In the second of four shows, the British public and Andrew Lloyd-Webber tonight combined to eliminate the youngest of the five hopefuls, Charlotte, from ‘Your Country Needs You’. The public vote put her in the ‘Dangerzone’ for the second time, together with the Emperors of Soul.
At the start of the show, Graham Norton introduced Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who entered the stage accompanied by two lovelies waving Union flags. With Andrew to comment on the songs was Lulu, who did the same task last week, and former Blue frontman, Duncan James. Following the introductions, all five acts joined together to sing the winner of the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest, Save Your Kisses for Me.
First to perform this week were The Twins. They sang The Promise by Girls Aloud. They wore pink dresses and ably performed the simple choreography. While the vocal was solid, their voices aren’t as strong as they might be. Andrew Lloyd-Webber said that should Moscow be ‘twinned’ with Sheffield (where the girls live) the act would work. Duncan James thought they did it better than Girls Aloud.
Emperors of Soul were next on stage singing Kiss by Prince. They wore shiny suits and were accompanied by five female backing dancers. While it worked well, it was possible to wonder how good they really are on their own as there will be virtually no room for any backing at all on the Eurovision stage. That aside, Andrew felt they had improved on last week’s performance, while Lulu said they are great entertainers and so much fun, although she did question their suitability for the contest. Duncan felt they need to update their styling.
Third to perform was one of the favourites, Jade, she sang a Christina Aguilera song, The Voice (not to be confused with the John Farnham song of the same name). Wearing a brown dress, she demonstrated why she is one of the favourites with a vocal which Duncan described as “just incredible” and admitted he was "blown away" by her. Lulu also loved it, saying she is “the whole package”. Andrew said it was a deliberate decision to give her something that was very different from last week.
Having survived the ‘Dangerzone’ last week, Charlotte put her disappointment aside to give a decent performance of Rain on Your Parade by Duffy. She had four dancers to help her and her vocal was adequate but seemed to lack the strength to have the necessary impact. Andrew expressed concern that the zoo of 43 acts at the contest might be a bit much for her to handle. While Duncan liked her, he agreed with Andrew. Lulu gave her some encouragement and said she had improved since last week.
Last and, according the opinions of fans, certainly not least, was Mark. He sang Billy Paul’s Me and Mrs Jones. He gave another performance full of smiles which, while out of character with the song, at least showed he was relaxed and confident. His vocals and stage work were both excellent. Andrew said the son of a sheep farmer had raised his ‘baa’, while Lulu and Duncan were both very impressed. Duncan went on to say that his theatrical voice has a richness which really comes across.
While the British public cast their votes, Graham went into the Green Room to speak with the acts and Andrew. The Twins were happy with their performance and Emperors of Soul said they have the charisma etc to be a success at the contest. Jade jokingly suggested she would be a rock chick next week if she got through. Charlotte felt she had achieved what she wanted to and Mark said he was relieved at giving a good performance as watching all the others had made him nervous.
After this, there was a film of all the acts meeting Diane Warren and singing to her. The film then cut to Andrew and Diane working together on the song (apparently). The boys joined up to sing one of Diane’s songs, Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. The girls took to the stage for the final time to sing another of Diane’s songs, Rhythm of the Night by Debarge. During the week, Andrew and Graham had the chance to see the competition so far. They were shown watching clips of the Turkish and Albanian songs and they didn’t seem too impressed.
After the phone lines were announced as closed, The Saturdays performed Up. As seems the norm on this type of show, the established act appearing as the special guest is the only one not to sing live.
Next, the moment of truth. Jade was told she was safe, the Emperors of Soul were told they were in the ‘Dangerzone’. Mark was then told he was also safe, leaving a nervous pair of twins and Charlotte to learn their fates. The Twins were safe and Charlotte was in the ‘Dangerzone’ for the second time.
After praising both acts, Andrew decided to save Emperors of Soul on the basis of his earlier comments. He reinforced his opinion of earlier that Charlotte would struggle under the pressure in Moscow, but said she should try again when she is more experienced.
Jade, Mark, Emperors of Soul and The Twins will now perform again next week and their dream is still alive, for now.