Over The Rainbow – Auditions/Dorothy Farm

Bear with me, I’ve not recapped auditions before. To be honest, I try to avoid watching them in the first place.

ANDREW LORD WEBBER IS BACK apparently, to hunt for a Dorothy, as we are whisked through several images of girls belting silence into nowhere as patented REALTY TV SHOWDOWN music plays over the top of them, and we see the panel making decisions and saying things like “please keep her in!”, “she could be Dorothy!” and “Who ordered prawn balls again? Because they’re 4.99, and I only got garlic bread, which costs £2.50, and I don’t think I should pay more SHEILA HANCOCK!”. Kind of. Rest assured that this is Andrew’s BIGGEST SEARCH EVER and INCREDIBLY IMPORTANTER THAN EVERYTHING ELSE HE HAS EVER DONE IN HIS LIFE EVER!

This is backed up by the fact that he is :

Oooh look, it's Jade Ewan's career
I wonder what I'd look like with a face-lift...

all over the credits like Dame Edna was all over Niamh. Sometimes it’s best to leave alone Andrew. (Rest assured, Andrew will not be learning this lesson at any point tonight) I know what’s selling this show, and it’s not your face. I was hoping for the Panel dressed as the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion doing a funny dance whilst the Dorothys attacked each other with flick-knives in the background. If it’s the MOST BIGGEREST SEARCH EVER they can at least step up the play cat-fighting in the credits with actual weapons. Also, I don’t want to speculate what’s going on here :

Just a minute!

And neither do you.

We start on yet another close-up on Andy’s fizgog, as he tells us that Dorothy is one of the most iconic (*drink*) characters in Western cultural reference and primarily in her Judy Garland iteration, so whoever wins this show will have to “eradicate the memory of Judy Garland”. Possibly with a time-machine. That would make an awesome Dorothy mission – Go back in time and ERADICATE GARLAND. Although I can’t imagine that John Partridge would be on board with anything that eradicated Liza Minelli from the timeline. He then starts the boring old “Dorothy has to have some of today and be edgy and now and TOTALLY 21ST CENTURY BIZZOTCH!” line that will carry on forever and be borne out with nothing, and this company line is then sold to us by Sheila Hancock (amazing), Charlotte Chruch (feh) and John Partridge (I guess so…) with all the enthusiasm of insurance salespeople. Charlotte Church in particular sounds like she’s asking me if I would be interested a reward card.

ALW then tells us all that we all made the right choices with out three previous winners, Connie,




and Lee who was all dignified and stuff and didn’t react to his victory like he’d just been exterminated by a Dalek, but this is an even BIGGERER role so we’re going to have to be extra careful. Duly noted. If only this show wasn’t so improved by the presence of alcohol at times I might be able to live up to such noble ideals.

Speaking of which, we then cut to Graham at “Dorothy Farm”, which is all sepia’d out to try and make us wistful for the 1930s version which we are also supposed to be eradicating from our memories at this very moment. He tells us that, Pulp Fiction style, the auditions are already over, and that we’re about to see how they happened, after which we’ll get to the Dorothy Farm section, which has not happened yet in the timeline of the show, but has happened in the timeline of reality. Oh and there’s a pretend tornado, which causes Graham to dance around like he’s a comedy auditioner for So You Think You Can Dance. As I said, sometimes alcohol helps.

You will be surprised to hear that the Nancy auditions took place in Belfast, Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester and…


somewhere. I don’t know where – obviously there’s no convenient visual shorthand for it. They attracted thousands of hopefuls, although nobody from the Midlands or South-West because those areas have no people in of any talent whatsoever, so reality show auditions are never held there. I think I can spot one person who’ s not going to make it already :

Was there not an upper age limit on this thing?

Susan Boyle was a one-time I think. Nice sentiment though dear. A bunch of nice young girls scream “I COULD BE DOROTHY!” at me, and I realise I am going to accidentally call them all “Marias” and “Nancys” all series because “Dorothy” is a dull awkward name (no offence).

Handling these casting sessions is this sassy madam :


who is called David Grindrod (hurr hurr) who disappears come Dorothy Farm, which is sad because I kind of love him. If they get past him, hopefuls will be dispatched to Hackney Empire to perform for (two-thirds of) ALW’s brand-new panel (minus Charlotte Church, cause she’s lazy). But before that, let’s deal with some comedy auditionees who David calls lazy and boring and :


gets into a full-on fist fight with. Unlike X Factor, where this moment would have been preceded by a trailer every 5 seconds since last August, said fist-fight is never mentioned again, and was probably some lame fakey drama exercise anyway (so…that bit is like X Factor then), but it’d be nice to have seen more. MORE VIOLENCE! WE WERE PROMISED IT IN THE CREDITS! Some blonde piece tells us that Grindrod is the centre of the West End, and then he tells some pouty yelling girl that she’s rubbish! Hooray!

Back to Dorothy Farm, where Graham hypes up the involvement of Andrew Lloyd Webber with this show (oooh, they’ve kept that a secret haven’t they?) followed by footage of the man himself(/someone else) driving (/being driven) into the snowy wastes of Glasgow in January.

Such a trooper

THIS IS HOW MUCH HE CARES! He grouses a bit about how NOT EVEN SNOW CAN STOP MUSICAL THEATRE (*jazz hands*) and then goes and parades around in front of the girls to put the wind up them.


Apparently he’s a bit Scottish but nobody believes him because *waffle waffle waffle, only interesting if you’re the sort of person who’s seen Love Never Dies twelve times already*. He sits through some boring auditions and whines on about awful habits that people have that they’d never be able to beat out of them. Like independent thought and personality. Our first official “good audition” of the day is Lauren Fox, who sings “Reflection” out of Mulan like it’s the only song she can do well which, given hat we never see her ever again, it probably is. She also “thinks of the words” according to Andrew which is a good thing. So she’s through. Andrew pontificates about how Dorothy has to come across as a bored teenager, desperate to leave home. Lauren Fox came across to me like she was about 30 which I guess is also why we never saw her again.

Next up, Olivia Hoppy, who has walked 30 miles to get to this audition :


Tragically, she is crap :

Bye bye!

Next up, a  montage of girls who are not British and yet still somehow had the NERVE to think they should audition. They are from Poland, Texas, Kazakhstan and


the Romulan home-planet. Pick of the non-dom bunch is Camille,

 who “is coming from France” and who gives off drama-potential waves in abundance. I love her automatically, even if her voice does sound more pop than musical theatre. She is through, spouting French as she goes.

To Cardiff next, home of “the nation’s Maria” – Connie Fisher. True to the spirit of Connie, nothing much very interesting happens, apart from this girl’s ear-rings,

You could always tell she had it in her to ruin Gaga

and these girl’s special educational needs.

I hope your 8 year old sister made you bring that.
Yeah that's going to get you noticed for all the right reasons
Oh act your age

Wales – a nation of plushies. Who knew?

Belfast next, which is apparently more filled with talent and less full of grown 20something women who brought stuffed toys to an interview, and girls who will make it to Dorothy Farm, but who apparently aren’t important enough for us to be told their names. What is important is SIBLING RIVALRY DRAMA in the form of Phillippa and Jolene O Hara who twot up the stairs with the full backing of The Corrs behind them. It begins, as all SIBLING DRAMA must, with them saying that it’d be a dream come true for both of them to get through :


and ends as all SIBLING DRAMA must


Not happy

because Jolene (on the right) doesn’t have the “ping factor”. I actually think “ping factor” might be worse than “wow factor”. Nice one Graindrod. With grating reality tv judge catchphrase generation skills like that, Charlotte Church seems even more redundant. Jolene seems very happy that her daugh…sister got through anyway, so good for her.

Back to Dorothy Farm now, and the new Sugababes line-up :

I see Mutya's back...

informs us that ALW is not only looking for a Dorothy this year, he’s also on the hunt for a Toto. For one night only. Woo-hoo. Apparently some idiot girls thought that the auditions for Toto were taking place at the same time as the Dorothy auditions.

No of COURSE we won't make fun of you using this clip. Now just walk.

Silly girls! Check the website! It’s been very clear from the beginning what was going on with this stupid dog thing. MORE DETAILS TO COME!

Manchester next, where Andrew


turns up in a Leyton Orient scarf to the Manchester United ground like the WACKY BASTARD he is. Again, he stalks through the girls some more in an effort to make them feel uncomfortable and to make himself feel even more loved. Graham assures that this is a real opportunity for an ordinary, normal, down to earth, ordinary, normal girl like Jessica from Middlesborough :


How normal and ordinary and down-to-earth and ordinary and normal is Jessica? Stage schools (BOO! HISS!) have turned her down, because she’s just too normal and HER BROTHER IS A PLUMBER! This ladelling on of just how un stage-school (BOO! HISS!) she is complete, she then hams her way through an incredibly stage-schoolish version of “If They Could See Me Now” from Tomzilla’s showdance (/some musical). I am on the record here as saying there’s nothing wrong with stage-schools, but please don’t set someone up as the anithesis of stage-schools (BOO! HISS!) and then her her gave the stagiest performance of the whole show so far.

So real
So un stage-school

Andrew naturally eats it up, and she’s through. She spazzes around and giggles about what a total tragic geek she’s acting and now I like her as well.



you know, wherevever, now as Andrew is joined in his instigating by winning Nancy, Jodie Prenger, which Graham is pronouncing “Pren-jer”, presumably after she gave him a hell of a purple nurple, because that is NOT how he prounced it last year. In she comes, yelling and enthusiastic as some woman in the front row,

I was voting for Jessie *disdain*

wishes her dead. She leads a group singalong of “Over The Rainbow” like the amazing Butlins Redcoat troupe leader she is, gives everyone a big pep talk, and talks about how amazing the whole experience has been for her.

That over, we rush forward to a montage of happy reactions from some of the 110 Dorothys who “survived the cull” and who are going to Hackney, including :

popular singer Robyn :

And it hurts with every heartbeat

bodybuilding Paris Hilton :

Can benchpress her own weight in seamen

a furby :

preep preep love

and a girl who I can tell is 100% ready for the mental toll of this competition :

Stability defined

wouldn’t you agree?

Back on Dorothy Farm, Graham makes a cheap crack about how Hackney (the next stop) “isn’t exactly the Emerald City” but they’ll need to muster up all their courage to go there. I like how the collective self-loathing of this country means that where before you could make the same tired “plug in a name” jokes about any city that wasn’t London, apparently there now are even areas of that city that aren’t safe. Basically, we’re just going to end up all worshipping Kensington aren’t we?

In Hackney the girls will be performing for…

oh no wait THIS is the new Sugababes line-up isn’t it? It consists of  the Mighty Grindrod, Sheila Hancock, who has starred in Annie, Sister Act and Cabaret, and who is

Her soul (and mind) belongs to THE THEATRE!

effing terrifying, and him off Eastenders, who has been in

Easter Parade?

some musical. I think it’s South Pacific. (Brief preview of my complete and utter lack of knowledge of musicals there. A lot of lyrics are going to be searched for on Google in the coming months I can tell you)

Graham has a brief chat with the panel. Sheila tells him that she intends to make the candidates lives a LIVING HELL, BECAUSE THE DAY TO DAY WORLD OF MUSICAL THEATRE IS LIKE THAT AND IF THEY CAN’T DEAL WITH IT THEY CAN JUST FUCK OFF HOME NOW AND CRY THEMSELVES TO SLEEP! Or words to that effect.

First up is Katie, and she and Graham giggle about how this is her biggest audition ever, and then he spooks her by talking about the size of the auditorium and how she’ll never have this chance again, and generally acts like a dick. I love Graham. She then


takes to the stage, very much dressed like the edgy punky Dorothy ALW is looking for, and sings a boring, decent enough version of “The Winner Takes It All”. Grindrod calls her out for how effing boring she is, but she gets through anyway.

At this point, for no reason, we get our first view of the interior of Dorthy Farm :

No organ harvesting going on here.

tragically it is not full of giant green, liquid filled sinister pods, full of naked girls with tubes coming out of them, being grown especially for purpose. That’s kind of what I was imagining it would be.

Back in the auditions, some girls show why the ideas of hand-grown clones might be a good idea, as they forget the words to “Black & Gold”, shriek, and generally get Sheila Hancock to avert her eyes in disgust. This Montage O’Fail is capped by some awesome girl with a massive afro messing up all over “Since U Been Gone” and Sheila basically offering to :


take this outside. She CARES about musical theatre yo. Afro-girl runs off crying.

Next up is Danielle, who is one of those people who appears on these shows claiming to have never auditioned for anything before ever, and she only started singing, like, 5 minutes ago in the cab, she just came because she wanted to meet Christian off Eastenders, honest. We see her aceing her audition by shouting louder than any human being has a right to shout without getting a notice from the council. She gushes about the size of the theatre, and then effing BOOMS “Black Velvet” looking like she’s about to be abducted


and screaming at the aliens is the only way to ward them off. She’s through to Dorothy Farm, presumably to scare all the crows off the fields.

In the proud reality show tradition, this performance opens the floodgates for a whole slew of auditions including this familar :


slice of crazy-pie. She sings “Feeling Good” which such note-holding length and vigour that the performance cuts out about halfway through when we get the point. Some woman runs off cackling, cracking John up in a very Diet Barrowman fashion, and then some girl who I don’t recall ever seeing again greets the existence of Dorothy Farm with “YAY! A FARM!”. So robbed.

Graham at this point hypes up the possibility of having a new and different Dorothy. Could we have a

Pickled in a different way than I usually am watching this show

pickled onion Dorothy like Jenny? A Welsh speaking, Lada Gaga ruining, Dorothy like Cassie?

Don't mess with the Gaga

A page 3 stunna WAG vaguely tanorexic Dorothy like Amy?


Apparently so, because they’re all through. In the middle of Amy’s audition, Andrew turns up for no particular reason again, some more. LEAVE IT BE ANDREW. Go home and do something else. Anyway, instead of spooking the girls (who must be really bored of him at this point, popping up on the bus, at work, delivering their pizzas) he decides to spook the panel instead. Partridge looks in awe, Hancock looks slightly undecided how to react, and Grindrod just rolls his eyes and carries on. ALW takes this opportunity to bore on some more about how Dorothy has to have a contemporary edge, like he’s taunting me personally.

Next up is Robyn/John Frieda’s Supercuts 80s Disaster Dorothy


Claire, who is 25 and works in a bank, and who therefore is NORMAL! and not STAGE SCHOOL! (BOO! HISS!). She talks about how NORMAL her life is with responsibilities and bills to pay and a job to hold down, and a bizarre stupid hair-do to maintain. She starts on the stage by taking a running jump at “That’s Entertainment!” far too high, cracking her voice out and panicking, but Grindrod suggests she do Over The Rainbow instead, with Sheila giving her a mini-masterclass by telling her to look happy and wistful throughout, because being a NORMAL person without the advantage of a stage-school education, Claire apparently can’t read or understand basic lyrics.

She sings Over The Rainbow as 80s as her hair, and a bit like an offensive impersonation of Marlee Matlin. I don’t really get her, although she’s alright for a NORMAL I guess. This finished, Sheila takes another leap into the bizarre, telling Claire that 173% of all actors are out of work and wanking people off for loose change down back-alleys at any one time, so is Claire sure she wants to leave her NORMAL life for that horror? It includes the classic line “you obviously have things that you own and everything”. Actors of course, own nothing but their voice. Claire responds “yes, I am scary intense and at the grand old age of 25 feel like I’m past it, so I am quite happy to murder you and wear your skin if you don’t shut up HANCOCK!” and everyone applauds her crazy and sends her through.

In her favour, she does have


black nail polish and everything, and therefore is SUPEZ-EDGY like you need to be for this.

Next up is Furby Dorothy Tegan, who informs us that her mother has sold her house to further her dreams of stardom. Hey, it worked for Yasmina.  She and Graham have a massive giggle-fit over how utterly spoilt and oblivious she is. I always figure the stage-iness and ambition of the parents in themselves in these cases balances out the sacrifice they make. Let’s run a check on that :

Ding ding ding ding ding


She sings “Come On Over” by Christina Aguilera but MAKES IT HER OWN as people always do on these shows by slowing it down and strangling the fun out of it, but she has a nice enough voice, and I love her Furby-face and spoiledness.

Next up :

Annabel Chong Dorothy

don’t panic. She’s just going to blow into it to help herself find pitch. Dorothy’s not going to be THAT edgy. This is our cue for “somehow, not all the mentals have been weeded out yet” montage as some woman sings a song about a Duck Bus (*?*), this bint

Calm down love

changes the words to “Don’t Rain On My Parade” to name-check Andrew Lloyd Webber, thus proving that that isn’t always an awesome thing to do, and well… whatever the heck’s going on here

I don't remember there being a beaver in the Wizard Of Oz


Hmm...what shall I wear to best accentuate my natural complexion and skin colour?

and here


That last one also tells the judges “poo on you”… as a compliment. Oh Americans.

Next up, after our bout of SIBLING DRAMA at auditions, we have COUSIN DRAMA from these two

Alright la?

who are called Stephanie and Gemma. They are 9 days apart age-wise, despite everything that the make-up all over Gemma’s face is telling you. Oh and they both live in Liverpool, confirming everything the make-up all over Gemma’s face is telling you. They both swear to support eachother no matter who goes through as Graham jokes about how they’ll be showing this clip later over footage of them beating the shit out of each other with box-cutters and crowbars. Stephanie laughs appropriately and on cue, whilst Gemma looks oblivious.

Gemma is first up, and reels off a list of shows she’s done in Liverpool (Our Benny, Annie, Snow White And The Seven Dwarves,


Stephen King’s It : The Musical) and then camps around with some hair she’s found on the mic. Her audition piece is “Fallin” by Alicia Keys, which I could happily never hear again. About 5 seconds in, Diet Barrowman stops her because she’s taking a sharp intake of breath after every phrase and it sounds like crap. On such notice not to do this, she carries on doing exactly the same thing, and Diet Barrowman

GIVING IT ALL OF THAT (/punch-line)

looks like he wants to cut a bitch. Still, she’s through, thanks to her Liverpool stage chops. Stephanie’s next singing some obscure Barry Manilow (so very Scouse) and, after some dick-smacking around by Sheila, she’s also through, thereby breaking all the rules of COUSIN DRAMA. Diet Barrowman makes sure to give her extra special praise as she leaves.

Cue a montage of  “incredibly exciting” girls getting through. None of them exciting enough to get names sadly. Apart from

Poor Unfortunate Soooooooooooooouls.

Ursula the Sea-Witch.

Ok, so that’s 50 girls through from Hackney Empire to Dorothy Farm where Graham is putting out the hay ready for their arrival (remember that whole timeline thing from earlier? You do? Boo. You should be drunk by now), and arrive they do :


in the Magic School Bus no less. Hey, remember that girl about whose mental stability I was concerned :


That still stands. COUSIN DRAMA giggle about how everyone’s been trying to read the signs, but the bus is going too fast for everyone to read the signs. Somehow I doubt the speed of the bus is really the problem for some of these girls. Some of them haven’t set foot outside of stage-school walls for the last 16 years. They don’t even know what a Norwich is. Anyway, the bus pulls in and the girls file into the hall as Graham informs us that only 20 will make it out alive.

They’re greeted by


a giant video of Sheila Hancock telling them how amazing they are to have made it this far, BUT NOW YOU START PAYING IN SWEAT because the real work starts here. Just to warn you if you’re not familiar with these shows, some iteration of “the real work starts here” will be said every single week. Oh and in addition, after the panel had some extra discussions and sleepless nights (/Andrew kicked off over some girls he fancies not being chosen wah wah wah), they’re bringing back four of the previously eliminated Dorothys. RIGHT NOW! And you can tell that Camille is full of amazing crazy, because whilst everyone else looks shocked and nervous her face just reads :

Intriguing Miss Hancock...


The returnees are three girls I don’t recognise (one of whom is later revealed as Steph, who constantly had little drawings under her eye throughout auditions, officially making her Doodle Dorothy) and normal, salt of the Earth, normal, brother’s a plumber, normal Jessica. So obviously she’s not that blow-away amazing if she has to be cut and brought back. Unless they think it’ll make for a good storyline for her.

Introductions over, we’re told that at Dorothy Farm, the Nancys will have access to an Acting Coach, a Choreographer and a Vocal coach, so there’s no excuses for them to come out of this as anything other than complete well-rounded triple threats ready to perform for John, Sheila and (bothering to turn up at last) Charlotte Church. The training appears to consist of being yelled at, mincing, and cackling, but I’m sure we’ll get into things in greater depth shortly.

Firstly in the “Dance Barn” (*hugs self*) where everyone is clunking around awfully like puppets with their strings cut, Choreographer Kevin :

Oooh, get her.

who stands out as fey even by this show’s standards, calls them all heiffas and tells them that he’d only invite Tasheka back if this was an audition and the rest would have to hop it. I do question just how much choreography is really in The Wizard of Oz, but then this is a new EDGY performance, so the Flying Monkeys will probably enter doing the Bad Romance dance (Gaga for Wicked Witch Of The West! START THE RUMOUR NOW!). Robyn Dorothy and some other woman I don’t know called Roxanne are singled out as being particularly poor, with Kevin ripping their dull boring personalities to shreds as well, as are Unhinged Dorothy and someone I’m going to call


Dangers of Drugs Dorothy. Ursula the Sea Witch Dorothy talks about how nerve-wracking the whole thing is as she jerks around horribly, followed by Camille smugging around dance-perfect (see, I said I loved her for a reason), and Stephanie Scouse COUSIN-DRAMA being equally on point, followed by her being granted an interview with Graham where he points out that quite a lot of these people make Jo Wood look like Dame Margot Fonteyn, a fact which

Dropped monocle just out of shot.

scandilises her like she’s in Cranford and she just heard that Sir Percy Badman has an illigitimate child on the Continent. SHE DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE! EVERYONE’S AMAZING!

With such clumpy chaos reining, guess who turns up :

*roll eyes*

GO HOME ANDREW, IT’S NOT YOUR BIT YET! Graham basically tells him this, and Andrew’s all “there was a danger that there might be 5 whole minutes of show in which I am not looming in the background doing nothing, so naturally I JUMPED into the car and SPED HERE FORTHWITH!”. Straight to the Acting Shed (or whatever) he goes, where Tasheka is confirming her fundementals as Kevin’s fag-hag in training by being quite good at the acting as well. She is a mum of two, so this will change her life forever, unlike all the childless Dorothys, for whom winning will have the same effect as deciding to switch their order at Starbucks from a Cappucino to a Mocca.

Said sob-story of having kids absorbed, Andrew flees to the Singing Abattoir to hear everyone shrill their way through “Empire State Of Mind”, where he has a conspiratorial conversation with Graham about how some stage school (BOO HISS!) kids have a glossy fakey veneer that makes them all quite samey, whereas the NORMAL, REAL, SALT-OF-THE-EARTH girls all have something unique that makes them stand out. In all his 752 years in showbiz, this is the first time Sir Andrew has ever had this thought, and it is entirely a coincidence that in every series of his so far, “stage school” basically comes across as interchangeable with “paedo-terrorist”. Such fresh wisdom dispensed, Andrew avaunts.

And the sun goes in his wake, leaving a selection of shots that are setting up for a slasher film that never happens :

Sun goes down
Knives come out
David Ian-cam

I bet the killer would be Camille. It would be if I was writing it.

Apparently all the girls have been split into groups to rehearse their final numbers “A Place For Us” and “Reflection”, where one wrong note will see them eliminated. Oooh…tension. Unhinged Dorothy talks about how crappy her dancing was, and how she’ll really need to shine in this next bit to pull back into contention. Also that rock-chick pickled onion girl tells us that she wants to prove that she’s not just a rock-chick. Given that her being a “rock chick” consisted of her being dressed in Claire’s Accesories and singing Pixie Lott, I think she’s still got to prove the first part before diversifying to be honest.

Oh and some girls are “getting a good night’s sleep” and “resting their voices”. Lazy bints.

Next morning, and everyone’s still alive, although some girl reveals that Camille has busted into her dreams Freddie Krueger style and given her nightmares about forgetting all the words AND NOW SHE CAN’T REMEMBER THE WORDS! Just another victim.

First to arrive from the Panel is Diet Barrowman, talking about how he’s looking for a triple-threat, who can act, dance and sing. I also would be looking for the ability to front obviously pointless and time-wasting searches for subordinate roles whilst still somehow appearing enthusiastic as a quality of my winner. Just saying. Tragically for Diet-Barrowman he walks right into the dance-barn and decides to tangle with Mentally Unstable Dorothy, giving her basic choreographic instruction which causes her to :


burst into tears and require special counselling. Seriously Diet-Barrowman don’t bother. Bitch crazy. This girl

My hero.

who will never be seen again basically says the same thing. I think she should make the Top 20 at least for that alone.

Next to arrive is Sheila, looking ferosh/John Lennon:


, who is in the Acting Shed. We’re told that Sheila has been all about acting up this point of the auditions, as we see footage of her cussing out NORMAL Plumber’s Sister Dorothy for not truly FEELING the lyrics, and chatting with Poo On You Dorothy about how acting is about DELVING into your SOUL and dragging up TRUTH as though Poo On You needed any encouragement to act like a raging Drama Hag. She gives another speech to the potentials about some drama-school rubbish, as they all nod frantically throughout and try to look like she’s unlocking the door to their room of potential with her knowledge key or some tut like that.

Everyone’s running through a scene from the show featuring Dorothy and The Cowardly Lion, and after about 30 seconds of layered voices, Sheila claps her hands and yells at everyone to do their lions better. This prompts the following epic display of face from Spoilt Furby Dorothy :

Now THAT'S acting.

Sheila loves it, as she does two other “quirky girls” who include returning Doodle Dorothy Steph.

Last to arrive (try to look surprised) is Charlotte Church who arrives

Do one.

vertical out of a car, and not sideways out of a taxi with half a kebab, as I was kind of hoping. Brilliantly, she stalks around several rooms of the Singing Abattoir trying to get a “OH MY GOD IT’S CHARLOTTE CHURCH!” reaction and it’s clear that there’s not really one forthcoming apart from anonymous fodder like this :


Even Andrew’s 572nd arrival got more of a response than this. She hangs around behind a beam ready to give judgment, and then once everyone’s finished she marches up to NORMAL Dorothy and tells her she’s got a lovely instrument but she needs to find her honeypot. NORMAL Dorothy reacts to this as any normal person would react to this advice (which is basically “you have a good voice, try to sound nice”), by just looking blank. The best anyone can give her is Robyn Dorothy (who is heading more towards the John Frieda’s Supercuts part of her persona with every passing second) saying she finds Charlotte inspirational because she is Welsh, and John Frieda Supercuts Dorothy is also Welsh.

This must be why I find Russell Grant so inspirational.

Charlotte Church thus arrived, and squeezing past everyone in their seats spilling popcorn everywhere as we speak, there’s nothing left but for a brief “nerves” montage where lots of girls talk about all the nerves they are having in their nervousness because this performance is SO IMPORTANT. OOOH NERVES! Particularly from this girl who


frankly could probably just put her name down for the Cowardly Lion if she gets cut, and would be immediately snapped up. That or a musical based on the life of Carol Dekker.

To the barn next, where our Panel take their seats and we’re treated to a montage of the performances by the umpteen groups of “A Place For Us” and “Reflection”. Nobody really goes horribly wrong or does anything notable, but I am reminded that :


hurr hurr, people’s faces look funny when they do musical theatre singing. May this continue throughout the series. Once they’ve finished Cowardly Lion Dorothy basically sounds like she’s given up already, and Page 3 Hooker Dorothy says that nobody really messed up, much to her surprise (/disappointment). Robyn Dorothy hopes that the panel saw something in her they liked, and Charlotte Church Superfan Dorothy runs off crying. SO MUCH PRESSURE!

OK, now for the good part. Diet Barrowman, Scary Sheila and Charlotte Church stand around a giant table with photos of all the girls on, pushing them about and arguing the toss. Diet Barrowman slags someone’s singing, and Sheila defends her. Diet Barrowman talks about how quirky and unique one girl is (CROWN HER DOROTHY NOW!), and Sheila praises someone’s “small but real” acting. Diet Barrowman and Sheila almost come to blows over whether one girl can calm down, stop riffing, and just sing straight. Charlotte also tries to have opinions but the other two are all “whatever miss, you’ve been here 5 minutes. If you want an opinion, set your alarm clock”.

Oh and as if to add insult to lazy-arsed injury, guess what Charlotte Church is getting to do?


That’s right, it’s the BEST PART OF THE ENTIRE SERIES. Poor Grindrod.

Well, I'm safe.

So much crazy.

So yes, Charlotte is going to stalk through a giant choir of crying, terrified girls singing “Over The Rainbow”, and gets to destroy their hopes just by touching them on the shoulder. 34 of them. I swear, some of these girls are

Please God, let her not start singing Crazy Chick

actually praying. AMAZING.

First to fall is Ursula The Sea Witch Dorothy, and Graham confidentally calls her “Jordan” as though her name has ever been mentioned up to this point. After some fodder, Charlotte Church Superfan falls, with her idol being the one to stick the knife in backstage, saying her voice is too weak. More fodder falls as we confirm, as though we didn’t already know


that Unstable Dorothy is completely off her mental see-saw already, and is then summarily dismissed before she can start self-harming right there and then. Bye bye NUTTER.


“Rock” “chick” Dorothy Jenny is the next to go, looking pissed off as she goes, and after some more fodder there follows Cowardly Lion Dorothy. Gaga Ruiner pops off next, followed by Dangers Of Drugs Dorothy, who comes the closest to actually swinging for Charlotte as she gets a patronising rub on the shoulder.

Finally, after half an episode we get our resolution to COUSIN DRAMA, as Gemma falls and Stephanie stands tall :


in all her emotional naivity. She’s just from Liverpool, how is she supposed to cope with how these BIG CITY FOLK are behaving? Gemma smiles the smile of someone who got over her fears of rejection a long time ago, and goes off to chirrup at Graham until he submits. It is at this point that the end of the song rears up happily, and all the girls still in the room realise that, barring the five people at the back who have fainted, they’ve all made it through Dorothy Farm in one piece. Everyone hugs, Take That plays, and we go to the credits, with everyone happy and enthusiastic about the experience, and ready for the first live-show.

Can't someone just lock the gates and pretend there's no-one here?

Oh no, wait, we don’t. Of course we don’t, because Andrew Lloyd Webber is here again. Good grief Lloyd Webber, are there not unnecessary sequals you could be writing? Evita 2 where Evita’s daughter tries to unravel the mystery of her mother’s death whilst falling in love with an aging Che? Sunset Boulevard : Banged Up, following Norma Desmond’s role as Boss Bitch of a woman’s prison? Starlight Express : The College Years?

Anyway, he’s back (again, some more) to grant the girls a private audience to gauge their voices. You can tell how much this section was planned by how it lasts THREE MINUTES, most of which is the girls pacing about waiting. Boring Katie (yes, she’s still here) worries about how she’s going to impress Andrew. Some girl is very excited and not at all nervous. Doodle Dorothy feels quite giddy at having made the top 20, and Phillipa or SIBLING DRAMA from way back when wonders if she can just walk up say “hey Sir Lloyd Webber, what’s the craic mate?” I… would not recommend it. ALW tells her she’s like a film star and SIBLING DRAMA Dorothy wonders if that’s a compliment. Hooker Dorothy is excited, everyone sings, Boring Katie messes up and is still boring,  nothing gets accomplished and….


See you for the live shows, and may I not have to recap auditions again for a very very long time.

17 thoughts on “Over The Rainbow – Auditions/Dorothy Farm

  1. sophietonks

    Barrowman, GRINDROD and Dame Edna Everage would be the best, and most terrifying, panel ever in talent show history.

  2. KnowAll27

    They missed a trick – once they’d tapped the 34 girls on the shoulder they should have launched into a rendition of ‘Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead’.

  3. monkseal Post author

    sophietonks – That whole panel sounds like a sexual harassment lawesuit waiting to happen.

    Rad – Consider him added.

    KnowAll27 – But Charlotte was still there (snerk snerk snerk)

  4. Lilah

    If ANYONE votes for Van Outen I think they should be ostracized from society utterly. Possibly in a Scarlet Letter like way, with a D on their chest for Dipshit.

  5. missfrankiecat

    All those pics of Sir Ugly to start off – plain mean. I’m pretty excited about the search for Toto, though.

  6. monkseal Post author

    Lilah – You forget she married Lee Mead, and therefore has the undying loyalty of 50% of all Lee Mead fans, and the undying jealousy of the other 50%.

    Steven : Do I want to know how much?

    missfrankiecat : I fell out of what little interest I had in Toto when I learnt that the search was for one performance only. Bleh.

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  8. Leeann

    What a show!
    As a SCD fan I thought things couldnt get much cheesier on BBC1. My husband walked in as all the crazy bints were belting out showtunes looking severely constipated in an attempt at ‘expression’ and said ‘Oh my Fu*%ing God’ and left.
    As always, your reviews are the best part of the show!

  9. Kat

    I’ve been hearing that Jessie Buckley is due to play Nancy in Oliver towards the end of this year, any truth in this? I hope there is, I’d be the first person buying a ticket to see her.

  10. Moogle301

    This was the best recap ever! XD
    I knew Tegan reminded me of something, god..
    The “Tragically, she is crap” and simple picture following made me crack up even though it was so mean!

    1. roisin donlon

      Dainelle do so well now this time your dorothy now do your best make a most dorothy now sophie evens got dorothy now you are dorothy now danielle hope well done dainelle hope

  11. Piper

    Ok late to the party but only just found this journal, sorry.

    My choices would be Barrowman, Diet Barrowman and Sheila Hancock.

    I’d love to see both John B and John P on the same panel. They’d either be completely awesome together or every week would be a “gay-off” in the most hilarious ways possible!


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