So yesterday was the recording of the final taping of Tonight's the Night.
Have to say that as much of a joy as it's been to watch each taping (especially as the show sadly just isn't coming across as well on tv as it does live) I won't miss spending every Sunday sat on the pavement outside the BBC waiting to get in!
This week we got production tickets which was a bit of a bonus which meant that we could sit wherever we wanted in the studio - yay! Production tickets for the win.
The taping itself it has to be said was an incredibly disjointed affair. They were filming sections to slot in to different episodes which meant that John was very very focused (although he kept making errors with the autocue because of all the chopping and changing) and he had to kept changing his outfit for continuity purposes.
The first wish was a young Northern Irish girl called Georgina Cocking who had struggled with cancer her whole life. She was surprised at her school by the cast of HIgh School Musical (her favourite film) and then came down to the show where she performed a dance routine with the cast. She was incredibly cute in her little cheerleader outfit and it was a nice start to the show.
The other main wish of the week was a 24 year old woman who had inherited unbelievably unlucky genes. 9 out of 10 women in her family had developed breast cancer so after being tested and discovering that she had the gene which would make her prone to developing cancer she took the decision in her early twenties to have a double mastectomy. Which was an incredibly brave thing to do. Since then she had raised something like £100,000 for breast cancer charities. Her mother had set her up on the grounds that she had overcome all the challenges in her life without ever acting as if they were challenges. The girl loved Strictly Come Dancing so her mother wanted her to perform with one of the stars. John disguised himself as a Latino dance star (complete with spray on black trousers, open shirt, sun glasses and what looked like his Davina McCall wig from Friday Night Project) and went to the radio station where she worked as a presenter. I have to say to me he was very recognisable as John Barrowman in a wig (nowhere near as good a disguise as the outfit he wore when he dressed up as "Benny" to surprise the woman who performed with Mamma Mia) but then you're not really expecting John Barrowman to show up at your place of work are you! John was quite amusing with his "Latin" accent and killer Latino dance moves. Equally amusing was the fact that the woman was facing away from him when John was removing his disguise and it did take her a while to work out what was going on. Her very dead pan co-presenter was equally amusing.
She danced with James something or other (I don't really watch Strictly and my favourite dancer is Anton Du Beke anyway) and looked incredibly gorgeous in her burnt orange dress with sparkly sequins. I'd like to tell you how brilliantly she danced but can't because they made the (rather foolish imo) decision to have the live music that they danced to be provided by John who sang Moon River. When John is singing I do tend to block out anything that's, well, not John. He sang it phenomenally well and it was a nice moment but I fear that he might get criticised for making her wish all about him.
We also finally got to see the VT clips of the Doctor Who competition where people created their own aliens and monsters in order to get the chance to appear in a Doctor Who sketch specially written by Russell T Davies. The "aliens" had to appear in front of a panel of judges comprised of John, Denise Van Outen and Doctor Who casting director Andy Pryor. The monsters had to do things like tell the panel their names and backstory (what planet they were from etc) as well as act out the lyrics to I Will Survive in a menacing alien way. The VT clips were funny (although granted a lot of the humour came from watching John's response to them) but they were also far too short. You didn't get to see all the competitors or see the tests that they had to do to progress in the competition. If they were going to bother running the contest they should have featured the outfits in much more detail and devoted a bit more of the show to it (especially as the VT clips essentially replaced "Stage Fright").
Even if they hadn't bought on the winner at the beginning of the show you could tell very easily who the winner was from the clips. Great ,simple design very nicely carried off. Although I did really like the guy who made the top 3 who had a green and white costume (Dorak I think?) who I believe was sat behind us at the previous show. He amused the hell out of John at the first audition (he was wearing brown leather loafers with his costume and when John picked up on it randomly said that they were to stop him falling over on his yacht which had John in hysterics. ) and just came across as a very endearing personality.
The actual Doctor Who clip was great. They had Captain Jack coming across the alien in the Tardis who initially claims that he's the regenerated Doctor. Much amusing flirting ensues until the fact that he has a weapon on his arm clues Jack into the fact that he's a villain at which point they start fighting. Half way through the death threats and fighting David Tennant dressed in off duty clothes (including bright orange t-shirt) randomly walks on the set and asks "John" what he's doing. Both John and alien then sheepishly admit that they're just playing around on the Tardis set. David tells John that "It's my Tardis. Mine" before miming that he's keeping an eye on the alien before walking off at which point they switch back to being Jack and the alien fighting each other.
Very funny and very nicely done. The guy was clearly bowled over to be there and didn't expect Tennant to be there = he was a late addition and he nearly keeled over when Tennant appeared behind him. So worth it for the very nice clip but otherwise they just didn't show enough of the contest to really make it worthwhile televising it.
We also got the finale of workplace wonders with the waitresses against the plumbers. The waitresses sang Stop by the Spice Girls and the plumbers sang Crazy Little Thing Called Love. I think it would be fair to say that if they had both auditioned for Simon Cowell over at Britain's Got Talent they would have been met with the red buzzer of doom within 30 seconds but the plumbers gave the better performance on the night (the waitresses were fairly weak and completely drowned out by the band at times) and were crowned the champions.
And won....absolutely nothing.
Nothing. Zip. Nada.
Honestly what on earth was the point of it? You would have thought that the Beeb would have coughed up say £1000 of music vouchers so the winning band could buy music equipment or if they wanted to be cheap a trophy but not to win anything was just silly. I have to say that if the series gets renewed (ratings fell from last week and it didn't beat Primeval in its time slot this week but I imagine it's a pretty cheap show to make and it's getting a respectable enough audience so fingers crossed) Workplace Wonders is the first segment that should go. If it's not going to be voted for by the public and if there's no real prize it's a bit pointless. Also it has to be said the performances are coming across as a great deal more ropey on tv than they are live (the paramedics came across as really good when we watched them live - on tv they sounded horrendously out of tune) which just leaves the performers open to ridicule. I think if they got rid of it it would leave the other segments a bit more room to breathe.
The audience surprise this week was a "cool Maths teacher" who looked rather unhappy when he was surprised (watching John try to convince him that it would be fine and he'd have a great time was hilarious) but was actually a really brilliant sport and really got into it. He had to do a dance routine with the cast of High School Musical - which mostly involved him having to do various moves with a basketball. He was deadpan and very very funny and acquitted himself rather well.
In between takes we got the sing off section between members of the audience (although again they didn't actually have a chance to give out any pressies but Stuart's "bottle of bubbly" is just a kid's bottle of bubble bath anyway!). After last week John stayed well out of reach when people started singing - didn't want to get involved at all which was very understandable! A young boy went first singing "You Raise Me Up" which was cute. A girl in the audience with a killer blues voice sang "Get Happy" and was absolutely brilliant - John was very impressed with her and said it showed "there was a little bit of Judy inside everyone!" John encouraged Lolly - who I believe was the girl who sang Part of Your World dressed as a mermaid with Jodie Prenger in the Pilot (and who got replaced for the live shows by the girl with the lame story about having found herself a surrogate granny - which was harsh as Lolly was a better singer) to sing and she was very impressive for a young girl.
However I think the audience performance of the series has to go to the geeky, incredibly tall guy who sang Any Dream Will Do (or as he called it I Close My Eyes) with all the audience as his backing singers "ahhh ahhh" ing in the right places. He couldn't sing a note, got all the words wrong and yet was absolutely brilliant. John was in hysterics on stage.
John also sang Hero (swoon!) with warm up guy Stuart (well more like at him really there was much cuddling and fake emotive looks of love!) which was both brilliant and funny.
Not much time for messing about between takes this time though - Scott (who was looking unbelievably fine in a dark t-shirt and jeans - very buff!) got introduced and very reluctantly stood up and flipped John the bird when asked to do something which was very funny.
And apart from Hero and Moon River we also got 3 other songs from John which was an immense bonus. He sung Heaven to slot into a different show. There were quite a few problems with the dry ice and John had to perform it twice as all he could hear was himself in his ear piece rather than whatever he needed but it's not exactly a chore to hear him sing twice! He also sang One Night Only (said he always wanted to be a Dreamgirl!) which we got 2 and a half times with John stopping one of the performances half way through as he was unhappy. That was accompanied by another very complex dance routine with his J8 girls in amazing sparkly sequinned dresses. And he ended the show with Living La Vida Loca complete with very energetic dance routine which he couldn't quite pull off as his trousers were too tight and he forgot to sing at one point!
So a bit of a disjointed end to the series but here's hoping there is another one.
And onto the tour which I expect to be a mix of powerful ballads (like Heaven and From a Distance) and elaborate dance routines with his J8's (during which he will be a nightmare to photograph as I can't see him standing still for 2 seconds!) Bring it on!
In 2 weeks Tonights The Night will transmit their mini episode of Doctor Who featuring the the winner of their alien competition.
And David Tennant is in it!
All the taping of the alien competition was done two weeks ago, so although its spread across a couple of weeks on TV, its already decided, done, dusted and recorded! And heres what happens...
They had Captain Jack coming across the alien in the Tardis who initially claims that hes the regenerated Doctor. Much amusing flirting ensues until the fact that he has a weapon on his arm clues Jack into the fact that hes a villain, at which point they start fighting. Halfway through the death threats and fighting David Tennant dressed in off duty clothes (including a bright orange t-shirt) randomly walks on the set and asks John what hes doing. Both John and alien then sheepishly admit that they're just playing around on the Tardis set. David tells John that "It's my Tardis. Mine" before miming that hes keeping an eye on the alien before walking off at which point they switch back to being Jack and the alien fighting each other.
Mega thanx to fairyD123 for the report.
And which alien wins? We are told its obvious! Oh yeah, its unlikely this is canon :)