Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Superstar: Dirk loses out to Tim

After being saved the night before, Dirk Johnston became the second Superstar voted off the show, losing out in the sing off to Tim.

Singing Christina Aguilera's Hurt, it was a strong vocal performance from Dirk but Tim was choking back tears at the end, so much emotion did he put into it and this gave him the edge. Dawn had earlier promised a pony and some double glazing to the loser - a house and a puppy went to Afnan - can't wait to see if she keeps this up!

The boys hit the stage for a group rendition of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - David stood out. Throughout the evening, was it my imagination, or did Amanda's legs become more orangey after every break?

It was much more even in the solos than previously. Roger was back on form, with a gentle and heartfelt More Than Words. Jason and Mel agreed with heartfelt while Dawn was "floating in a bath of hot Rogerness" and Andrew called it "truly beautiful, maybe better than the original ... delivered everything I asked."

For once I'd like to hear Nathan not scream and sing a ballad simply - we heard glimpses in To Be With You, and the judges agree we need to see and hear that self doubt/vulnerable side. Still another great performance though. Rory was powerful yet again effortless on Dakota, putting Dawn to mind of a junior Bono; Andrew coined a new phrase to describe him: Arenability!

Jon is taking everything on board although I don't think I Want To Know What Love Is stretched him. And there was a bit that seemed a little out of control. Dawn said he's coming up on the inside; Mel said he isn't the underdog anymore. David was terrific again, this time with an horrendously awful song unless you're Candi Staton - You've Got The Love - totally played it his own way, a real stage show performance, great acting. He left Mel a bit speechless and Jason confused over a uniquely inspired performance.

Ben sang Everybody Hurts and shot to the top of my pops, stunning. You just has to observe the judges reactions, how excited they were, bandying around words such as "incredible" and "awesome" and "proper grown up emoting". In answer to Jason, Andrew said he can exactly see how Ben could play Jesus, he dramatised the song beautifully and inhabited it beautifully.

Tim delivered a hypnotic performance with Time Is Running Out, much edgier and stronger than previously (sing-off sydrome?) Dawn called it fantastically insane; Andrew said to lose the scream. Jeff was solid, a melodic rock vocal and no screeching on How You Remind Me. It was Mel's favourite of his so far and Andrew said: "The Baby's come out of the manger. I felt you were talking to me."

Last up was the lovely Niall, with everything to prove after being savaged last night, relatively. He had to produce and he absolutely did. Dirty Diana is another of those pesky songs you kinda can't just sing and he interpreted it brilliantly, full of energy and punch, and his vocal was spot on. It was the first time Andrew got a sense of fight and Jason knew he could do it.

Andrew very much wanted to see acting strength in this episode and he certainly got it. Check out the performances here and check in again at 9pm tonight, ITV1.

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