ITV Superstar Who will be your Jesus?


ITV 1’s “Superstar” is drawing to a close and the Jesus for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s arena tour is going to be chosen by the general public. I can’t help but feel pessimistic as all my favourites including Nathan James and Naill Horan have been voted out.

Assisting Andrew Lloyd Webber in the search was pop icon Jason Donovan, actress  and comedy legend Dawn French and Melanie C (who has been chosen to play Mary Magdeline in the arena tour) Not who I would have chosen. I adore the musical and as it closed in Londons’ West End in 1998 I was FAR too young to see the show. Now it will tour Britain’s largest arenas for the first time EVER!

Nathan James

In terms of the contestants, Nathan James was BY FAR one of my favourites and had one of the best if not the best voice in the competition however, he didn’t do himself any favours through his rather childish behaviour. One thing there was no denying was his exceptional talent. His version of “Sweet Child of Mine” was OUTSTANDING!

It was made very clear last night that it was the end of the road for Nathan when huge sparks flew between Andrew Lloyd Webber and him.  Andrew Lloyd Webber humiliated him and slammed his “Twitter ego” on national television. Though he was impressed by James’ performance, Lloyd Webber criticised the 23-year-old’s ego and incessant tweeting, saying:

‘Nathan, your voice is amazing but I think you need to love the song more than you love yourself. Why do you keep tweeting the things you keep tweeting? I worry what you’re going to be like in rehearsal and why did you tweet a picture of yourself wearing a crown of thorns?’

(Picture below)

I thought it was cruel, the way in which Nathan James was victimized on live national television.

Dawn French quickly stated that he may be better in the role of Judas, although Lloyd Webber has already cast Tim Minchin in the role (again, not who I would have chosen)

He caused quite a stir on Twitter. I have to say Gareth Gates tweeted a very fair point :

    Gareth Gates ‏@Gareth_Gates

Gareth Gates

“Oh I’m so gutted for Nathan… Such an amazing voice. BUT someone needs to tell him how to behave on shows like this. Shame #superstar

Nathan’s  best friend (former pop idol contestant  Zoe Birkett also tweeted a warning to him)

Zoe Birkett   Zoe Birkett ‏@Birko1

@TheNathanJames stop tweeting!!!!! Seriously !! i told u! They watch everything!!xx”

My overall opinion of the competition

I completely disagree with the way that ITV host any talent searches they do, including X-Factor which has gone hugely downhill! What was the need to fly the Superstar contestants abroad to perform? And as for the the breaks… I hate them! Yes it gives you time to run to the toilet but personally I’d rather just get on with the programme ! The show’s format was far too similar to that of the X-Factors for my liking and had it been shown by BBC1 then I feel that it would have been far superior.

Like I said earlier now that my favourites Nathan James and Naill Horan have gone I’m not particularly bothered who wins. The casting of the arena tour is a JOKE anyway. Melanie C as Mary??! Her voice really isn’t up to scratch for the role in my opinion and her dictation is DREADFUL and can Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles ACTUALLY SING?!

 

WHY ARE THEY NOT SINGING SHOW TUNES?!

Another thing which really annoyed me was the fact that the contestants have barely sung any show tunes during the series. I’m a real theatre geek and love the songs from the musicals but in this department they were strongly lacking. How is getting the guys to sing pop songs going to help them tackle the falsetto rock opera role of Jesus? Well it’s not ! I think the winner will be in for a real shock.

Now that the competition is nearly over I actually don’t care who wins- we have the choice of Roger Wright, David Hunter, Rory Taylor and Ben Forster.

Well there’s only one question left remaining ? – WHO WILL BE YOUR JESUS?

New single release : Balsamo Deighton – “I Don’t Know Why” (A review)


I don’t know why but it’s a song that caught my eye!

Firstly before you begin reading this blog post you need to watch this video…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3WHBB9-bG4

My interpretation of the song : 

What are your thoughts? The song captures so much raw emotion and the meanings are so deep, that it probably means something different to everyone.  To me it is a song about battling through the difficult periods that life throws at us but without music, the characters within the song would not be able to get by : “If there were no music then I would not get through.”

The music video tells a story, a tale of a convict (Played by Steve Balsamo) who committed a “passion crime” and his reprieve has been denied (as shown on a newspaper) although the seriousness of the crime he committed within the tale is not made clear. The female character (Rosalie Deighton) is reassuring the convict that somewhere on earth there is a place for him and there is always hope “I don’t know where but there will be a place for you” 

Themes within the song :

There are many themes within the song. Hope is a main one : “I don’t know why, somewhere dreams come true” although, there seems very little hope for the main character. Religion is another it is hinted at that the convict is potentially a christian, as he has a cross tattooed on his neck. He is willing to make sacrifices “I would lay down my life for you” for the person he loves. Music is import to both of the characters “If there were no music then I would not get through”– it is obviously one of their only sources of happiness through their hardship.

The singers’ backgrounds

STEVE BALSAMO

Steve Balsamo is probably best known for portraying Jesus in Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ famous musical “Jesus Christ Superstar”  Balsamo was called to an audition when a friend of his mentioned to him that Andrew Lloyd Webber was looking for someone to play the role of Jesus, he seized the opportunity to showcase his incredible 3.5 octave vocal range. Despite his lack of west end experience he was chosen to play the role over the thousands of others who had auditioned.

Balsamo then received a recording contract with Columbia records and released “Sugar for the soul” in 2002 which entered the UK top 40. He returned to the stage in 2003 starring in a brand new musical “Notre Dame de Paris”

His next project was “Poe: More Tales of Mystery and Imagination”  a new musical and an album by Alan Parsons Project writer Eric Woolfson, based on the life of poet Edgar Alan Poe. It premiered at Abbey Road Studios in 2003.

In 2004 Steve Balsamo formed a band called The Storys ; a country rock band. Much more recently he has been working with Rosalie Deighton.

ROSALIE DEIGHTON

Rosalie Deighton is a member of the band “The Storys” created by Steve Balsamo. They have been writing folk style music together and are in the process of creating an album, “I don’t know why” written by Shawn Colvin being one of the featuring songs.

Release :

The single is due to be released on I-tunes on 29/7/12

More information can be found about the single and duo on :

www.balsamodeighton.com

There are no Losers in this Loserville !!!!


Loserville at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

I gratefully received my ONE WAY TICKET not OUT OF oh no…. but INTO LOSERVILLE for my 20th Birthday.

The show premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse (Quarry Theatre) in Leeds on the 18th of June starring a superb fresh cast including : Gareth Gates (Pop Idol, Joseph and Les Miserables) and Chris Hardman- better known as Lil’ Chris (Rock School)

The actually Quarry theatre itself (in the West Yorkshire Playhouse) is quite small and although it has sloped seats there isn’t a stage… just a flat floor for the cast to perform on. My Mum and I had front row (row A) seats, it was incredible and really felt like we were in on the action!

Brief plot overview

The central story is pretty timeless; lead geek and awkward social misfit Michael Dork (Aaron Sidwell- Eastenders) is determined to ‘fit in’ and grasp the attention of his school peers and love interest Holly Manson (Eliza-Hope Bennett) who has the issue of being “Cursed with brains and looks”. People just don’t take her seriously and she has a secret; one which could potentially be used against her if it gets into the wrong hands!

Dork struggles to ‘reach for his dream’, as his confidence is being crushed by the shallow, arrogant lead jock Eddie Arch and spoiled rich son of the owner of “Arch Systems” (Gareth Gates) He is seemingly determined to make Dork’s life a misery and steal the girl of his dreams. Tagging along with are him his two equally ‘brainless’ sidekicks Huey (Robbie Boyle) and Wayne ! However, help is at hand in the form of Michael Dork’s two best friends socially “retarded” yet lovable geeky comical duo Francis Weir (Lil’ Chris) and Marvin (Dan Buckley) Outcast Lucas Lloyd (Richard Lowe) claims to be happy in the ‘geek camp’ but is he really? And can he be trusted? Only time will tell!

School plastic ‘Princess Leila’ s (Charlotte Harwood) only ambition in life is to be rich and marry Eddie, she wants his babies!- or at least thinks she does ! What is the malicious Eddie Arch really capable of ? You’ll just have to see the show to find out !

  (Gareth Gates as Eddie Arch)

Personal Verdict

All I can say is WOW! What a show and a half! Ex- Busted & Son of Dork (and quite frankly a musical GENIOUS) James Bourne teamed up with Elliot Davis to concoct this masterpiece which is loosely based around Bourne’s Son of Dork song “Ticket outta Loserville”

It was such a breath of fresh air, like nothing I have ever seen before. In terms of the actual stage set used, it was very minimalist. THE CAST WERE THE SET as more often than not they held up picture boards which represented the story. I loved the fact that the show had opening and closing credits the cast members entered the stage holding up a board with their character name on one side and their real name on the other….very cinematic!

Being in the charts from a very young age I feel that Chris Hardman’s strongest point was his acting. He should seriously consider becoming a comedian at some point, his comical timing was perfection and I couldn’t help but laugh at his VERY ANNOYING squeaky American Accent.

I still find it so fascinating that Gareth Gates doesn’t stammer when he is performing. I mean, we all know that he doesn’t stammer when he sings but he doesn’t when he acts either. There doesn’t seem to be a known explanation for this at the present however, he has said himself on previous interviews that he feels that it’s because he develops a different “persona” on stage. He’s not just Gareth Gates…. he’s Gareth Gates the actor/ performer!

Meeting James Bourne and Gareth Gates

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting James Bourne with my Mum not once but TWICE on the same day! We met James Bourne for the first time at the interval. I noticed him sitting at a table quietly signing some autographs. We approached him and I asked if he would mind signing my program-me to which he agreed. My Mum is a bit of a LEG-END and proceeded to tell him how much we LOVED the show (I was a little star-struck) she said something along the lines of it being “SO Vibrant and fresh” – his face ABSOLUTELY LIT UP and he said “Wow thank-you so much….and then HE HIGH-FIVED HER !!” What a lovely guy !

I met the wonderful Gareth Gates after the show also, and as always I am so incredibly proud to be a valued fan of his , he is a true gentleman! People are far too quick to judge him; forgetting that he is no-longer the 17 year-old boy who appeared on our screens 10 years ago, he has bloomed into a sublime West End performer I believe that Gareth has found his niche, he is such a wonderfully natural performer WITH A VOICE TO DIE FOR !

Posted Image

Personally I will be DEVASTATED if this show does not transfer to the West End/ go on tour ! It’s far too magnificent to “LOSE” !

The show runs until June 18th at “The West Yorkshire Playhouse”

You’d be a ‘Loser’ to miss out BOOK HERE :

http://www.wyp.org.uk/what’s-on/book-tickets?eventid=1924&type=eventlist