- Aspects of Love
- Bombay Dreams
- By Jeeves
- Jesus Christ Superstar
- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
- Love Never Dies
- Song and Dance
- Starlight Express
- Stephen ward
- Sunset Boulevard
- Tell Me on a Sunday
- The Beautiful Game
- The Likes of Us
- The Phantom of the Opera
- The Sound of Music
The Wizard of Oz
- Danielle Wade wins CBC’s Over The Rainbow
- Wizard of Oz nominated in 2012 Olivier Awards
- There’s NOSE place like home
- Royal Variety Performance broadcast
- Andrew Lloyd Webber to greet the Royal Party at this year’s Royal Variety Performance
- Over The Rainbow…Where Are They Now?
- We’re off to see the Wizard – and it’s Michael Crawford!
- Andrew visits Cardiff for a special announcement about Sophie Evans
- Oz Blog: The winner is revealed
- The last Dorothy mission….
- Oz Blog: The Final Countdown
- Danielle you are Dorothy… and here comes Dangerous Dave as Toto!
- Danielle, Lauren and Sophie have a go at Polo!
- The winning Dorothy to release charity single
- Sierra meets the Dorothys!
- Oz: Blog: Andrew makes his final choice and the final three are revealed
- Oz Blog: The Fantastic Four
- Andrew meets Bobby…
- Oz Blog: The second sing-off
- Oz Blog: A Dorothy Cull…
- We’re off to see The Wizard of Oz!
- From Nancy to Dorothy: A message from Sam and Niamh
- Oz Blog: An Emotional Goodbye
- Oz Blog: An audience with the Lord
- Andrew and the Dorothys get ready for their close up…
- An Over the Rainbow update from Andrew
- Andrew gets ready for next week’s Over The Rainbow
- It’s Toto time for Andrew…
- Oz Blog: Standing ovations as we say another goodbye
- Oz Blog: A chorus of Angels…
- Oz Blog: Another sad goodbye…
- Behind the scenes at Over The Rainbow
- Oz Blog: Making a Song and Dance
- Oz Blog: It’s goodbye to another of our Dorothies…
- Oz Blog: A Class Act
- Oz Blog: The first Dorothy flies over the rainbow
- Oz Blog: The first live show… and the public get to choose
- Oz Blog: 20 become 10…
- Oz Blog: Over The Rainbow kicks off with weekend special
- BBC ONE Follows the Yellow Brick Road, Over the Rainbow
- Andrew in Manchester
- Andrew begins his search for Dorothy
- Could you be Dorothy?
- The Woman in White
- Whistle Down the Wind
24th, May, 2010
Oz Blog: The Final Countdown
Returning Dorothys, excitable Totos, celeb-spotting aplenty and the longest queue outside the TV studios yet… it could only be the Over The Rainbow final. After nine weeks of live shows and several months of auditions, criticism and missions for the girls who made it through to the final shows, it was finally time for the winning Dorothy to be crowned. And, needless to say, the atmosphere was buzzing.
The excitement was palpable from the moment we joined the queue outside the Wembley studios. With everyone in their Saturday best and with the sun shining down, even the occasional interruption from football fans returning from nearby Wembley Stadium only added to the party atmosphere. We waited patiently behind finalist Sophie’s family, who were all in purple to match their girl’s gingham. Gavin and Stacey ’s Joanna Page ran past us in a gorgeously glamorous red dress – “I’ve never seen her so excited,” we were later told by a member of the production team.
Inside there were more familiar faces: Anthony Head was back to support his wife and Toto panellist Sarah Fisher, several Wild Card Dorothys took their seats in front of us and we spotted Any Dream Will Do finalist Daniel Boys up in the balcony. Theatre critic Mark Shenton and legendary casting director David Grindrod – who ably assisted Andrew in the early audition stages of Over The Rainbow – also added to the West End glamour of the occasion.
With the temperature rising and the first of the evening’s live shows about to begin, the noise in the studios was immense; apparently the loudest of the whole series in terms of decibel levels. Well, what else would you expect from the final? As we neared showtime, we watched as the final three girls – Lauren, Sophie and Danielle – each took a seat on a poppy-covered swing before being hoisted up to the top of the studio, from where they would later be lowered in. “Act like you’re seeing them for the first time!” Stu the warm-up-comedian advised.
Then there were the returning Dorothys. As each of the girls from past week’s shows walked back onset in their trademark coloured gingham, the audience cheered as the final eleven were reunited, with the public’s Wild Card Emilie and Amy, Bronte, Dani, Stephanie, Jenny, Jessica and Steph all joining the other three girls onstage.
A fantastic opening routine saw all eleven Dorothys performing a Wizard of Oz medley, also joined by a Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and several very cute munchkins. But it was, of course, all about the final three, as we saw Lauren, Danielle and Sophie getting some first-hand farm experience on Andrew’s country estate in Sydmonton – well, sort of.
So, time for the live performances. Sophie was first, singing ‘Tomorrow’ from Annie. Each of the girls’ first songs were chosen this week by Andrew, and the panel clearly liked Sophie’s performance. “The wonderful thing about you Sophie is you have true glamour… the way you lived that song was beautiful,” Sheila Hancock said. “I just want to tell you tonight how very proud of you I am,” John Partridge added, while Charlotte Church told Sophie: “There’s something about your face that is so emotive… I think Wales should be very proud of you.”
Lauren was up next, singing ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ from My Fair Lady. Another success. “This show is about finding a leading lady, and that’s what you are Lauren…“ John said. “Lauren, I think you have the best voice in the competition… that top note was flawless,” Charlotte told her. Sheila’s comment – “at the beginning, I thought you were a bit ‘eyes, teeth and tits’” drew giggles and gasps from the audience. “I don’t care, the show is finished; they can’t sack me!” she said, before going on to praise Lauren’s final note as one of “pure joy.” Andrew echoed a comment of John’s, saying, “you’re a producers dream, I think you’re fantastic.”
Next up was Danielle, singing ’76 Trombones’ from The Music Man. “I remember you in the first workshop, and it was a revelation,” Sheila said. “I think the song is very witty, and what you did Danielle was to convey that while dancing… a worthy Palladium follower,” said Andrew.
After a further glimpse of Andrew’s estate, as we saw the girls getting some advice from the Lord himself during a trip to his country home, the final three were back on-set to perform a well-loved Wizard of Oz song side-by-side along with some familiar characters: the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion. More rave reviews from the panel. “It’s absolutely extraordinary how far you’ve all come,” Andrew said.
And then it was Toto time. The owners of each of the final five Totos were sat just in front of us in the audience, cheering as each of their dogs flashed up on the big screen in the studio. There were more cheers for Jodie Prenger as she came on-set with the winning dog – miniature schnauzer Dangerous Dave! During a later break in filming, the Toto owners were each presented with a gift to commemorate their dog’s Toto journey, and we overheard studio staff telling Dave’s owner not to worry about him. “Dave’s fine, he’s backstage being treated like a celebrity!” she said.
Back to the girls – and a chance to find out what the former eight Dorothys have been up to since leaving the competition as they caught up with panellist Sheila in her Sister Act dressing room at the London Palladium. Back in the studio, the girls then performed a beautiful rendition of ‘Empire State of Mind’ before it was time to say our first goodbye of the evening, as the first result was in.
Sadly, Lauren became the first girl to leave the final – but the standing ovation in the studio, coupled with cheering so loud Graham could barely be head over us, demonstrated what a well-respected performer she was. “I’ve made the most amazing friends… it’s been fantastic,” Lauren said.
As she became the ninth girl to take to the moon and say her goodbyes, it was down to Sophie and Danielle to battle it out for those ruby slippers…
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