It was two songs for each act last Saturday. With Tamera Foster and Rough Copy, the staging went from urban in the first round, to virginal and churchy for round two. Sure, both went from upbeat tracks to heartfelt ballads, but it’s worth asking our readers – did the generally positive staging of the second song help negate the apparently less helpful aspects of the first?
There was more in common for Nicholas McDonald’s staging, though it’s fair to say that ‘Just The Way You Are’ and ‘Greatest Day’ are pretty similar in feel. It’s still all about the gold for Wee Nick.
Gold steps that you can jump off, in fact, as well as a few sparky bursts of fiery drizzle towards the end.
Flattering lighting and styling for Sam Bailey. Plus an exemplary case of how to use backing dancers in ‘How Will I Know’: they complement rather than distract, they follow her around the stage, and we know at all times that she’s the star.
There is a plinth for ‘Clown’, though at least it’s black, small and keeps her clear of the dry ice. The gold chandelier backdrop is implicitly referenced in Dermot’s recap, “You could feel the electricity in the atmosphere.”
Luke gets red and gold for ‘Skinny Love’.
Gamblebot’s friend said of the staging for Luke’s ‘I Will Wait’: “He looked like he was part of an obscure cover band hired at a rich family’s garden party.” Personally, it reminded me of the Toploader ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ video which was ubiquitous in its time, and fits that description.
Now we get to play spot the difference. Tamera round one – a roll call of everything that Richard Betsfactor has suggested is harmful: colour vomit styling, distracting dancers, fire and a scrapyard backdrop to subliminally remind us of Gary’s “car crash” comment the week before.
Yet for round two, Tamera has virginal white, crucifix accessories and blossoming purple flowers.
It’s similarly contrasting for Rough Copy. The first performance has the urban accessories – berets and backpacks – in red and black.
But the boys go to church for ‘I Believe I Can Fly’. They’re in white, as are the choir, there’s a backdrop of gold fireworks and spotlights trained on them. It couldn’t be more helpful.
Producers were generally doing their best for Rough Copy this week, and yet they didn’t mind going urban in the styling for the first song. What does this tell us?
It could be that producers believe the second performance is more important (and they will know when most votes are cast). In which case, Tamera’s unhelpful ‘We Found Love’ staging was to some extent cancelled out by what followed, although Chiggs makes the point that ‘First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ can be a dull experience.
Do you have any views on this? It’s something to bear in mind for the coming semi-final. Otherwise, let us know anything else you noticed from last weekend’s staging and what it might mean.