fairyd123: (John singing)
[personal profile] fairyd123
God today was a very very long recording -lots and lots of second takes which lead to a recording which was just shy of 4 hours long.

There was no pre-record this week and the BBC decided to mix things up a bit by rather randomly upgrading people to production guest status as well as assigning various people to fill the front section and the aisles. Not quite sure why they did that. Maybe they were aware that some people were going to more than one show and wanted to ensure that the audience looked different on camera by shuffling everyone around a bit. They also seemed to be keen on the more youthful members of the audience being seated at the front - possibly because of the band they had on that week - McFly.

All of which meant that by the time [livejournal.com profile] kingbantam and I got to go into the studio there were an awful lot of people in front of us. While we were queuing in the hallway to go in Scott appeared (looking as charmingly befuddled as ever) and after working out that yes we were all there to see John found his way to where he needed to be. Eventually we got into the studio and thankfully managed to get some very nice seats. This was the first week where they had a completely full house with more people than seats, possibly because they released an extra batch of tickets for the show. I have to say that having a full house definitely helped with the atmosphere - the noise levels were amazing.

The ordinary members of the audience weren't the only ones having difficulty finding seats. Scott was there with John's sister Carole and for a while it was clear that there didn't seem to be seats for them in the production section. John (wearing his shiny silver/grey suit which has a purpleish tinge under the lights and who started the show changing out of his trainers into his dress shoes revealing frighteningly bright neon lime green and orange socks!) was not happy about the lack of seats and was clearly about to launch himself up the steps to deal with the situation when seats were found for them!

Unlike the other weeks where the show had started with John singing we instead launched into one of the pieces from the show. The first "wish" centered around a group of 4 young boys (a couple of whom I think were brothers) who had formed a band called "My Kid Brother" (their VT segment included the immortal line that they had been in a band before but it had broken up due to "musical differences"). The boys' mum had been quite a rock chick in her youth and was thrilled that the boys were in a band. Their dream was to open for McFly in concert and John surprised them by bringing out McFly to sing for them (the boys were hilariously unimpressed throughout barely managing to string two words together). McFly then sang one of their numbers which was rather nice. I'm afraid I know virtually nothing about McFly and the little I know is from a girl on my flist who really likes them and is always posting pretty pictures of them so I can't possibly tell you what they sung. However half way through the song the boys' mother (dressed in red sparkly top with what looked like "Me Mum" emblazoned on it (As pointed out in the comments it was actually McMum which of course makes sense!)) appeared on wires flying down from the top of the stage, guitar in hand and rocked out with McFly. It was most awesome. I couldn't see the boys reaction from where I was sitting but judging from John's reaction it was completely hilarious.

John bought the kids on stage to meet the band (I have to say that McFly were brilliant with the kids - very generous and genuine which hasn't been the case with all the guest performers they've had) and John then told the dumbstruck kids(who were already traumatised by their flying mother!) that McFly wanted to sing the song the boys had written (something about going to a party) with them. John laughed that when the boys were told that they were coming today they had moaned about "having to go to a variety show".

The boys hustled off stage while McFly set up with John remarking that he "felt like their dad!" Bless him he did look a little older compared to them. McFly then did another song (Falling in Love?) which again was great - they were really good live. Then the boys came back. The boys' song was actually incredibly good (very Beastie Boys style music) while McFly graciously acted as backing singers (and were doing hilarious go-go style dance moves before the younger boys came on). At the end McFly asked if the boys would come and perform the song before one of their concerts which was a pretty amazing thing to offer - the mother nearly keeled over when they said it!

With that done they went back to the top of the show and recorded John's song. My memory is somewhat befuddled after 4 hours of filming but I think he sang Celebrate by Kool and the Gang. Edit - corrected it was "I'm So Excited" -I could visualise him singing it last night but could not recall the words at all! He sang it once while the cameras were focused on us (complete with much bum waggling) and then sang it again with his dancers (whose name I can't quite work out - it sounds like he calls them "the JB 8" but it could just as easily be something else) but there were technical difficulties so he had to do the entire routine again which he wasn't entirely thrilled with. But as it's a joy to see him sing live I can't complain about hearing him sing - even if it is the same song three times in a row!

Can't quite remember the order of the rest of it but:

A daughter set up her father for being a terrible dancer (complete with frankly totally awesome VT clip of him singing and dancing to Deliah unaware that he was being filmed) and John surprised him. His rather quick and witty banter with John had to be re-recorded because John lent too close to him and smothered his microphone. He had to do some cossack dancing with a group of Russian dancers (who were actually from Nottingham) in order to win some prizes which included a trip to Ibiza. He did the dancing surprisingly well and won all the prizes. Nice piece but not especially funny - I think these sort of dance sections only work if you go quite outlandish and funny with them such as the burly bloke dragged up and dancing to "La Cage Aux Folles".

The main "wish of the week" was a girl (whose name has sadly escaped me - possibly Kellie) who got to sing Good Morning Baltimore with the cast of Hairspray. She loved musical theatre and had always wanted to do it. She didn't really idolise any famous people but loved the character of Tracy Turnblatt from Hairspray. Her boyfriend explained that her mother had died when she was 14 and that she had lost all confidence in herself and that she had to come to love Tracey and her positive attitude and all she represented. John surprised her by posing as a trainee hairdresser (somehow they managed to talk this girl into wearing a blindfold while she was getting her hair done!) and John was actually washing her hair for her (shampooing it and everything!) whilst talking about musicals in a spectacularly ropey accent which seemed to be Northern one minute, Scottish the next - it was a quite unique accent - it was wandering up and down the British Isles. This meant we got the hilarity of seeing this poor girl merrily chatting about the Joseph and Nancy shows and talking about Andrew Lloyd Webber and Denise Van Outen while getting John's name wrong (John's face was a picture!).

Having taken the blindfold off the girl understandably squealed in surprise and burst into tears when John said that she would be going to see Hairspray and to meet the cast afterwards. It was a really genuinely touching moment. After she saw the show John invited her to sing on Tonight's the Night and she appeared dressed as Tracy singing Good Morning Baltimore alongside Leanne Jones who is the current West End Tracy. Again they had technical difficulties and the poor girl had to do the whole song twice but at least she got a lovely bouquet of flowers from Ben James Ellis who had shown up dressed in character purely to give her the flowers as he wasn't included in the song!

The stage fright section this week was all about football which meant we got to see John in blue shorts! His competition was Matt Dawson who had appeared as the challenger in the pilot doing the fire twirling routine which Gethin ultimately did in the first episode. The task was to do some freestyle football moves. The VT clips were hilarious with a deadpan Matt saying that with John's dance training and such he thought he'd be pretty good at the task (cue VT footage of John being really pretty hopeless with the ball flying just about everywhere but where he wanted it to be) and a cocky Matt thinking he was awesome and being shown up completely by a bunch of little kids.

As for the task itself it has to be said that this wasn't a strong week for John. He started off well - lots of fun jazz style moves sitting on the ball and spreading his legs wide and all that sort of thing but his ball control wasn't brilliant and of the three moves that he was meant to be pulling off it wasn't at all clear what he was trying to do for two of them. He was trying to do some sort of move whereby he balanced the ball on the back of his neck and then I guess maybe did push ups or something like that but the ball kept rolling away and he basically abandoned the 2nd move altogether.

His third move though was very impressive. He was on his hands and knees with the ball balanced on his neck and managed to take his t-shirt off over his head without dislodging the ball. Very nifty!!
And he has some very fine arms!

Objectively Matt Dawson was much much better with the ball and considerably more skillful (and he amusingly took over his ball to John to kiss at one point during his routine) but its John's show and the audience are there to see him so despite him urging people to vote for the best performer he won again! I suspect that eventually they will just fix the vote so that someone else wins. Although it was funny hearing Matt Dawson gripe that John had to resort to getting half naked to win and that John "has had more practice playing with balls" which had John retorting that it was probably the first time a man had kissed Matt's balls.

John in a fit of high spirits risked a personal injury lawsuit by kicking the ball into the crowd which [livejournal.com profile] kingbantam caught only for John to whisper frantically in warm up guy's Stewarts ear and Stewart have to come over and sheepishly ask for the ball back as it didn't belong to the BBC but to the football school. I think John just wanted his ball back! He and Matt did sign a football but I have no idea how they thought that was going to be fairly distributed to someone in the crowd without people fighting for it and it getting a bit nasty so thankfully it went to a little boy (who I think was part of the group of kids showing up Matt Dawson in the VT clip) who was told he could have the ball if he showed off what he could do. Cue a brief masterclass in freestyle football skills! He was incredible and I'm glad that the ball went to him. John was really impressed with him.

They abandoned the quiz this week (its a bit naff to be honest) and as such could fit in another set up piece. This time it was a guy who was a policeman who worked at Birmingham airport and had been badly affected by seeing the injured troops coming off the planes from Iraq. He organised a charity day where they seemed to have a team of men pulling a plane by hand and then carried a person on a stretcher all the way to the local hospital. The day raised £,000 for the troops. The guy was a huge Katherine Jenkins fan (and especially liked the fact that she does so much charity work with the troops and our boys returning from Iraq) and so was surprised with VT clips of her at his house talking to his family (I heard him say "Thats my mug" when she was shown drinking which really amused me) and she then appeared and sang for him. Well, she appeared and massacred Seal's A Kiss From a Rose...twice (more technical difficulties although she was clearly unhappy with the way the first recording went). I'm sure she has a very lovely voice but I didn't think her voice really lent itself to the song and it just didn't really work for me. Still it was nice of her to come although I am amused that so far a lot of the people appearing on the show are interconnected (Gethin is John's mate, Katherine is Gethin's girlfriend, Ben James Ellis and Jodie Prenger are both on Gavin's books...) Although I think she said that it was an honour to come and sing for him which was a very lovely thing to say.

They did the "workplace wonders" section again and this time the professions were much more evenly matched - waitresses versus accountants (rather than people who save lives versus people who don't which they had done in the previous two shows!). The accounants all looked fantastic with the guys in suits with shiny silver umbrellas and the girls in gorgeous full length coral coloured gowns with lots of faux bling. They had a lot of support but came across as a teeny bit full of themselves which was off putting. They sang Madonna's Material Girl complete with very entertaining dance routine. By the time they actually got on to sing I'd been sat there for 3 + hours and was pretty knackered with a raging headache so didn't quite feel like joining in with the supportive clapping in time that everyone else was doing. This resulted in [livejournal.com profile] kingbantam and I getting told off by John as he looked at us and mimed that we should clap along so like total lemmings we did! I can't believe we got told off! Ha - very funny!

The waitresses (who looked absolutely gorgeous in 1950's style twin sets with full polka dot skirts) sang Candy Man by Christina Aguilara. They didn't seem to have brought any supporters to the studio but they were brilliant - they had fantastic voices and very deservingly won.

Each week in between all the action on stage they have been having a "sing off" between members of the audience. The first two weeks the prize was just first pick out of Stewart's tin of Roses but this week you could win a "bottle of bubbly" (which is actually a bottle of kid's bubble bath!) Each time John has set someone up for it. First week it was Scott, the next week the two young boys who were clearly friends and this week he set his sister up! He said it was payback for all the times she was mean to him as a kid (both he and Carole relayed some of the stories in Anything Goes) and that Carole should sing something from The Sound of Music as she had always wanted to be Fraulein Maria and that he and Carole used to fight over who got to sing the songs! John said that Scott could help out with the chorus on the grounds that he was late and that they'd caught Scott on camera yawning away (John: "He's so over it".) Carole gamely sang "Doe a Deer" from The Sound of Music (Scott did not join in but the audience did) and well as she put it - she got the brains John got the voice! John said that he had watched it on the monitor and that she was "rubbish"!

One guy massacred The Wonder of You by Elvis and two girls sang Songbird by Eva Cassidy (when they were asking Matt (Brind - John's musical director) whether he knew the song John interjected and just about made my millennium by starting to sing Eva Cassidy's version of Fields of Gold - I love her version and would kill to hear him sing it - John said it always makes him cry - that makes two of us). The girls were extremly good and justifiably won the "bubbly".

And John finished up by singing "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" complete with dancers in cute 60's style outfits and a frankly ridiculous amount of glitter!

Another really fabulous show - I am so so hoping that it doesn't get completely obliterated by Britain's Got Talent when it starts airing because it's such an amazing show it really does deserve to do incredibly well for him.

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