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Even Jesus can't save struggling Superstar; Shelley Vision.


I CAN imagine the reaction of anyone who was unfortunate enough to find themselves watching ITV's latest Saturday night prime time offering.

"Jesus Christ! Superstar!"

Did they really believe there was any DEMAND for it?

Let's face it, Andrew Lloyd Webber's record on television is not good.

Did they think people at work or the pub were saying: "You know what I'd love to see? Another Andrew Lloyd Webber talent show like Any Dream Will Do, I'd Do Anything and How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? And with Amanda Holden - not as a judge, but as a presenter! That'd be brilliant!"

Even previous winners including Jodie Prenger and Connie Fisher, who have done well in the theatre, are not stars many of us could care less about. As for ALW, he continues to be a strange, slightly creepy, figure. He said: "I keep saying 'charisma', 'charisma', 'charisma'," explaining what he was looking for and overlooking the fact that he just hasn't got any.

The prize of "a one on one with Andrew in his private villa in Majorca" just sounded rather alarming.

Admittedly, Superstar did have one large difference from his previous searches: Jesus - "the most iconic role of all time", as Holden described the Son of God.

"This is deadly serious!" emphasised Lord Lloyd-Webber - despite a collection of evidence to the contrary.

"I think Jesus could have been ginger," said one hopeful - possibly taking his persecution complex about his (ginger) hair too far.

"I fit the look," argued another wannabe. "I mean... Jesus was slim-build."

"We don't KNOW that!"

Lord Lloyd-Webber objected angrily - although I'm pretty confident he's not going to tour the country with a fat Messiah.

Jason Donovan offered one singer the sage advice: "You need to be focused.

"Jesus was focused." Indeed.

It was difficult to decide which was worse - the contestants who couldn't sing or the ones who could.

Watching amateur dramatics performances of songs from Jesus Christ Superstar was just not that entertaining. And the standard of unhinged idiots merrily murdering their favourite songs was not nearly as good (or bad) as in The X Factor.

"WHY SHOULD I DIE?" screeched one during his rendition of Gethsemane, possibly in pain.

You really know you're in trouble when your singing is being criticised by Mel C.

Naturally, it had all the usual ingredients of the genre - candidates talking about a personal "journey" and stressing, "I want this so badly".

Whenever somebody got put through, the chorus of Paradise by Coldplay rang out. We had to endure such fake dramas as which member of The Rock Tenors, a band competing against each other, had failed to go through - as if we cared.

Then there was the fate of Jonathan Ansell - who we were allegedly "familiar with" because he had been runner-up on The X Factor in 2004.

"I genuinely hope that the panel see that I could be Jesus," Jonathan said - a sentiment I've often expressed myself.

For some reason, Lord Lloyd-Webber spent most of the auditions not on the panel, but "lurking".

Instead, far too much airtime was devoted to David Grindrod, who might be Lord Lloyd-Webber's casting director, but has all the personality of a particularly dull accountant.

At the end, Holden claimed that they had "picked 40 potential superstars" - which they hadn't.

"They're such a bunch of varied people!" enthused Lord Lloyd-Webber - which they weren't. And last night, for reasons that weren't entirely clear, the remaining hopefuls "were totally cut off from the rest of the world on Superstar island".

Let's hope that they all stay there.


Garth from Wayne's World

Andy Murray's mum Judy

Don't smile or everyone will cop it

THE start of last night's Wallander was so idyllic, it was like a soppy coffee ad.

The gloomy but surprisingly well-spoken detective (Kenneth Branagh) and his new partner stood outside his new house in the countryside watching her son playing with his dog. He even smiled. Big mistake.

Pretty quickly, a pregnant prostitute was murdered, his colleague's head was smashed with a sledgehammer after Wallander ducked and the dog found a body in Wallander's back garden.

Inexplicably, he failed to connect this to the fact his neighbour was always driving a TRACTOR.

So, not a good night for Wallander.

Or the Swedish tourist board.

7/7 sorrow so moving

7/7: One Day In London was a simple, stylish collage of recollections about the 2005 bombings.

We heard stories from survivors, such as Tube passenger Bill Mann, but those who spoke of losing loved ones were the most moving. "There's this thing in me I don't really want to be counselled out of," said one woman.

"It's almost that I want to hold on to the angry feeling of my son being taken away. It's like I need that part of it - to keep me going."

Gripping, haunting television.

Stats of the week

1. Time it took on Brand X for Russell Brand to mention he met the Dalai Lama: 30 seconds

2. Time before a celebrity on When I Get Older talked about "going on a journey": 1 minute

3. Times in Ramsay Behind Bars that Gordon Ramsay mentioned his brother was a heroin addict who served time in prison: countless

Bad timing of the week

"When the sun shines, I just want to get outdoors. And cooking outdoors is one of the best things ever - whether it's in your back garden or going camping... it's all brilliant."

- Jamie Oliver (Jamie's Summer Food Rave Up). A) what sun? B) it's not

Bad news of the week

"Tonight, urologist Paul Anderson is back - tackling your penis problems!" - Dr Christian Jessen (Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the Clinic)

Break it to them gently

Presenter Garry Richardson: "What can it be like for your parents watching that?!"

Andy Murray: "I'm not really that bothered. It's harder for me"

(Wimbledon 2012)

Well, he said it

"I wouldn't mind a trampoline like that for myself when I go up for corners"

- Rio Ferdinand, who never scores for Man United, despite being 6ft 2in (Let's Get Gold)


"I'm a man down!

But he's not a team player!" - Gordon Ramsay as his "Bad Boy Brigade" of bakers loses a prisoner who has 76 convictions, including one for assault (Ramsay Behind Bars)

Patronising git of the week

"'Narrative' is just a word for 'story' - don't be scared of it!" - Russell Brand (Brand X)

Tell it like it is

"I don't know who the decorator was, but she deserves to be bitch-slapped"

- Alex Polizzi (The Hotel Inspector)

Wit of the week

Interviewer: "Who would you like to play you in a film?" Alan Partridge: "Damian Lewis - the ginger actor"

(Open Books with Martin Bryce)

Revelation of the week

"It's something I regret incredibly - that in my youth I messed with my brain" - Tory MP Louise Mensch admitting she took class A drugs (Question Time) Carry On Corrie

"It was a nun who taught me chess - Sister Kevin. They could choose their new names when they became nuns and she took hers from Saint Kevin of Glendalough - noticed for his great patience. The irony is, Sister Kevin was one of the most impatient people I've ever met"

- Mary plays with Roy (Coronation Street)

Writer of the week

"She holds the newborn baby aloft - like a captain lifting a fleshy World Cup"

- Alan Partridge reading from his autobiography (Open Books with Martin Bryce)

Little Miss Sunshine

"I stand in the playground with all the other mums and all I see is all the things the children can injure themselves on... You just live in a world where injury is an expectation as opposed to a surprise"

- Nurse at King's College Hospital (24 Hours In A&E)

Tell it like it is

"Can I ask you - 'cos I have been wondering for some years now: don't you ever get sick of yourself?"

- Alcoholic councillor Daniel's sister berates him (Blackout)

Christopher Eccleston (Blackout)

So good at drinking to oblivion, you could taste it

John McEnroe (Wimbledon 2012)

His commentary's almost as good as his tennis

Dynamo: Magician Impossible

What's he like at snap?

The Queen Vic's football team (EastEnders)

Managed by Kat - a tart every man suddenly fancies

Tim Henman (Wimbledon 2012) His commentary's almost as dull as his tennis

Brand X with Russell Brand Irritating and in love with himself


"One of the most beautiful things about Britain, apart from the NHS and the free education, is the British Army"

- Ex-Sex Pistols singer, John Lydon (Question Time)


HUNT David Grindrod, Lord Lloyd-Webber, Mel C and Jason Donovan GLOOMY Wallander SURVIVOR Bill Mann
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Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 9, 2012
Next Article:Plea to find dad missing on tiny isle; MYSTERY.

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