Superstar – The Final: Roger Wright, Rory Taylor and Ben Forster fight for the role of Jesus

by Matt D

So here we are tonight for the final of Superstar and everyone was in their finery – Amanda Holden was dressed like an extra from Starlight Express, Jason had a tux on, Dawn was wearing a lovely sparkly top and Andrew had one too many buttons on his shirt. The opening song this night was Hosanna from Jesus Christ Superstar and it was good to hear the boys sing a song from the show but once again I feel that Roger has the presence to play Jesus but at this point I feel it’s definitely going to be Ben.

Anyway the favourite Ben was up first with ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’ an interesting song choice in a contest where the winner gets to play Jesus. Ben pulled out the big guns, he hit the right notes and he had the token talent show finale gospel choir. The judges were, as always, full of praise for Ben with Jason starting off picking him up on the slight hitch at the beginning of the song however he said that he dealt with it beautifully before commenting that he gave 110% every night and he finished off by saying that he was a superstar. Mel said that Ben had been so strong throughout the competition as he had been brilliant since day one adding that she never expected to experience the performances he’d given us. Dawn described him as electric, amazing and complemented him on always telling the story she added that he’d slowly and steadily crept up on him before telling him that he’d earned buckets of resect. Andrew finished describing him as absolutely mesmeric and a remarkable performer before telling him that he’d sent the benchmark for tonight. In his own words Ben said he’d play the role of Jesus completely honestly as he would wear his heart on his sleeve.

Next up was Rory the Rock Star singing the iconic rock ballad Aerosmith’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing’ accompanied by a lot of beautiful girls playing violins. Dawn described his performance as massive but also noted that he bought a total humility to everything he sung saying that he looked like a proper big bloke adding that he had a complete certainty to his talent and finished off by telling him that the part of Jesus would be safe in his keeping. Jason told him that he was absolutely outstanding, a unique vocalist and he was never bored before once again describing him as a rock star. Mel told him that he was up there with the most successful singers that she’d ever worked with and that he blew him away. Andrew said that Rory’s performance demonstrated the incredible talent in the contest before describing his voice as absolutely wonderful and in tune adding an obligatory bravo to finish.

Roger had the second choir of the night for his gospel-infused rendition of Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me which for me was easily the best of the three performances. Mel remembers how wonderful Roger was in the audition stage and she’s so pleased he’s in the final as she loves the wonderful sound that comes out of his mouth. Dawn described her big crush Roger as a golden talent adding that she could see him playing many lead roles in his future before telling him that he could be a king. Jason said that Roger had presence, warmth and charisma before telling him that he had earned his place on the stage. Andrew told Roger he was right to change his song and that he did brilliantly in his interpretation before saying that he has holy trinity to choose from. Roger than said it was wonderful to be in the final and thanked everyone who’d helped him along the way.

The final three then sung together on the epic Gethsemane the five minute song that is the pinnacle of the Jesus role which will prove who has the metal to play the part. For me Roger had the best range but Ben probably acted the song the best however none of them seemed particularly comfortable on the falsetto part of the song. Mel told all three that they will never have to work as hard as they have in the last two weeks and to give a performance like that was simply phenomenal. Andrew picked up on Roger slightly faltering but complement all three on their acting intensity adding that they were tremendous.

While the votes were being counted Mel C performed ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ with my mum commenting that if she was casting the show she wouldn’t give her the part of Mary Magdalene. Roger was then revealed to have come in third which I’d predicted earlier in the evening but he didn’t leave with a whimper as he moonwalked his way into the little illuminated cave thing at the side of the stage. No surprise though that the winner of the show was Ben, who no doubt has been leading the phone votes all series, however runner-up Rory thanked the audience, the panel and said he had a good time. A tearful Ben thanked everyone and said he was looking forward to working with Mel and Andrew then all the other contestants came on for a bit of a Superstar medley to end the show.

So that was Superstar an underwhelming show that didn’t do particularly well in the ratings. To its credit I liked the fact that the judges all offered constructive criticism and didn’t make the show about themselves while the band was cracking. The reason it didn’t work was that it was never presented as must-see event TV instead it was rushed out and spread over two weeks meaning that it felt like something ITV wanted to get out of the way before the Olympics. In my eyes the winner was also a foregone conclusion, as Ben was the only person to have been saved every week, so there was no jeopardy to the final. At the end of the day though Superstar did what it set out to do namely to be a month-long advert for Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s new production it’s just a shame that he wasn’t able to sell it to as many people as he probably wanted to.

What did you think to Superstar as a whole? Was Ben the right choice to win? Leave Your Comments Below.