fairyd123: (John singing)
[personal profile] fairyd123
Just got back from seeing the second show of Tonight's the Night.

Thankfully things went much more smoothly than last week when we had a rather painfully long 12 hour day.

First up was the pre-record. My friend and I had actually decided that we weren't going to use our pre-record tickets as last week the organisation was a bit of a shambles and we didn't want to risk using the pre-record tickets and not getting into the evening show, which based on what we'd seen the previous week seemed like a very real possibility. However thankfully the BBC had sorted themselves out since the first show (plus they were very light on audience) so we were all encouraged to go in.

I admit I don't know what the BBC website says about the pre-records but it would be fair to say that a lot of people seem to be showing up each week not quite understanding what they actually are. The pre-record is just for the filming of the child of the week's wish. People are apparently travelling long distances just to go to the pre-record thinking that they are going to see a full show and being pretty devastated when they realise they aren't. Really unless you have a ticket for the evening show or live local going to the pre-record isn't really worth it as it's only 45 minutes to an hour of filming which includes very little of John.

Anyway we got into the studios and were ushered into a decent seat. John appeared fairly soon thereafter looking resplendent in his shiny silver suit. The child of the week was an 8 year old girl called Jade who had saved her mother's life was she was only 5 years old by calling the emergency services and following their instructions when her mum had a seizure. Jade loved performing so her parents wanted her to perform on stage. They rolled a VT clip where they showed John getting dressed up as a gorilla ( this has to be seen to be believed - I mean it was a huge hairy gorilla suit!) and surprising Jade and her brownie pack at the zoo by apppearing in an enclosure as a gorilla who loves to dance (complete with bum waggling dance routine to "I like to move it, move it") before pulling his gorilla head off and revealing to a surprised Jade (who to be honest didn't look like she actually knew who John was) that she was going to be performing on the show.

She then did a dance routine while The Saturdays performed one of their songs. She was a fantastic gymnast - very impressive. Unfortunately the routine had to be done again because of technical difficulties so poor Jade had to pretend that she didn't know that The Saturdays were going to appear. But she was a great child performer - very animated and very polite.

John said hello to the brownies and showed his inability to do the brownie sign and then did a few pick up lines (including one for something that was filmed last week) which the people in the galley evidently told him he was doing "too big" so he got a bit huffy and said that the audience didn't agree and that if he couldn't do it in his way he would just be like every other presenter on tv! I love Diva John!

And that was it for the pre-record - so not worth travelling for if that was all you were seeing!

After a bit of a wait (bit of a packed foyer as Graham Norton's new show was filming today too) we went back into the studio. My friend and I got great seats in the tiered section with a perfect view of the stage with the only drawback being that an individual near us had decided to adopt an au naturel approach to body odour. Now I'm all for going organic but this was ridiculous. But apart from that extreme unpleasantness we were perfectly delighted with our seats.

John appeared and amused me by blatantly scoping out the crowd - he likes to have a good look at everyone who has come to see him.

Like last week he started the show with another high energy song and dance number - Last week it was Don't Stop Me Now - this time Could it Be Magic. John and the galley clearly weren't happy with the vocals or the movement so they did it again. I have to say I've been very impressed at how slick and well choreographed the dance routines are - apparantly he's going to be using the same sort of set up on his tour which will be interesting to watch. John's singing was, as always, wonderful and he seems to be having the time of his life on the show.

The first surprise was a woman who loved her fashion and spent 2 hours every morning getting ready - her friend had set her up and John had footage of her trying on 7 different outfts before going out the previous evening. As it turned out she and her friend were sat just behind us so I suspect the chances of my friend and I not being in camera shot are slim - god I get self conscious whenever the cameras come near! I find myself sucking in my stomach and worrying about my hair! Close up John's suit was very very shiny, his teeth blindingly white and ever so perfect and his thick make up somewhat disconcerting! He was looking as handsome as ever though.

In order for the woman to win a trip to Milan (a trip leaving on Tuesday although she doesn't have a passport! (although John was assuring her she could get it in 24 hours as he had lost his before!)) she had to do a routine with 2 very clever quick change artists which she did rather well. It was a nice piece although inevitably not as amusing as the La Cage Aux Folles dance routine from the previous week.

John's stage fright section this week saw him up against Olympic gold medal winner Denise Lewis (in the VT clip of her training she was jokingly insulting John which had him in hysterics when he saw it). Last week it was the fire twirling scene from the Pilot - this week it was a martial arts themed challenge. This meant that John dressed up in a blue oriental style pyjama type outfit which he wore underneath his blue and white sparkly crystal JB robe (which I rather covet - its fabulous!).

The martial arts guys came out and did an amazing routine and then John and Denise had to each do some martial arts moves before the final challenge- which for John consisted of laying his hand palm down on the table, resting a brick on top of it (which was set alight!) and then with his other hand (which was holding another brick) - hit the lit brick and smash it in half without managing to break his hand in the process!

I'm not very good with the stage fright section as I'm always convinced he's going to hurt himself and I find myself sitting there wincing in anticipation. As it turned out the first time he did it he didn't manage to smash the brick but he did the second time. Although unfortunately he did manage to slightly hurt his hand and was making very sad emo faces and turning big old puppy dog eyes on the audience and looking for sympathy from them as "his mum lives in another country so he needs to get sympathy elsewhere." Bless him! I do worry - he could easily damage himself.

Denise didn't do the trick with the bricks but had to break a board with her hand without breaking an egg which she was holding in that same hand. She broke the board but unfortunately she broke the egg at the same time.

When it came to the audience vote despite pleas from Stewart the warm up guy for everyone to be objective inevitably John won! In fairness Denise was better at the martial arts moves (although John's final challenge was harder) but I'm always going to vote for John over the challenger! John winning meant someone in the audience got a day in a recording studio which was nice.

They then did the "work place wonders" section where a group of paramedics performed Sweet Child of Mine while a choir from the Tesco's Cardiff call centre performed 9 to 5. The audience again have to vote for who they think is best and I do actually think it's a bit unfair as people are inevitably voting for the profession rather than the routine. Last week it was a choice between firefighters and bingo callers (funnily enough the firefighters got my vote) and this week it was paramedics versus call centre staff - so the people who help save lives got my vote although whilst none of the call centre guys had particularly good voices their dance routine was fab and hugely entertaining and they all had very cute outfits which completely worked with their theme.

If the BBC want people to vote for the performance they need to match the professions a little more evenly.

The audience participation sections were as silly as ever. On the audience questionnaire 3 people had filled in that their childhood dream was to be an astronaut so they got hauled out of the audience and had to don fake space suits and do their best moon walk (while John sang a bit of Billie Jean) in order to win the chance of a trip to the space centre in Brusssels. There was also a very cute bit where John surprised one audience member with an embarassing story about splitting her trousers before going for a job interview but because of where she was sat she wasn't in the light and so she had to swap seats and do it again and pretend to be surprised. Only she kept getting up before John had said her name which was very funny.

Also 3 audience members did a "sing off" to fill time in between. John encouraged the warm up guy towards two little boys in the audience (clearly his friends or relatives) and they very nervously sung "We are the Champions", one girl sang Black Velvet and got hit on by members of the crew but my vote would have gone to the entertaining Scottish blokes singing Deliah who didn't know any of the words - very funny.

John also very kindly signed some autographs for those in the very front section in between filming - it wouldn't be how I would want to get an autograph from him I have to say - incredibly rushed as he's got a million and one things to think about and he barely looked up while he was signing whatever was thrust at him - but very very kind of him to do that when it's so not the time and place for that sort of thing - really above and beyond the call of duty. Can't imagine he'll be doing that every week.

John in general seemed very ebullient - he's clearly absolutely delighted to be doing his dream show and I really hope that it gets the ratings it deserves as live its fantastic. He got a little huffy about the sound levels of his microphone but that's why we love him but otherwise he was in a great mood playing with the crowd - at one point he revealed a worrying knowledge of QVC and some gizmo on there which lets you make your own bling called the Bedazzler!

Scott also turned up but very late in proceedings and so only got to see the final number.

The main wish of the week was a young guy who had always wanted to be a West End performer but having married young and had 2 children he now worked full time whilst also volunteering as a youth worker in his community. His wife had set him up on the grounds that he always thinks of everyone else before himself and she wanted him to have something for him for once. John surprised him by appearing in his living room supposedly delivering a pizza (John arrived on a motorcyle, complete with full leathers (rather attractive) and helmet (which had John in the studio dercying his terrible hair in the VT clip) . He sung with the cast of Jersey Boys and he looked great, had a very strong voice and was a really good mover. The whole thing was quite emotional and he got really choked up on stage about his dream coming true which was really lovely to see.

John's final number was "Baby Give it Up" (by KC and the Sunshine Band) - which had to be done twice once for vocals and then again because of the incredibly elaborate dance routine which ended with poor John being drowned in silver sparkles!

Not as funny a show as last's weeks but still incredibly brilliant- can't wait to see it when it finally airs.

Date: 2009-03-30 01:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laurapetri.livejournal.com
FABULOUS!!! Thanks for sharing

Date: 2009-03-30 01:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] promisedland24.livejournal.com
Thanks for the report :) I'd love to go to a recording, but I can't wait to see it on TV just as much :D

Date: 2009-03-30 02:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caseykc44.livejournal.com
Thank you so much. You're so lucky to get to go to this. I'm in the US so I have to live vicariously. I really appreciate hearing all the details of the show. It sounds wonderful. Hope someone will upload it for us when it airs.
Thanks again for a great report.

Date: 2009-03-30 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] qaffangyrl.livejournal.com
thank you so much for the recap! (maybe if it's a hit it'll make it to American TV someday.)

This part of your recap was my fav bit:
the people in the galley evidently told him he was doing "too big" so he got a bit huffy and said that the audience didn't agree and that if he couldn't do it in his way he would just be like every other presenter on tv! I love Diva John!

Date: 2009-03-30 07:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kampffenhoff.livejournal.com
Thanks for this but would someone please kindly explain what the sentence above in Italics means as I seem to be having one of what my oldest calls "Mum's having a Dumb German day".

How lucky to get to see these shows--I live not too far away but have four kids and the two little ones are both under 3---

Date: 2009-03-30 09:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
It means that the galley thought that the way he was delivering the words was too over the top, too much - so he was asked to tone it down.

Date: 2009-03-30 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kampffenhoff.livejournal.com
Thanks, but I am still as they say, in the darkness, over this. Do you mean he was too loud or too erm--Gay---if I can say that without sounding rude--or just too enthusiastic and boisterous?

Date: 2009-03-30 02:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
Not quite sure how to define it other than how I already have. They were concerned that his delivery was too over the top, too big, lacking in the subtlety they felt it required.

The show is the most gloriously camp thing I've ever seen (well short of Priscilla Queen of the Desert on stage) so I don't think that's a concern.

Date: 2009-03-30 03:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kampffenhoff.livejournal.com
Having no one to ask about this, my two little ones are useless in this regard, I looked it up in my biggest German-English dictionary and found it translated as exaggerated. This gave me some idea of what is meant, if that makes sense.

I asked my daughter and she said it meant Henry {an acquaintance of ours,} when he is trying to tell us how wonderful he is. HMMM

Oldest son is on a Field Trip to Norfolk to study Coastal Erosion. What use that will be to him I cannot imagine---

Date: 2009-03-30 08:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] verasteine.livejournal.com
Thank you for sharing, this sounds fantastic! Can't wait for it to air either.

Date: 2009-03-30 08:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] academia4me.livejournal.com
Thank you, I can always rely on you to do a full report :)

Roll on my next visit to TTN...

Date: 2009-03-30 10:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kino-san.livejournal.com
Hello just came across the report.

I was there at the recording too with a friend yesterday, and I had a great time. I really want to go again, but I have to spend my hoildays making notes for exams which are coming very soon. (Just a quick question how many shows are there overall?)

I have to agree on of the points you made. The bbc really should give more info on how the show actually works. The pre record was good but I found it hard to cheer again during the girl's preformance. I feel sorry for the people who came just for the pre record( I heard people behide me saying the pre record was crap..)and had to go after.

Also I came to the show wondering on why the show is not live, and I can understand now. John made lots of mistakes and it was fun to see him mess up.

But overall I am pleased with the show and would like to go again (If I could). I wonder if I will be TV? snice I was sitting at the back row of the frount, the cameras most likely got the back of me and my friends head!

Date: 2009-03-30 10:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
There are 6 shows overall.

I haven't looked at what the website says for the pre-records. My friend says that the site is pretty clear that you'll only see an insert being filmed with maybe a celebrity guest or two but I think people think "pre-record" means that they'll be showing a full pre-recorded show with a live show later which isn't the case. But anyone who travels long distances purely for the pre-record is barking mad.

Oh John didn't make many mistakes! Just a couple of flubbed readings - the performances usually need to be done again because of problems with sound - not the performers and considering the little girl had to do her act twice I thought she was amazing.

And you could well be in camera - they were getting lots of shots of the audience.

Date: 2009-03-30 01:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aresnz.livejournal.com
What a great report. Thanks for everything. I really hope this show does well in the ratings since it's the first major show of the John/Barker Productions; as well as John's dream show he really wanted to do.

Seems John is having a fantastic time with this and truly, truly enjoying himself. I couldn't be happier for him. Glad to hear Scott did make it there..eventually. LOL


Date: 2009-03-30 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
Depends what he's scheduled up against. If they find themselves airing opposite Britain's Got Talent then inevitably Tonight's the Night isn't going to win that battle as Britain's Got Talent is a ratings behemoth but the fact that its starting to air on Easter Saturday is a show of faith from the BBC.

Well Scott can't be at everything John does!

Date: 2009-03-30 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aresnz.livejournal.com
John is a huge draw and by BBC starting the show on Easter Saturday is showing huge faith in John and the show itself. Hopefully that will be a sign of good things to come. I know..as long as ratings are good.

You mean Scott doesn't go to everything John does?? LOL I'm sure he tries and we know John loves having him around.


Date: 2009-03-30 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
Captain Jack is a huge draw for the crowds.

John Barrowman is a small to medium draw as far as audience share goes. The Kids are Alright got pretty low viewing figures- the Nancy/Joseph shows do well but then they're not his show are they? John is very very far from being the biggest star the BBC has (the fact that he was in a smaller studio while Graham Norton's show was filming in the 500 seater studio on Sunday was a handy illustration of that) and the British media don't care for him.

If Tonights the Night is up against something like Britain's Got Talent it will inevitably get absolutely trounced in the ratings but as long as TtN makes a respectable showing in the ratings and does well in the necessary demographics then it could do incredibly well for John and as I said the fact that the Beeb have included him as part of their Easter Saturday line up is a nice show of faith in him.

Date: 2009-03-30 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aresnz.livejournal.com
Interesting points. I guess because we see John doing so much I just think he's a huge celebrity. Then again, I'm not in the UK where I may see more of what you're referring to. How many seats does the studio John use have? Why doesn't the British Media like John? John is very confident and maybe some people don't like that.

I would think if Tonight's The Night pulls decent ratings then the BBC will be most pleased. At least they're showing faith in the show by having it on Easter Saturday.


Date: 2009-03-30 02:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
Internet popularity and real world popularity are vastly different things. If you're following someone through the net and only get access to them through the info and vid clips etc that others post without a degree of real world context it is easy to misconstrue just how popular someone really is.

John was in about a 350 seater studio and they had to find some random audience members to fill in empty seats. Graham Norton was in a 500 seater studio and not all of his audience got in.

John is certainly a household name but there is of course a sliding scale of celebrity - he has his own BBC show and his autobiography was in The Times top sellers list for weeks but conversely his tour isn't sold out, his CD didn't sell at all well (never made the official top ten and was out of the top 50 within a couple of weeks)and most people I know don't know who he is although all recognise him if I say "Captain Jack". John isn't D list but he certainly isn't A list either although TtN could get him there.

The British media don't like John- the flashgate nonsense showed that. They think he's loud, over exposed and cheesy.

Tonights the Night could do very well for him and he's certainly put his heart and soul into it so I hope it gets rewarded with the ratings it deserves.

Date: 2009-03-30 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aresnz.livejournal.com
John really puts his heart & soul into everything he does. Here's hoping Tonight's The Night brings John the true recognition he so richly deserves. I think this show can really help display all his many talents.


Date: 2009-03-30 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chandlershaw.livejournal.com
Well it will follow the DW special so I think they hope they will retain the DW audience as much as anything.

Date: 2009-03-30 02:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] toottims.livejournal.com
Fantastic report,thanks for sharing your experiences.
It sounds like you have had a good time at the recordings.
I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished results.

Date: 2009-03-30 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
Thanks for the kind words about the report. I've no idea how its going to come together when it airs - but live its amazing - really loved each of the tapings so far. So I have high hopes for the finished result.

Date: 2009-03-30 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prawn658.livejournal.com
Thanks for the report. I wanted to read something like this when I had heard the Jersey Boys were performing. I can't wait for the show!

Date: 2009-04-05 05:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cinderblock42.livejournal.com
I just read your report - and am even more looking forward to the airing of the show. Also thank you for explaining the difference between the pre-record and the main part of the show. I didn't know that. I got an eTicket for the 19th, but have now no idea what it is for. It only says "Tonight's the Night", admission to the site 3:30, to the studio 5:30. I'll try to contact BBC and ask them - because I'm one of those fans who'd have to take a plane to London.

Thanks again for the lovely report - I was hoping for someone to post about a recording to get a small pre-airing behind-the-scenes peek. :-)

Date: 2009-04-05 10:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
Don't worry. You have a ticket for the actual show. Pre record tickets are being put up on the BBC website the week the show is recording if there is a pre-record that week (for example there is no pre record this week) so its worth you checking the week you are coming.also pre record tickets are clearly marked as such. Just keep your eye on your emails as they have changed the times for every recording so far from what was on the tickets.

Glad you liked the report.

Date: 2009-04-23 06:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cinderblock42.livejournal.com
Might be a bit random so long after your comment (RL is acting up at the moment), but I wanted to thank you for your advice. I ended up going to London last week, actually got in and had an absolutely brilliant time! :-D So thank you for your comment which encouraged me to take this chance!!!
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