Tuesday 12 December 2017

Jesus Christ Superstar down to four for final

The Judging panel
The Judging panel

THE battle to play Jesus in a new stage musical is heating up, with only four contenders remaining ahead of Wednesday's live final.

Nathan James, 23, became the latest performer to be eliminated from the ITV1 show tonight when Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber chose to save Roger Wright instead of him.

The pair, who received the lowest number of viewers' votes, both sang Love Changes Everything from Lloyd Webber's musical Aspects of Love.

While it was the first time in the bottom two for long-haired Reading rocker James, tonight was the second time in a row Wright had been there - and the second time he had been chosen to stay.

Making his choice, Lord Lloyd Webber said: "Despite a fantastic performance, I've got to save Roger."

Wright, 41, from east London, reacted by saying: "This is emotional."

Asked by host Amanda Holden if he had a "game plan" to avoid being in the bottom two again, he replied: "Sing from your heart. That's all you can do."

Earlier in the show, the finalists had performed Take That hit Greatest Day, accompanied on the piano by Gary Barlow, who praised the singers.

James said of the experience: "When we found out that we were going to be singing with Gary Barlow in rehearsals - that was a milestone in all of our journeys."

Asked to nominate which one of the remaining singers should go on to take the lead role in the new stage show of Jesus Christ Superstar, he added: "That's really tough. But just because he's my best friend and he's supported me through this, thick and thin - I'm going to say Ben."

Ben Forster, 31, from Sunderland, stays in the competition along with Wright, David Hunter, 27, from Warrington, and Rory Taylor, 24, from the Wirral.

Lord Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's musical goes on tour in September, featuring comic Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, DJ Chris Moyles as King Herod and Melanie C as Mary Magdalene.

Lord Lloyd-Webber had criticised James's use of Twitter after he sang Lady Gaga's Born This Way tonight.

He told the singer: "Nathan, your voice is amazing but I think you need to love the song more than you love yourself.

"Why do you keep tweeting the things you keep tweeting? I worry what you're going to be like in rehearsal and why did you tweet a picture of yourself wearing a crown of thorns?"

Judge Dawn French had told him he would be better suited in the role of Judas in the show.

In contrast, Lord Lloyd-Webber told Wright after his performance of Handbags and Gladrags, most recently made famous by the Stereophonics: "You are a real performer, I think you will take direction and you have the inner glow that is needed."

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