First tonight was Ben Ellis, the young man with nine lives. He is beginning to grow on me and is admittedly rather cute, not in the bowl-me-over Lee kind of way, but pleasant enough to look at whilst waiting for the main course. He got "Addicted To Love" and although he is still more "X Factor" than musical theatre, he did look very good in his shirt and tie, even if he hit a couple of dodgy notes. It may well have been one of his best performances to date, but he's still too young to be Joseph.
Craig Chalmers should be awarded an OBE for services to the suntanning industry, but he is still more cheesy cruise-ship cabaret than musical theatre. He turned the disco classic "Oh What A Night" into a rather static effort and at this early stage of the evening I would say that his days were numbered and he was a cert to go tonight.
It's been a difficult week for Lee Mead, as he has been sick with some horrible throat/virus thingy. Nevertheless he continued to rehearse (pictured above, and he even looks good in glasses!!!!) and thankfully for us, recovered in time for the live show. Lee IS Joseph of course. His performance last week touched me to the point where I am now completely besotted and trawling the web to seek the views of like-minded Lee-lovers everywhere. This blogger remains besotted by him so don't expect any criticism here. But even Josephs get horrible throat virus-thingies during the week so boo-hiss to the "Lord" for giving him "All Right Now", a difficult song to sing even when you feel OK, compared to some of the safe and dull song choices on offer tonight. As ever, he looked rather fab in his usual black/red combination but this, understandably, was not his best week - he was lucky to have made it at all - and we at EuropeCrazy HQ were none too chuffed to hear Zoe "Vocal Coach" Tyler and Denise "Big Breakfast" Van Outen turn against the man-who-would-be-Joseph. Rubbish? We think not, and we predict that they will eat their words next week when he is well again and back on top form.
The panel saved their praise for shelf-stacking-Joseph Keith Jack, whose "Love Is All Around" was a safe bet. He is good though, and we can still see him going far in this contest, although we feel he is still too young for such a demanding West End role.
Lewis Bradley still eerily reminds us of the legend that is Bob Downe. That aside, his "Dancing In The Moonlight" was not his best performance and he was off-key quite a lot. Not his best week - possibly his worst so far.
Take That songs are not the easiest to sing, as the Josephs are discovering. "Patience" was Antony's downfall last week: this week Rob "the Builder" McVeigh had a shot at "Back For Good". It wasn't the worst I've heard, and he has potential but not for this particular musical and he'd suit something like "Guys and Dolls" or "Chicago". His performance skills are rather limited though, and he used all his usual tricks.
"All Night Long" was tackled by Chris Barton whose confidence, limited as it was, has been shattered over recent weeks. He is a good singer and has all the right moves when it comes to musical theatre - but his nerves will always hold him back, sadly.
Daniel Boys is and always has been the main competition to Lee in the search for Joseph. In the beginning of course, we loved Daniel. He was the new Will Young. But over the weeks, we at EuropeCrazy HQ have noted his limitations and tonight was no different. He is good on the whole theatrical performance thing, and we carefully observed that he did manage the impossible - to turn McFly into musical theatre, but THAT GRIN MUST GO!! Interesting note: did you see the fellow Josephs' faces when they played the clip of mini-Daniel singing a song from "Cats". Lee's face was a picture!!
After an unnecessary interlude by Meat Loaf, it was time for the results and sing-off. Keith, Rob, Lewis, Lee, Ben and Daniel saved. Therefore it was Craig (blue Joseph) and Chris (lilac Joseph) in the sing-off. "The Lord" chose "The Long and Winding Road" and chose once more to save God's gift to Fake-Bake, Craig, in preference to the toothsome Chris.
So, Chris. Who's Joseph? "Lewis" he said. (Oh no he's not)
Get the Kleenex out once more for the "Close Every Door" finale. At least, unlike Seamus, he's not been promised "a show of his own" and he departed with some dignity.
Seven candidates remain.