Tuesday, 30 December 2008
Andy's 2008 Highlights
It's difficult to know where to start when listing my 2008 highlights because there have been so many but I guess it's only right to start with IDA.
I didn't see much of the build up to the live shows so Rachel's stunning performance of 'About You Now' was the first time I saw our girl in action and to say I was impressed would be a MASSIVE understatement. I was first struck by her beauty but it wasn't long before I realised she had the talent to match and I already knew she was destined to be a star.
Other IDA highlights include 'Oh What a Night', 'Another Suitcase' (Niamh Sing Off) and of course 'Cabaret' but in truth you could pick almost any of her performances because she was consistently brilliant week after week.
I also really enjoyed the missions where we got to know Rachel a little better. Needless to say she excelled in all of them but if I had to pick a favourite it would probably have to be the comedy mission. The infamous Jaws Joke had me laughing out loud and was typical Rachel.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Jess for her fantastic tribute video. The girl is a genius and somehow managed to capture all the best moments in that 10 minute masterpiece. I know I'll never get tired of watching it.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to travel to NI to see the Gay Pride event but it was great that David and other readers were able to record some footage to at least give us a taste of what it was like. I actually have a fear of flying but I have been practicing my swimming to ensure I don't miss such a special occasion again.
I haven't had much use for the 'Red Button' on my Sky remote but it came to the rescue when Rachel performed at the Proms. I couldn't believe my luck when I discovered I was able to tune into the coverage from Belfast and you'll excuse my bias if I say she was the highlight of a memorable evening’s entertainment.
Like David I found the duet with Niamh particularly moving. She was my second favourite contestant on IDA so it was lovely to see them together again. Northern Ireland can be very proud of both of them.
Next up was Hyde Park. I have to admit I was in 2 minds about going when David told me he wouldn't be able to make the trip. I knew Rachel was only making a brief appearance and with an expected crowd of over 40,000 I didn't think I'd get anywhere near the stage.
I'm so glad I decided to go because it really was a fantastic night. Seeing so many incredible artists on one stage and Rachel in person for the very first time made Sunday 14th September a day I will always remember. Rachel seemed to be having an absolute blast on stage with the other IDA girls and 'Light at the end of the Tunnel' topped off one of the best night's of 2008.
I think I described September 22nd as one of the best days of my life and that really is the truth. To see Rachel fulfil her dream in the West End was incredible and it was great to be joined by so many members of TT. I met so many wonderful people for the first time that night but for obvious reasons I want to single out David, to whom I am so grateful for allowing me to contribute on this blog and Rachel, who was magnificent on stage and every bit as lovely as I knew she would be when I spoke to her at the stage door afterwards.
Scaramouche night was also a very special occasion and in some ways I enjoyed it even more. I was feeling relaxed, confident Rachel would give a faultless performance and as usual she didn't disappoint.
Like David I would like to thank all our readers for their support of Rachel and our blog throughout 2008 and we hope you'll stick with us for what I'm sure will be an equally exciting 2009.
Last but certainly not least, thanks to Rachel for making all the above possible.