Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Review of the Rachel Year from Chris
2008 has been a year of massive highs and lows for me and sometimes it's been pretty tough going, but it is no overstatement to say that Rachel's IDA performances provided me with some of the most inspiring and emotionally engaging moments I've seen, and - on WWRY opening night - turned what was potentially one of the saddest days of my life into one of the most memorable. Thank you Rachel and Team Tucker.
I missed the early episodes of IDA and, not normally one to get addicted to these type of shows, wasn't too concerned about tuning in as the finals got under way. Until, that is, I happened to catch Rachel's rendition of Beautiful, which is one of my three stand-out moments from the show. Echoing the comments made in Andy's review, my initial reaction was "wow, what a stunningly beautiful woman", but by the end of the rendition I knew Rachel was the whole package.
Instantly hooked, I made it my business to tune in to IDA every week from then on. As the show went by it became increasingly clear that Rachel just didn't have the public vote, for whatever reason I will never understand! I started trawling the web for various IDA-related threads and it was obvious that the hard-core Jodie and Jessie fans were in the majority. So towards the end I accepted deep down that Rachel wouldn't win, but it still broke my heart when she made her exit (her sing-off with Sam, and her ALAHNM, were my other two stand-out moments). I didn't even watch the final, not through any sense of petulance, but because the star of the show was absent and it just didn't hold any appeal for me.
However, on one internet thread I did notice a large proliferation of posts from someone called "Gas Attack" who was vehemently battling the case for Rachel, declaring himself "Rachel's Biggest Fan" - hold on a minute, I thought, I am Rachel's biggest fan, how dare you! Gas Attack is of course TT's very own Andy, and I have to concede as a result of his (and David's) sterling efforts on this blog that he probably does deserve that title!
For anyone who's wondering why "Cabaret" didn't make my top 3 stand-out moments...... I missed it!! I had travelled up to Edinburgh on that day ready for the Edinburgh Marathon the following day. I was late checking into my hotel and was aware I'd missed the first 5 minutes or so of IDA...... never mind, I thought, Rachel won't be first on...... so I switched on the telly to see ALW et al standing applauding in unison and the crowd erupting behind them..... and then the camera panned to Rachel's beaming face..... I'd missed it! Of course I have since seen in many times via this blog but I'm still gutted I didn't see it live.
Anyway I did the marathon in a time of 3 hours 46 minutes which I was very pleased with. As a little aside, there was another major injustice that weekend - France didn't win the Eurovision song contest when their song ("Divine" by Sebastian Tellier) was clearly the best by some way!!
* cringes in embarrassment at admitting to liking a Eurovision song *
My year started to go downhill from there, my marriage started to break down and on 22 September I spent my last night living with my wife before separating. 22 September was of course WWRY opening night, and I very nearly didn't go, but I am so glad I did because what a fantastic night it was, seeing Rachel perform live, getting her autograph and a fabulous picture with her at the stage doors afterwards, and of course meeting the members of TT and some of the Jessie Buckley bloggers.
This potentially horrendous night for me instead became one that will live long in my memory for all the right reasons and that is all down to one super talented, beautiful, awe-inspiring young lady from Belfast! Thanks Rachel!
Scaramouche night was fabulous and I personally preferred Rachel in that role, mainly because you get to see sooooooo much more of her, and surely now it is only a matter of time before she gets the Velma Kelly role..... I wasn't able to hang around long at stage door afterwards and so I wasn't able to chat to the other TT members, unfortunately my companions and I had a restaurant booking to dash off to!
So now it's looking forward to 9th March where David, Andy and I will be sitting near the front of the stalls to see Rachel in close-up!
Happy 2009 to all Team Tucker members!