Over The Rainbow logo

Are you Andrew Lloyd Webber’s next leading lady?

Could you be his Dorothy in the new West End production of The Wizard of Oz?

Do you want to follow in the footsteps of previous winners Connie Fisher, Lee Mead and Jodie Prenger?

If yes – then apply now!


Auditions are open to everyone, no matter how much or how little experience you have.
What we’re looking for is the potential to make the part of Dorothy your own.

Nationwide auditions for Dorothy begin in January 2010. is launching a brand new TV talent search to find Dorothy.

All applicants must have been aged 16 or over by 26 June 2009.

To apply go to: bbc.co.uk/dorothy



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