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UK Popstars 2, Week 10: Hello, Goodbyeby Phil Lewin -- 11/16/2002
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This week on Popstars - The Rivals, it was the turn of one of the remaining seven boys to be voted out of the band-to-be. Davina McCall, who was hosting the show in one of her slinky black dresses, seemed to be particularly excited to see the boys again, even by her usual standards of overbearing effervescence. "One boy will not make it past tonight but it's not our fault," she agonised to the audience, although she did not elucidate on whose fault it actually was - perhaps God has set the rules to the competition. Davina then went on to introduce the "judge of panels." Calm down, Davina - the boys haven't even appeared yet!
Pete Waterman (manager of the boys) and Louis Walsh (manager of the girls) then exchanged their customary spat. "The girls look like stars - the boys don't," boasted Louis, despite the fact that the boys had not actually come onto the stage yet. Pete was nonchalant. "We've done something different tonight," he bragged enigmatically. Geri Halliwell (this week minus dog) leered into the camera.
The boys then strode onto stage and there was something different - some of them were playing instruments! Anton and Keith were on drums and Matt on guitar, as well as taking turns with the others in singing Prince's '1999'. Such was the spectacle that we were even treated to a full version of the song instead of the usual two-minute edit. The audience was impressed and rose for a standing ovation. "It's just like a real band," gushed Davina, which was meant to be the point. In terms of establishing some sort of musical credibility, this was a masterstroke by Pete, and some of the rival girls looked worried as they watched their performance. Not that this stopped the bravado. "They're all right but we can do better," stated Aimee less than convincingly. Pete has promised acapella performances next time around so it will be interesting to see what Louis can come up with for the girls to prove that they are not just pretty faces.
We then endured a pointless time-filling vignette showing the boys and girls on a James Bond-themed photoshoot, the low point of which was Javine swooning over Sean Connery, "He's old but so sexy!" As referred to last week, Simon from boy band Blue is allegedly sniffing around her, but it looks as though he might have to wait another forty years before he becomes fanciable.
At long last we got to the first performance of the evening. Matt warbled through a 'classic' boy band song, Take That's 'Pray', concluding with a characteristic cheesy grin and excited jig. 'He did all right,' said Pete in an affectionate manner. Geri compared Matt to Take That's most famous son, Robbie Williams, in his childish enthusiasm. As Robbie then became plagued with depression and various other personal problems in more recent years, this may not be a comparison that Matt would want to hear. Louis gave him his seal of approval though. "He's my favourite guy - give him your vote."
Mikey was next and sang a reasonable version of Lionel Richie's 'Hello'. Again Davina had seemingly decided that she was going to be the unofficial fourth judge. "Exquisite!" she swooned. If only Geri's comments were as comprehensible. "You're not the best singer here but you have that je ne sais quoix," she wittered, before making a shock confession. "I wasn't the best singer in the Spice Girls." Now there's an understatement, although some might argue whether the Spicies ever had a best singer. Louis resorted to his favourite adjective, "Fantastic!" Pete revealed that Mikey had had his teeth fixed during the week, which might explain why his smile was toothier than ever. However he had still "walked it."
The two best performances of the evening came firstly from Daniel, who sang "For once in my life" to rapturous applause. Davina went completely overboard and described him as "better than Stevie Wonder." Well not quite, but he was good. "He's an entertainer - he's got soul - he must be in the band," yelled Louis. "He's havin' it," said Pete, trying to prove that he was 'in with the kids'. "He's nervous but doesn't show it," stated Geri.
Keith sang "Sorry seems to be the hardest word." His rock-based vocal was in complete contrast to Daniel's smoother tones, but he can sing just as well and these two will make an intriguing contrast should they both make the final band (which seems very likely). Britain's current top boy band, Blue, have a cover version of the same song out at the moment, but the judges made it clear who they preferred. "He's the best I've heard so far today," squealed the ever more excitable Davina. "He's sensational - better than Blue," said Pete. Geri gave us a unique insight into the music biz. "People think being in a pop band is all glitz and glamour but it isn't. You have to get up at 3am. This boy has worked his butt off." It is doubtful whether anyone else in the house is actually getting up at 3am - even the internees of the BBC's rival Fame Academy talent boot camp don't have to endure that. Louis joined in the favourable comparisons between Keith and Blue before another shock admission. "I was wrong about him having the wrong image." To see Louis actually admit to being wrong about something is unprecedented on this show. What next we ask, Geri trying to avoid being centre of attention?
There followed another inane film montage of the boys' life in the house. There will probably be a lot more of these spacefillers as the number of contestants get whittled down. Davina tried to extract some information from Pete about the song that the final boy band would be releasing as their single. "It's a secret - it goes la, la, la," Pete revealed. "Well it worked for Kylie," quipped Louis in the best line of the night.1 2 Next-->
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