Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
UK Popstars 2, Week 5: In and Out (And In Again)by Phil Lewin -- 10/10/2002
View Printable version of this article
After sitting through thousands of auditions, the three Popstars – The Rivals judges had finally chosen the ten boys and ten girls that were to go into the two Popstars houses as the next step in creating the two rival bands. This meant that ten people on the final shortlist of thirty had to be told that their talents were no longer required, while the others would be asked to move to the houses in London for up to ten weeks of incarceration.
As in the first series of Popstars, the news was communicated face to face by one of the judges – Geri Halliwell, Pete Waterman or Louis Walsh – who paid a house call on each of the hopefuls, with camera crew in tow, of course, to capture the tears of joy or pain as each wannabe was told whether they had achieved their hard-fought ambition or been cast aside at the last hurdle. As if the contestants didn’t have to suffer enough in having what are obviously very personal moments captured for the entertainment of millions, the judges had presumably been instructed to manipulate their anguish still further by drawing out the good or bad news for as long as possible. This is a tactic used to great effect on quiz shows such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, but seems particularly nasty when used to handle the intense emotional investment that very young hopefuls have put into competing for the band. It would have been so pleasing for one of them to bite back and direct a few expletives at the judges, but that would probably not help their progress in the band very much.
Anyway the remaining fifteen boys were shown first, many of whom were ironically being featured for the first time. Matt from Chester was first up, aged 17 and the youngest male finalist. Pete paid the call and, after an extensive preamble about how he should not wear white shoes, how life might be tough in the band as the youngest member and how he had done OK up until the last auditions and then suddenly did very well, he passed on the news that he was in. I think we can take it as read that all of the successful competitors were excited to hear the news and in most cases, parents or partners were on hand to embrace them, so I won’t bother repeating this over and over again.
Keith from Larne had appeared before, as he was the one contestant to bring his guitar to the auditions. Louis told him that he was not the type of person you’d expect in a boy band as he wasn’t a great looker or dancer, but, in the first of several digs between the judges, Louis explained contemptuously that Pete had decided that despite all this, he wanted him in the band anyway. After all, it is a quite crazy concept to actually have a musician in a boy band.
Nikk from Halifax was next. He had been nothing but persistent, having auditioned for both the first Popstars and Pop Idol, but Pete was pleased to inform him that this time he was successful, despite committing the cardinal sin of referring to the ‘Vocal Harmony Group’ as a ‘boy band’.
Next Louis was in Leicester to visit Jacob. He had gotten the seal of approval from Geri in the auditions, who liked the way he looked. However this had not proven enough and he hadn’t made the final ten, largely through lack of vocal experience. He was upset and so seemingly was Louis, who offered to put him into a boy band (though not a ‘Vocal Harmony Group’) himself, so this may not be the last we see of him.
Hey, it’s Adam Ant! Is he making a comeback in the boy band? No, it’s Chris from Newcastle in a talent show. In an early Popstars audition, Pete described him as “coming from the bad area of boy bands – sounding like everything done before”. However he had improved as time went on and Geri was happy to tell him that he was in the last ten. “I hear you’re a bit of a ladies man,” she asked. “It’s not true,” he replied, but the following day stories about many and varied sexual exploits in his previous job at a vacation park started to appear in the tabloids. If it is true that Chris is a bit of a bad boy, he should will win the hearts and the panties of thousands of lustful (and misguided) adolescent girls, which should improve his chances of survival in the band no end.
Michael from Manchester sported a very impressive arm-length tattoo, rather like that possessed by Robbie Williams. Louis and Pete had previously had a fierce argument about whether he should go forward. “How many falsettos do we need,” Pete had moaned. Anyway, he still made it in the end.
Jeremy had had an exhausting few days, with his fiancée Kelly giving birth to a son, Jordan, during the auditions. He had apparently had previous links with Pete, but this wasn’t enough to take him through and Geri told him the bad news, followed by a lot of babble about how a baby is more precious than anything else in the world. Jeremy stated that rejection wasn’t the end of the world, “I’ve still got my son and Kelly and the council house.”
Oh no, it’s more embarrassing archive footage. Jamie from Cardiff appeared on TV at the age of 12, singing ‘My heart will go on’. It would be easy to joke that his career, like Titanic, might have sunk without trace, but not so, as Louis happily told him that he was in the final ten. Jamie had read the Bible to get him through the tension of the last few days, though his mother’s cry of “Oh God,” on hearing the good news was presumably not meant to be a prayer.
Justin from London had originally been eliminated from the auditions then called back after Geri subsequently felt that the judges had made a mistake. Sadly this reprieve was short-lived as he had failed to make the ten, much to Geri’s disappointment. “You’re so adorable,” she gushed patronisingly and then spoke all over him as he tried to talk back. Geri, shut up!
Next up was Owen from Birmingham, who had had a very bad week as his house had been burgled. It was about to get worse as Louis told him that he had not gone further, although again he couldn’t resist a dig at Pete. “I’d have put you through,” he moaned.1 2 3 Next-->
View Printable version of this article