The live finals of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest talent show Superstar kicked off on Sunday night – and there was good news for would-be leading man Jon Moses.
The 27-year-old holiday camp entertainer had previously been told that he would be an ‘understudy’ finalist and would only take part in the show if one of the other finalists dropped out.
However Lloyd Webber revealed on Sunday that he had changed his mind, and that Jon would now join the others in the starting line-up.
And as such he performed along with the other ten finalists who took to the live stage for the first time on Sunday night, singing for the studio audience as well as Lloyd Webber and fellow judges Jason Donovan, Mel C and Dawn French.
Jon, who sang Kelly Clarkson’s hit Since You’ve Been Gone, proved popular with the judges. “You’ve come out here today and blown the audience away,” Jason Donovan told him, while Dawn French called it a “belter of a performance”.
Also faring well on Sunday night were 24-year-old singer Rory Taylor and West End actor Roger Wright, who previously starred in The Lion King.
“I think we saw Rory the rockstar tonight,” Mel C told Rory following his rendition of Lenny Kravitz’s Are You Gonna Go My Way, while Lloyd Webber called Roger a “fantastic vocalist” and added, “I’m really glad we have you on the programme.”
Ben Forster also marked himself out as one to watch over the next fortnight with his quirky rendition of the Gotye chart-topper Somebody That I Used To Know. Dawn complimented him on his “phenomenal range” while Mel C was also enthusiastic about his performance, which saw him begin lying on the floor.
There were also good reviews for former Voice auditionee Nathan James, with Mel C saying he was “one of the most incredible vocalists I think I’ve ever heard”.
And Irishman Niall Sheehy won plaudits from the panel, with Dawn praising his ‘winning vulnerability, while fellow Irish singer Jeff Anderson impressed the judges with his version of Daniel Merriweather’s Red.
“I am impressed that you came as Jesus,” joked Dawn, in reference to the 21-year-old’s long hair and beard, only to be told by Lloyd Webber that “we don’t know what Jesus looked like”.
Others who took part in Sunday’s final included former boy band member David Hunter, performer Dirk Johnston, model and performer Afnan Iftikhar and charity worker Tim Prottey-Jones – all of whom won good reviews from the judges.
The results of the first public vote will be revealed on Monday night’s show, with the first competitor leaving the competition.
The show will run every night until the weekend and will then resume next Monday with the final on Wednesday July 25.