Rock Rivals

Wednesday 23 April 2008 9:00pm – 10:00pm

*Please note: This Final episode synopsis contains two alternate endings. The outcome of this episode is to be decided by viewers at the end of epiosde 7 in the free online vote at

Felix (Adam Leese) holds Luke (Sol Heras) hostage in his dressing room and drugs him unconscious, whisking him away to the basement, tying him up and demanding that either Latex Luke or Real Luke must be gone from his life forever.

Vernon is put in charge of the “all or nothing” contract and Mal (Sean Gallagher) rejoices in preparing to get the upper hand from Karina (Michelle Collins). The scales finally fall from Jinx’s eyes when she realizes Mal has used her to make Karina jealous and still doesn’t want her to have the baby. Pete (James Anderson) is likewise hounded to breaking point when it becomes apparent that Luke has gone missing and Mal holds Pete responsible.

With Luke a no show, the live final is stalled for as long as possible but it appears as if Bethany (Holly Quin-Ankrah) may have to win by default. Mal makes a desperate bid to steal the contract and dispose of it, but Vernon (Gary Cooke) was wise to this possibility and kept the contract on his person.

Bethany, still struggling with her mother’s revelation that she is underage, is unwilling to win by default and must be talked down from walking away.

Trapped in the basement with Felix, Luke manages to escape by head-butting him. The blow brings Felix back to his normal servile ways and a suitably shamed Felix scurries off into the night, leaving Luke to break free. Luke arrives onstage in the nick of time and the result is announced –

Either* –

Luke is declared the winner and a desperate Karina steals the “all or nothing” contract from Mal and tries to run off with it.

Or* – Bethany is declared the winner and a desperate Mal steals the “all or nothing” contract from Karina and tries to run off with it.

They chase one another onto the top of a deserted stage gantry where the two of them get trapped, the contract falls from reach and gets destroyed. Both Jinx (Sophia Dawnay) and Pete walk out on Mal, Pete going so far as to turn out the lights on their perilous predicament. Jinx resolves to keep the baby and make Mal pay. Mal and Karina are left literally hanging in the balance, and it looks to be game over until an unlikely savior appears in the form of Felix. Felix has returned in search of Latex Luke, finally determined to make good with his latex love. A desperate Mal and Karina offer Felix the world to help rescue them, and Felix makes his intentions clear for the next series of Rock Rivals – he wants to be a star.

Chaos is just around the corner on the live show Rock Rivals Extra broadcast. Luke is reconciled with Dana and proposes to her live on the after-show. The jubilation is short-lived however, when Pete lets slip to Luke about the lies told to his mum on Mal’s behalf that led to her tragic death. Luke attacks Pete.

Carson (Siva Kaneswaran) and Caleb (Kumar Kaneswaran) meanwhile, have videoed secret footage of Vernon and Addison (Robert Sheehan) in a love tryst and blackmail Vernon into giving them a record contract. Bethany tries to announce her deception live on air, but Lynette (Alison Newman) cuts her short by attacking her. The whole broadcast descends into a gigantic scuffle as the contestants finally vent their true fury on one another.

Wednesday 9 April 2008 9:00pm – 10:00pm

With Bethany (Holly Quin-Ankrah) disqualified, Karina (Michelle Collins) only has Jez (Marcus O’Donovan) left with which to take on Mal (Sean Gallagher). Jez’s interest is waning however.

Bethany and Lynette (Alison Newman) are ready to launch Bethany outside of Rock Rivals but have no success. Karina visits Lynette and discovers about the fish allergy that was let slip to Pete (James Anderson). Karina confronts Mal and Mal can’t deny the evidence. He fires Pete and is forced to re-instate Bethany. Bethany once more shuns her mother now she’s back in the show, and Lynette digs out an old secret in an envelope that she gets ready to use to bring Bethany down.

During an argument about suing for wealth, Mal accidentally runs Karina down. Karina is hospitalized and awakes from her coma with no recollection of their fighting. Mal bargains with Sundae (Nicola Hughes) to keep any news of previous fighting between them both secret. He picks up their relationship as if nothing ever went wrong and readies to use Karina’s amnesia to his advantage. Karina accepts his previous marriage proposal from the week before and it seems as if Mal’s legal troubles and fortune are safe.

Jinx (Sophia Dawnay) was laboring under the illusion that Mal still loved her, but his marriage proposal sends her reeling and she breaks some news she’d been waiting to tell him – she’s pregnant. Mal threatens Jinx to abort and makes his position clear – Jinx means nothing to him. We see Karina over-hear the conversation outside the dressing room – it looks as if some memories may have been triggered, but we’ll remain unsure as to exactly what. For now, Karina is keeping schtum.

Vernon (Gary Cooke) meanwhile, with Fade Up his only competitors left, is making sure they’re fully bonded as a team. He takes them to visit his house and uses it as an opportunity to promise his favorite boy, Addison (Robert Sheehan), a solo career in exchange for some “special attention”. A jealous Caleb (Kumar Kaneswaran) and Carson (Siva Kaneswaran) over-hear and set about plotting Addison’s downfall. They spike his drink with Viagra and Addison is forced to go onstage at “full mast”. The performance is a laughing stock and Fade Up are voted off.

Felix (Adam Leese) is back from his honeymoon and working in the house. Luke (Sol Heras) apologizes for the way he’s treated Felix and Felix is struck, confusing Luke’s compliments for advances. Felix lies that he got married to a woman whilst he was away and Luke invites the two of them along to the live show. Latex Luke gets jealous and Felix covers that he won’t be going but slips out nonetheless. After the show in Luke’s dressing room Felix mis-reads the signals and tries to kiss Luke. Luke rejects his advances and a mortified Felix runs off into the night in tears. With a double eviction of Jez and and Fade Up, Luke and Bethany are through to the final and a despondent Felix sits watching the show deflating the air from Latex Luke.

Wednesday 26 March 2008 9:00pm – 10:00pm on ITV1.

Mal and Karina’s daughter Ocean (Alice Henley) has returned claiming to be devastated to have read about her mother and father’s break-up in the papers – the truth is that she’s been expelled for selling alcohol to the other kids. Mal (Sean Gallagher) and Karina (Michelle Collins) organize to pull down any signs of a split and Mal is forced to fire Jinx (Sophia Dawnay) and pack her off. Ocean’s timing proves particularly inconvenient as Mal and Karina are due to fly to New York to try and sell the show to the Americans. Ocean is actually on a personal mission to bag Luke (Sol Heras).

Luke is still reeling from his fallout with Dana (Sammy Glen) and the fact that she has become an overnight internet success with Suicide Bride. Mal has organized a photo-shoot to boost Luke’s ego and profile, but Ocean uses it as an opportunity to flirt with Luke. Mal and Karina determine that Ocean must go to New York with them. Ocean skips out of the endeavor by hiding her passport and is left in a disgruntled Pete’s care. Ocean sees the empty house as a prime excuse for a party in which to seduce Luke.

Felix (Adam Leese) continues to ingratiate himself to Luke and misconstrues a throw-away remark from him as an invitation for a date. Felix turns up at the mansion to find no-one home. He flushes Luke’s mum’s ashes down the toilet in retaliation, turning his full attention to his relationship with Latex Luke, he takes him out for a romantic picnic and proposes to him.

Karina is presented with a headache of her own when Lynette (Alison Newman) turns up at the contestants’ house and starts a protest that Rock Rivals stole her daughter. Bethany (Holly Quin-Ankrah) has it out with Lynette and Lynette steams off threatening to take Bethany down. Bethany throws herself into her training and chooses to opt out of the party so as not to jeopardize her performance on the live show. Lynette gets on the phone to The Sun and arranges to sell a story on her daughter.

Mal and Karina arrive in New York and begin their pitch, only to find that the Americans have no room in their show for Karina. Mal stands by her in a show of solidarity and the commission is theirs. Mal and Karina vow to get their lives back on track with Ocean at the centre.

Back at the house and the party is kicking off. Angel (Lisa Dwan) uses the party as an opportunity to document the obvious dividing lines in the Faith mansion on her mobile phone. In-fighting within Fade Up results in Addison (Robert Sheehan) drugging Declan’s drink with Sasha’s drugs. Declan (Shane McDaid) falls down the stairs and twists his ankle whilst the other contestants party outside. Ocean meanwhile, gets her claws into an emotionally vulnerable Luke and the two sleep together.

Mal and Karina return home to find the devastation wreaked by the party – a broken ankled Declan, drugs in the house and Ocean upstairs in bed with Luke. Declan is forced to drop out of the band and a still drunk Sasha (Helen Modern) is voted off that week’s live-show. Mal, wary that Ocean is threatening Luke’s performance, packs Ocean off to Bratcamp without consulting Karina. Karina flies off the handle at Mal’s betrayal and the two are back at loggerheads – the divorce presses on.

Karina (Michelle Collins) sets up offices for her rival company, Mad Cow Music, in the grounds of her and Mal’s house. Mal (Sean Gallagher) and Karina meet for a lawyers’ meeting to contest who owns the format of the show after Karina’s contention of being the creator. The lawyers recommend any format fighting is put on hold until after the show has aired so as not to damage the brand of the show. They agree to a forced display of false harmony until the show is finished, after which point they will continue with suing each other for their combined wealth.

In the aftermath of Luke’s mum’s death, Mal tries to buoy Luke (Sol Heras) up by arranging a meet and greet with Rod Stewart. Luke is distracted by Dana (Sammy Glen) putting pressure on pursuing their wedding plans and lies that he can’t attend because he needs to sow his mum’s ashes. Dana is papped shopping for wedding rings which Luke has to deny. The two of them arrange to get married in secret but Luke has cold feet at the last minute and leaves Dana jilted. A devastated Dana records an authentic indie version of Suicide Bride and broadcasts it on the internet.

Karina has problems of her own with one of her contestants Jez Willard (Marcus O’Donovan), who is talking about walking from the show because his girlfriend has dumped him. Karina takes him for a proper night on the town and it is apparent there is a chemistry between them as Jez opens Karina’s eyes to the way she is being treated by Mal.

Mal mistakenly thinks Karina is having an affair with her lawyer Julian (Charles Daish). Pretending it doesn’t affect him, he proceeds to flaunt Jinx (Sophia Dawnay) about the house but realizes it isn’t having the desired effect. Letting his feelings get the better of him for once, Mal confronts Julian and punches him. Mal’s display of jealousy re-ignites Karina and Mal’s passion and they appear reconciled, agreeing to put pay to divorce proceedings. A surprise arrival interrupts their passion when their drunken daughter Ocean (Alice Henley) bundles in unannounced.

Feeling ostracized, Lynette (Alison Newman) shows up at the contestants’ house and demands to be involved in her daughter’s life. She disrupts Bethany’s performance during the course of the day. Bethany (Holly Quin-Ankrah) and Lynette have a massive row and Bethany sacks Lynette as her manager and disavows her from her life. Sundae (Nicola Hughes) makes sure Bethany stays true to her promise and sends Lynette a text warning her to stay away.

Felix (Adam Leese), now working as a cleaner, has unfettered access to Luke and his room. He bonds with Luke by lying that he also lost his mother and recommending a book on coping with bereavement. When Felix gets wind of Luke and Dana’s plan to marry he goes to the registry office with the intention of disfiguring Dana by throwing acid in her face. When he realizes that Luke isn’t going ahead with the marriage, a jubilant Felix puts pay to his plans of sabotage and steals Luke’s mum’s urn as a gesture of false commitment to Latex Luke.

Wednesday 19 March 2008 9:00pm – 10:00pm on ITV1

Karina (Michelle Collins) starts up her own record label, Mad Cow Music, with the promise of signing her three protégés and reaping the benefits all for herself. Mal (Sean Gallagher) calls a meeting with their lawyers and drops the bombshell that they were never legally married and Karina may be entitled to nothing. Karina vows to continue her fight for half of everything and splits the house down the middle with an electric fence. She knows she originated the idea for Rock Rivals and if she can prove documented written evidence, she will be in with a chance of taking Mal for all he’s got. Remembering she wrote the original treatment on a floppy disk, her discovery puts Mal on the back-foot. Coupled with a new image for herself it appears as if things are on the up for Karina.

Luke (Sol Heras) has a skeleton unearthed from the cupboard when the mother he never knew comes crawling out of the woodwork. Luke had believed that his mother had upped and left on his father shortly after he was born. The truth is revealed that she had gone to prison after smothering the baby brother Luke never knew he had in a fit of post-natal depression. Luke’s mother, Shelley (Victoria Carling), had best intentions at heart in trying to get in touch with her son through the papers, but the story does not go as she had envisaged and portrays her as a baby-killer, attracting negative publicity for Luke.

Luke initially shuns his mother, but comes round to the idea of reconciliation and invites her to watch him perform at that week’s live show. Realizing she may distract his performance Mal tells Pete (James Anderson) to do whatever it takes to get Shelley out Luke’s life. Pete steals a locket that Shelley gave to Luke and tells Shelley to stay out of Luke’s life, lying that he gave Pete the locket to give back and wants her to go home. Shelley is dumb-struck and walks out into oncoming traffic, killing herself. Mal allows Luke to perform before breaking the news – he doesn’t want anything or anyone to jeopardize his performance.

Mal has also ensured Dana’s exit from the show by giving her duff song to perform at the live show. To his surprise, Dana (Sammy Glen) masters the song so a plan B is called for. Mal gets wind of Dana’s own composition, Suicide Bride, a poorly written ballad, and encourages her to perform it on the show. The performance is a disaster and Dana is voted off the show.

Bethany (Holly Quin-Ankrah) is slacking in dance class and bingeing on junk food sent from her mother. Sundae (Nicola Hughes) does her best to whip her into shape. Bethany is given a makeover by a top stylist. She becomes a real contender, but at the expense of her mum Lynette (Alison Newman) who is getting increasingly frozen out of her daughter’s life.

Felix (Adam Leese) puts the contestants’ house under surveillance and learns of the cleaners and the codes required to come and go. He successfully applies for a cleaner’s job and gains access to the house. His personality has now splintered so that he has created his own internal love triangle between himself, Latex Luke and Real Luke – and Latex Luke is growing increasingly jealous of Felix’s obsession with real Luke.

Rock Rivals is commissioned by Director of Network Drama, Laura Mackie and Controller of Network Drama, Sally Haynes, is Executive Produced by Brian Park (Footballers Wives, Bad Girls) is produced by Emma Turner (New Tricks, Holby City), and is directed by Syd Macartney (New Tricks, Jane Hall), Farren Blackburn (Waterloo Road, Doctors), Ian Bevitt (The Chase, The Royal) and James Erskine (Robin Hood, Torchwood).

Sally Haynes says: “The ongoing appeal for this type of talent show presents a ripe opportunity for a modern fun drama that transports us backstage into the heady and fabulous extremes of the music business.”

Brian Park, MD of Shed Productions, says: “Rock Rivals has a real buzz to it and promises to be a worthy successor to Footballers’ Wives – a blitzy combination of wild characters and pacey plots set against a world of ruthless ambition.”

Wednesday 12 March 2008 9:00pm – 10:00pm on ITV1.

We join top rated TV talent show Rock Rivals during the live show finals. Head judging team and husband and wife creative duo Malcolm (Sean Gallagher) and Karina Faith (Michelle Collins) are proud mentors to the contestants that have earned them their fortune. Malcolm has always had the occasional affair that his wife was prepared to tolerate as long as they were kept secret. But the whistle is blown when his assistant Jinx (Sophia Dawnay) tricks Mal into broadcasting their infidelity over the studio’s PA system to all the contestants present at the after show party.

Karina calls it a day and presses for a divorce from Mal, promising to take half of everything he owns. In a moment of drunken self-preservation, Mal phones his lawyer and serves Karina legal papers invoking a genius clause that should prove his sole-ownership of the show. Having been talked round by her friend and Rock Rivals vocal coach, Sundae Gorgeous (Nicola Hughes), Karina determines to give Mal another chance, only for the divorce papers to arrive at her doorstep the very next morning. Karina flies into a rage. Mal brings Jinx round to the house for some R&R and Karina retaliates by driving his beloved Ferrari into the swimming pool. The two are at loggerheads. They vow to prove who the genius behind the show is by taking their most promising protégés under their wing and have them win the show. The game is on.

Bethany (Holly Quin-Ankrah) is through to the live final of the competition, seemingly against the odds. She isn’t necessarily the favourite to win and has to deal with a barrage of very public abuse from Mal. After a particularly nasty and public dressing down, she takes scissors to herself on the live show and vows to walk away from the competition. Her pushy mum from hell, Lynette (Alison Newman), has other ideas and is determined her daughter should win no matter what. At her wits end, it all looks to be over for Bethany until Karina makes a personal appearance at her house offering a glimmer of promise at the end of the tunnel.

Luke (Sol Heras) is Mal’s favorite to win – a guaranteed star in the making – if only he could stay focused on the competition and not be distracted by any of his fellow contestants. Of particular concern to Mal, is one of his other mentorees, Dana (Sammy Glen), a girl Luke started dating during the auditions. As far as Mal’s concerned, Luke was his golden ticket pre-“Karina incident” but once the stakes are raised, Mal is prepared to do anything to ensure his best stab at wining the competition doesn’t take his eye off the ball and is kept away from Dana. Unbeknown to Mal, Luke proposes to Dana as a sign of faith.

Meanwhile, Felix (Adam Leese), a lonely stalker with his own inflatable effigy of his number one Rock Rival, Luke Ellis, has an obsession that’s spilling over into dangerous levels. Recognizing that he may have a rival for real Luke’s affections in Dana, he tracks Luke down to a fan signing and comes within a hair’s breadth of touching his true love. Now Felix has met real Luke in the flesh, a latex equivalent just doesn’t measure up.

Speaking about his role as Mal, Sean Gallagher says: “He is a record producer who, along with his wife, Karina has founded his own label and gone on to star in a talent show called Rock Rivals. He’s incredibly good at what he does, he knows what will work and what won’t work, and his track record in the industry has proven that. At the point at which we meet him, he is at the height of his success and now he believes he is untouchable. He’s gone a bit power crazy.

“They (Mal and Karina) have been partners for such a long time now and together they have built up an extremely successful business. They are extremely wealthy and live a rather fabulous lifestyle. They want for nothing and I honestly believe that they genuinely love each other. Mal genuinely does love Karina, despite his behaviour.”

Michelle Collins loved getting stuck into her role and Karina, even if it did mean she had to get wet. Michelle says: “I enjoyed slapping Sean around the face a few times and driving his character’s beloved sports car in a swimming pool after Karina finds out about a fling he’s been having. It was scary driving the car and the water was quite cold, but the hardest part was trying to keep my dignity whilst getting out of the car underwater and keeping my high heels on.”

Rock Rivals is commissioned by Director of Network Drama, Laura Mackie and Controller of Network Drama, Sally Haynes, is Executive Produced by Brian Park (Footballers Wives, Bad Girls) is produced by Emma Turner (New Tricks, Holby City), and is directed by Syd Macartney (New Tricks, Jane Hall), Farren Blackburn (Waterloo Road, Doctors), Ian Bevitt (The Chase, The Royal) and James Erskine (Robin Hood, Torchwood).

Sally Haynes says: “The ongoing appeal for this type of talent show presents a ripe opportunity for a modern fun drama that transports us backstage into the heady and fabulous extremes of the music business.”

Brian Park, MD of Shed Productions, says: “Rock Rivals has a real buzz to it and promises to be a worthy successor to Footballers’ Wives – a blitzy combination of wild characters and pacey plots set against a world of ruthless ambition.”

Wednesday 5 March 2008 9:00pm – 10:00pm on ITV1.

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