Nathan James exits Superstar

The battle to play Jesus in a new stage musical is heating up, with only four contenders remaining ahead of Wednesday’s live final of Superstar.

Nathan James, 23, became the latest performer to be eliminated from the ITV1 show when Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber chose to save Roger Wright instead of him.

The pair, who received the lowest number of viewers’ votes, both sang Love Changes Everything from Lloyd Webber’s musical Aspects of Love.

While it was the first time in the bottom two for long-haired Reading rocker Nathan, it was the second time in a row Roger had been there – and the second time he had been chosen to stay.

Making his choice, Lord Lloyd Webber said: “Despite a fantastic performance, I’ve got to save Roger.”

Roger, 41, from east London, reacted by saying: “This is emotional.” Asked by host Amanda Holden if he had a ‘game plan’ to avoid being in the bottom two again, he replied: “Sing from your heart. That’s all you can do.”

Earlier in the show, the finalists had performed Take That hit Greatest Day, accompanied on the piano by Gary Barlow, who praised the singers. Nathan said of the experience: “When we found out that we were going to be singing with Gary Barlow in rehearsals – that was a milestone in all of our journeys.”

Ben Forster, 31, from Sunderland, stays in the competition along with Roger, David Hunter, 27, from Warrington, and Rory Taylor, 24, from the Wirral.

Lord Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical goes on tour in September, featuring comic Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, DJ Chris Moyles as King Herod and Melanie C as Mary Magdalene.