Oz Blog: The winner is revealed

Read our Oz Blog on Saturday’s first live show here.

Our exclusive video footage shows what went on at the Over The Rainbow studios this weekend as everyone prepared for the final…


After the excitement of Saturday’s first live show, the noise in the Over The Rainbow studios was louder than ever as we began the countdown to the live final. After a few words from Andrew, third-placed Lauren came over for a hug from her family before heading off with the other former Dorothys. We spotted her a few minutes later, back in her pink gingham and surrounded by the other girls in the balcony, as warm-up comedian Stu led us in another round of applause for Lauren and her ever-supportive family and friends.

As we waited, Stu also revealed that the ruby-red slippers the winning Dorothy would be slipping on were covered in Swarovski crystals and worth an amazing £2,500. “Oooooh,” said host Graham Norton. We were also distracted from the impending grand final as Stu took to the stage to demonstrate some of his dancing skills. In the balcony the former Dorothys – particularly Stephanie, Jenny and Emilie – joined in the disco dancing with great enthusiasm, doing the ‘shopping at Tesco’s’ move perfectly.

With the second show about to begin, Graham looked nervous as we watched a bicycle being gradually lowered in from the studio roof. The reason for his nerves soon became clear as he climbed aboard the bike and was raised back up towards the ceiling. “Give us a wave, Graham!” Stu shouted, but Graham was keeping his hands firmly on the handlebars. “No,” he said firmly. “It does make you feel for the Dorothys… it’s very high!”

As the credits rolled, Graham was gradually lowered back onto the stage, pedalling away to kick off the evening’s second live show. After a quick recap of earlier events, Graham caught up with Sophie and Danielle – the final two girls left in the competition after an initial 9,000 auditionees. That little seating area looked very bare with just two Dorothys sitting there…

We watched as Sophie and Danielle practiced Dorothy’s famous ‘Over The Rainbow’ scene on Andrew’s estate, before the two finalists told us again why the role is so important to them. “I feel like I don’t have to act [Dorothy] anymore… I feel like I can just be [her],” said Danielle, and Sophie felt the same -“I’m standing here in a Dorothy dress, I really feel like I am her now,” she said.

Both girls then took to the stage to perform ‘Over The Rainbow’ live. “Think about why the audience should come up to London and see you [as Dorothy],” Andrew advised them. After both girls had sung, they had one final opportunity to address the public ahead of the impending result, then it was back to the panel for one last time.

“We’ve had to sing [‘Over The Rainbow’] so often in sad circumstances, so it’s really difficult for you to do it afresh and I think you both did,” said Sheila. John was also a fan of both girls’ performances, saying: “Sophie I sit here bursting with pride… you’ve really blossomed in this competition. Danielle… you truly are a star.” Charlotte said, “It’s a really tough song to sing… Sophie that song suits your voice more than I’ve ever heard you sing, loved it. Danielle, you’ve been captivating since the start and are captivating still.”

Then, after a catch-up with the families of both girls, it was time for each of them to perform their favourite song of the series. Sophie sang ‘Reflection’ after first performing the song last week, while Danielle gave us her ‘Mambo Italiano’ from week six.

And that was it: the girls’ final performances of the series, as Graham geared up to announce the result – after a quick re-cap of some series highlights first, of course.

Sophie and Danielle held hands in front of that now familiar gigantic pair of ruby red slippers as Graham got his cards out for the last time, ready to announce the winner…

As he read Danielle’s name, the studio audience went mad, with her family and friends leaping out of their seats to give her a standing ovation. On-set, Danielle looked shell-shocked. “I really really don’t think a thank-you is enough…” she said, before adding a message to her fellow Dorothys: “friends for life, thanks girls.”

Andrew was happy –“I’m really pleased with the result, the public haven’t got it wrong yet,” he said – and, after Danielle had swapped her usual pair of shoes for the coveted red slippers, it was time for her to head ‘Over The Rainbow’ – but this time rather than jumping aboard a bright slivery moon, she performed the show’s title track whilst being gradually lifted up in a hot air balloon.

As the credits rolled, Danielle was gradually lowered back down to the stage and several photographers suddenly appeared, all keen for the first pictures of the public’s Dorothy. Andrew headed over to speak to second-placed Sophie and the other Dorothys and it was hugs all round for the girls. The panel joined Danielle for more photos; Dangerous Dave was brought back in, generating more applause; and Charlotte Church soon took off her very high heels and walked off-set in bare feet.

So, Danielle is your Dorothy! See her in The Wizard of Oz from 29th March 2011 – more details here.

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Download Danielle’s version of ‘Over The Rainbow’ NOW on iTunes.