Following the success of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, Any Dream Will Do and I’d Do Anything, Over the Rainbow reunites host Graham Norton and Andrew Lloyd Webber, who, along with a brand new panel of experts (Sheila Hancock, Charlotte Church and John Partridge) and BBC ONE viewers, will choose a Dorothy to perform in the West End production of The Wizard of Oz next year. The show transmits with a weekend special on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th March, then the live studio shows start on Saturday 3rd April (time tbc).
Viewers will see thousands of hopefuls turning up at open auditions across the country in Friday night’s show, in a bid to become the newest star of the West End. As the selection process continues, Saturday’s show will showcase the final twenty ‘Dorothys’ in a studio-based ‘sing-off’ – judged by the panel and Andrew, who will make a selection down to ten girls.
Andrew Lloyd Webber commented: “I would like to bring something new to The Wizard of Oz. I’m searching for a modern Dorothy, who can take the role much further, and continue to appeal to a wide audience. The film worked fantastically but we need some new songs for the stage show in addition to the much-loved originals from the movie. “Over The Rainbow” is of course one of the greatest songs ever written.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber is also searching for a Toto, for a one-off gala performance of The Wizard of Oz, when it hits the West End stage next year. Jodie Prenger (winner of 2008’s I’d Do Anything) will lead the search for Toto in April, at two open audition days. Viewers will be able to follow the dogs progress across the series, as they do their best to charm dedicated cat man, Andrew Lloyd Webber!
The ‘Wild Card’
In a surprise ‘wild card’ element of the show, after the panel – led by Andrew Lloyd Webber – has agreed upon the ten finalists, viewers will be invited to vote to save one of the girls who doesn’t get through the panels’ vote, to return next week. Telephone lines will open for a set amount of time after these ten girls have all performed a sing-off song, and the contestant with the most votes will be revealed the following week, in the first live show to air 3rd April. The results of the ‘wild card’ vote plus the ten ‘Dorothys’ will perform for their chance to stay in the competition, and be critiqued by the panel and Andrew. Viewers will have the opportunity to cast their votes, and the outcome will be announced in the results show. The two contestants with the least amount of votes will perform a ‘sing-off’, and Andrew Lloyd Webber will determine the contestant he wants to remain in the competition.