Tuesday, 30 December 2008

David's 2008 Highlights

Yes it's that time when journalists, pundits and bloggers become shamelessly self-indulgent and pick their favourite moments of the year. So not to be outdone, here are my very favourite Rachel-related moments of 2008.

Have to start with IDA of course:

'About You Now' -- An awesome statement of intent, this opening performance was nothing short of jaw-dropping. Having previously only seen Rachel as the demure Dorothy in Oz, this was an incredible image change and above all Rachel radiated confidence, class and star quality. Somewhere in Bristol, someone called Andy was taking notice too.

'You've Got A Friend' -- maybe not everyone's favourite, but I love the sincerity and simplicity of this performance. Delivered straight to camera, this showed Rachel's softer side and put her through to the semi-final.

'Cabaret' -- well what can I say that hasn't been said already? Performance of the series by a mile and the moment that proved Rachel to be world class. For once the judges were 100% spot on with their comments. Three words -- oh my God.

Mission -- 'Rowing Challenge' -- Rachel's grit and determination really shone through here, personality traits which have served her so well in her subsequent career.

Exit Interview -- Gracious, heart-warming, heartbreaking and endearingly ambitious.

Belfast Gay Pride -- Bit of an indulgence this one as very very few fans were priviledged to see this awesome performance. On a tiny stage in a Belfast back street, Rachel performed four incredible numbers entirely solo, including 'Cabaret' and 'Maybe This Time' to a wildly enthusiastic and lucky audience. A huge honour to be present and possibly the highlight of the year for me.

Belfast Proms -- A much bigger audience including thousands on TV, but the star quality was the same. Despite arriving without a ticket, I was able to get a plum spot right in front of the stage and recorded the lot including Rachel's interview. 'Maybe This Time' backed by the Ulster Orchestra was incredible and I particularly loved ALAHNM, the duet with Niamh. Got something in my eye towards the end.

Opening Night -- Where to start? Meeting so many great people, Rachel's family being so kind, stage door photos and -- oh yeah -- there was a show as well. This was Rachel's time to prove herself on the big stage and damn did she do it in style. From the moment that wonderful accent echoed round the Dominion, we knew Rachel had arrived at her true destination -- West End and beyond. 'No-one But You' was flawless, incredible -- I've run out of words. A fantastic night.

Honorary mentions also for Scaramouche Night (is there anything this girl can't do?) and the Munchkins Picnic, which made me realise just what a genuine person Rachel really is.

A couple of regrets -- not going to 'Glinda's Glitter Ball', the charity fundraising finale to Oz in January and Hyde Park (sorry Andy I'm an idiot).

And special thanks to a few of the wonderful people I've met this year, both in person and online -- Andy, Karen, Rosie, Jackie, Katie, Jess and Krissie. To affiliate bloggers Sara and Julie and to everyone who joined Team Tucker and showed their support.

I want to say what an immense priviledge it is to have the trust of Rachel and Karen in the running of this site. Having fans isn't always a pleasant experience and I was so glad to hear Rachel's endorsement of Team Tucker on Scaramouche Night.

We run this blog to celebrate the immense talent that is Rachel -- she makes us all proud to be her supporters and some great friendships have been formed through our mutual admiration for RT.

Most of all I want to thank Rachel herself -- an absolute inspiration to everyone, and to quote Jackie's excellent opening night review; 'a little gem, an absolute powerhouse of enthusiasm, with her bright eyes sparkling.'

Rachel it has been a delight to support you in 2008 and we'll continue to do so through 2009 and beyond.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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