What to say if you liked it
The heartwarming fruition of the avid ambitions of amateur performers who get the chance to star in a West End musical.
What to say if you didn’t like it
The X-Factor for snobs in which the hopeful singers don’t soil their souls belting out pop music.
What was good about it?
• The performers highlighted in the show, notably Deborah Lee-Burns and Alex Wetherall, were often very talented singers who were able to hold a note longer than Simon Cowell can keep his mouth shut.
• There was no mocking of awful performers – because there were no awful performers. While exposing the talentless has been done to death on Pop Idol, it was fresh, bordering on the innovative, for the judges to discuss constructively the merits of each audition privately.
• Dance tutor Stacey Haynes’s passion to discover good dancers and her delight when she stumbled upon a goldmine of them in Manchester.
What was bad about it?
• Musical director Gareth Valentine wearing his glasses on his forehead.
• Many of the performers singing in insincere American accents.
• Whenever any of the judges felt guilty about a decision, they all indulged in group therapy sessions to absolve their consciences of guilt. This was most evident when the talented Rebecca O’Brien was tossed out of the contest for being too short. Stacey
especially overemphasised the realities of musicals that people who are 4’ 10” won’t win roles, while trying to sound as though she was one of the industry disciples following an edict rather than the member of the judiciary she really is.
• The judges performed songs far too often as though seeking to promote themselves. The programme culminated in the worst performance during the end credits as Gareth sat at the piano warbling a dreadful song about Musicality, feebly assisted by Stacey and voice coach Mary King.
• The Friends-style idiot landmark scenery to illustrate to geographical morons in what part of the country they were in, such as the Severn Bridge in to Wales, where Gareth helpfully read out the Welcome To Wales sign.
• The seemingly fake conversation between Gareth and Mary that neatly précised their current situation as they drove to Manchester.
• Stacey’s choice of music for her dance auditions was consistently abysmal and could perhaps explain why she found it so difficult to find decent movers; even Rudolf Nureyev would have flounced about like a Stonehenge obelisk if he had to bop to Lady Marmalade.