Once the families, grandparents and assorted tearful attachments had been sent away the show got under way and the three remaining candidates for the lead role in Over The Rainbow finally had a chance to do what we and they had been waiting for - sing, dance and act a little.
The judges had clearly agreed, or been told, not to try and influence the vote by saying anything bad about any of them. They needn't have been, though, as all three would have been worthy winners. Sophie looked radiant and, despite being the least experienced or vocally adept to date, really began to look as though she might actually win. Lauren's performances were truly immaculate and, whilst she'd be a more serious type of Dorothy, the producers could probably just toss the script at her and leave her to it. Danielle has always been the one to watch in my view. She has a fascination about her and seems to be able totally to take on the part. just look at her eyes and the minute movements she makes in contrast to the deliberate and well-rehearsed broader sweeps made by the others in the show in the past. She can also sing almost as well as Lauren but with a pretty tone rather than the more traditional 'stage' tone.
Reprising her remarkable Mambo Italiano performance could well have been what brought her through to the final two with Sophie who clearly proved simply more popular for this role than Lauren who will, I'm absolutely sure, be seen on billboards for a serious West End show very soon.
Both Sophie and Danielle performed Over The Rainbow and, again, Danielle would have won easily on points but it was still anyone's guess with Sophie really doing a great job of promoting herself and possibly being a new, open-faced Dorothy versus the more traditional and wistful one being offered so delightfully by Danielle.
It was, indeed, to be Danielle's day and, whilst I have been critical of the show in many respects, it did manage to find some brilliant talent on the way and you do have to wonder just how many American Idol or X Factor finalists could have put on such great (genuinely live) singing, dancing and acting with just a few days to learn.