After an astounding performance of Cabaret it hardly seemed conceivable that Rachel could be in the bottom 2. She was so incredible I couldn’t see how the public could vote for anybody else. However yet again fate dealt a cruel blow and Rachel found herself in the sing off, this time with Sam. The public were clearly not voting based on talent or suitability for the role of
The song they were given was ‘Memory’, a song that really challenges the range. They both gave a stellar performance under the circumstances but Rachel clearly had the edge it terms of capturing the emotion of the song. Considering this, together with her outstanding rendition of Cabaret and the fact that it was Sam that polled the lowest number of votes, surely Andrew would do the sensible thing and save Rachel; inexplicably that wasn’t the case.
After much deliberation he said “Well first off, I’m sure Cameron is going to share this with me, this is the most devastating moment. Here you are singing ‘Memory’ which is sung by a young cat to the older cat and it was everything about the first show that we did together. Now here am I faced with an impossible choice. On one hand Samantha you're fabulous and have everything ahead of you; Rachel you did a wonderful performance of ‘Cabaret’ and I really don’t know what to say. But I’ve got to make a decision and I’ve got to think of where the show ultimately, for Cameron, is going to go. I…..I…..I think I have to go with you Samantha.”
He did have some consoling words for Rachel “You gave a fantastic performance tonight and I just know you've got this huge career ahead of you. You were simply fantastic and I didn’t know what to do.”
As Andrew was giving Rachel these words of comfort the camera switched to Cameron – who is stumping up the cash to produce Oliver in the west end - and he looked absolutely furious that the girl he had publicly backed as his favourite was on her way home. This was confirmed the following morning when stories broke of a huge bust up between the 2 musical impresarios. Click on the link below to read the full story:
Showdown in the Wild West End
It was clearly the wrong decision not to save Rachel and I think only Andrew and Samantha's fans thought otherwise. This is what Zoe Tyler - a judge on the original show ‘How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria’ - had to say about it:
"I completely disagree with Andrew, losing Rachel; she’s fantastic. She just proved it when she went out this week and sang 'As Long As He Needs Me', her acting is just phenomenal and she sang it exactly how it should have been sung, like a leading lady. I'm flabbergasted that he saved Samantha over Rachel, completely flabbergasted."
You can listen to the full podcast here:
I am still recovering from this travesty now but I take heart from the knowledge that Rachel will go on to bigger and better things.
Andy has summed it up excellently here. I can only add my personal feelings.
Having been blown away by 'Cabaret' on Saturday night, I had no doubt whatsoever that Rachel would be in the final. Even if she didn't make the top two, Andrew would simply HAVE to save her after a performance like that.
On the Sunday evening I went out for a family meal in Belfast. Shortly after we arrived at the restaurant, one of my daughter's friends phoned in tears to say that Rachel had gone out of the contest. I simply couldn't believe it.
When I got home I watched the sing-off online. It was almost too much to bear. 'Memory' is a beautiful song tinged with sadness. I never want to hear it again.
Looking at Rachel as Andrew began to deliver his verdict, it was as if she knew what was coming. Outwardly she was calm but her eyes betrayed how much she wanted -- needed to stay in the competition.
Andrew mouthed the word Samantha. Rachel gave a little nod. I regarded Andrew as the man who had just thrown a diamond tiara into the bin.
At that moment I determined that I would do anything I could to help make Rachel's dream come true. I've never seen anyone who so completely deserved to win.
We set up this blog to show the world the huge talent and the wonderful person that Rachel so clearly is. We want to give her fans and admirers a place for everything Rachel, past, present and future. We will be here, cheering for Rachel through every step of her career.
And the journey has just begun.
If you would like to see the sing off again, check out the video below.