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I’d do Anything For You (3) – Ashley: revenge in Rubber for Andrew

going, going, going, going, going...gone

going, going, going, going, going...gone

I’d Do Anything For You (3)

And then there were five. Awful Ashley finally left the ‘Nancy’ house to find a quiet place to stick pins into an effigy of Lord Rubber. Uncharacteristically cruel, the latex Lord had told her not to miss the last bus out of dodgy city. For a man whose vast fortune rests on slavishly giving the public exactly what they want, the curiously likeable Lord, has been, with Ashley, an angry Piper unwilling to let those who pay him call the tune. So tenaciously did argumentative Ash cling on, one began to wonder whether an SAS SWAT team might have to be called in to prise her grip from the door to fame. As Nancy at least.

But the Good lord was quite right, so manifestly less talented than the others left in the competition, if the peculiar Peer’s barbs didn’t see her off, the sweet DVO must have delivered the coup de grace with “that was too cruise ship for me.” A well-oiled stiletto to the heart. Only the good Ashley could take that and come back for more.

The best moment on Saturday, in this endlessly surreal show, was Barry Humphries commiserating with genuine ‘sisterly’ feeling with Jodie about how hard it is to dance in high heels. There’s esoteric professional inside knowledge for you. Though if I were Big Barry I wouldn’t be accepting any cups of tea from Rachel’s pretty hand for a while – having last week likened her to Georgia Brown he bitch-slapped her this week as a mere understudy. I thought she was going to spontaneously combust on live TV.

BB’s absolutely perfect for this show whose sexual tone and undertone is deliciously anarchic. After hermaphroditic Humph, the whole gay spectrum is nicely book-ended by John Barrowman proving he is not just an impossibly pretty face at one end, and Graham Norton’s let’s-see-whose-got-the-biggest-behind-the-bike-sheds smirk, at the other. Lord Rubber always looks asexual to me but we gather this would be a seriously dangerous assumption on the part of any unsuspecting Lady or lady, judging by the lovingly nurtured legend that it is not only the Good lord’s estate that is exceptionally well endowed. Unlike most of the female population of the UK, I can easily forgive the delectable Denise her relationship with Luvlee Lee Mead of Joseph fame. Indeed with her informed and sometimes feisty sense of humour, I might just find it in my heart to forgive DVO anything. But Julie Delpy still has my heart.

So its numinous, nervous Niamh; jolly jumbly Jodie; ruthless radiant Rachel; Sexy Samantha from the Isle of Sam; and jiggly just delicious Jessie to fight it out. Things are getting tough, for this competition has been lucky enough to actually find some absolutely first class, and diverse talent. There will however be tears before the fortnight’s out as the Olivers are getting to the last one in, three out stage. The only dry eyes in the house when that one hits our screens will probably be the kids themselves, unnervingly composed, assured and professional from their nimble feet to their tastefully tangled locks. If the little blonde kid doesn’t get in I think my wife’s going to lead a march on London.

Choice of song is the potential fiddle-factor in the show. Not that I would suspect it of course. But last week strangely everyone was given a lousy, inappropriate song, except perversely Ashley who grandstanded her way through putting the pop-eyed Peer into a hissy fit, with a sort of Burly Chassis version of Hey Big Spender. It was great fun to watch the younger three go ape and what ALW called the less-young group (nice sucking-up milord) going seductive. Though I have to say, and not wishing to be ungallant, despite her wonderful personality, the thought of Jodie heading full steam ahead with sexual intent would scare the bejesus out of me.

So the circus rolls on. For me, taking the casting issue seriously, Niamh takes it. She moves better, acts better, has a shaman’s eyes and is learning to use them. The others could all act the role of Nancy, this extraordinary, unbelievably young woman could be her. Niamh’s Nancy would make you cry.

(Zettel 2008)

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