The Phantom of the Opera celebrates a stunning double
victory at West End Eurovision 2019
retaining the West End Eurovision Champions Trophy
and winning the Outstanding Gorgeousness prize
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The cast of The Phantom of the Opera were hailed the stars of West End Eurovision 2019, scoring a remarkable double victory. They are pictured with UK Eurovision star Graham Norton and 1998 Israeli Eurovision winner Dana International
Photos: Nicolas Chinardet zefrographica.co.uk
The cast of the West End’s longest running musical, The Phantom of the Opera, were last night hailed the stars of West End Eurovision 2019, scoring a remarkable double victory.
Performing ‘Grande Amore’(which came 3rd performed by Italy’s Il Volo at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest) and earning 88 votes, The Phantom of the Opera entry was voted overall winner by both voting judges from the seven competing shows and text votes by the audience in the Adelphi Theatre.
Featuring two stunning costume transformations, The Phantom of the Opera cast stormed the event winning more top marks than any other production. But the final result went to a knife-edge with the theatre audience votes deciding first and second place, with Follies from the National Theatre runners up.
This was the first time in the 9-year history of West End Eurovision that the top prize has been won by the same show in successive years.
The Phantom of the Opera was also awarded the new Outstanding Gorgeousness prize, judged by award winning Set and Costume Designer Fly Davies and Jamie Campbell, whose story inspired ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’.
The Best Creative prize – decided by the judging panel of West End star Bonnie Langford, dancer, choreographer, director and actor Wayne Sleep, OBE, ‘Blue Peter’ legend Tim Vincent and Love Island winner Amber Davies (currently playing Judy Bernly in ‘9 to 5’ at the Savoy Theatre) – went to the cast of Wicked performing ‘Wild Dances’ (Ukraine’s 2004 winning entry).
The third trophy of the night, the Best Ident, voted for by public text vote, was won by Everyone’s Talking About
The final result was:
1. The Phantom of the Opera – 88 votes
2. Follies – 80 votes
3. Wicked – 62 votes
4. Aladdin – 52 votes
5. Mamma Mia! – 42 votes
6. Everyone’s Talking About Jamie- 40 votes
7. Only Fools and Horses- 16 votes
The evening also featured two epic performances by this year’s UK entry, Michael Rice, performing the emotive and uplifting track ‘Bigger Than Us’ that carries the hopes of the UK at the 64th Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, and fantastically glamorous Eurovision winner Dana International, who performed ‘DIVA’, the song that took the crown for her in Birmingham in 1998.
Legendary charity production West End Eurovision was staged at the Adelphi Theatre and was a sold-out storming success.
Melanie Tranter, chair of the Make A Difference Trust said: ”Last night’s event was a testament to the generosity of the amazing people in the theatre community coming together to support the Trust. The funds raised will help us to continue our work supporting those living with of affected by HIV and AIDS. Congratulations to The Phantom of the Opera for a well deserved win. We all look forward to them defending the trophy next year.”
Since the first West End Eurovision contest was staged in 2008, the event has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to support the MAD Trust. The Trust works with its partners to support HIV and AIDS projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa building awareness and providing care support and education.
Kevin Wilson Public Relations
Tel 020 8673 0658 / 07884 368696
Reviewed by Jade Prince
Seen April 28th, 2019
— Straight away, my apologies this is such a long one. I wanted to capture the night in as much detail as possible to show people what they are missing out on and why they really need to consider attending awesome events like this! No pressure, ha! I will provide my summary in bold at the bottom for those in a rush! —
What a night!
Piled high with all the cheese.
Delivers and embodies everything Eurovision is and then some!
This year we were able to attend West End Eurovision. Creator and writer Jade is the first person to dive out of the room when anybody utters the E-word. That and the P-word (panto) are the deal breakers…
West End Eurovision may have converted me. Not enough to watch the Eurovision on TV but to return to the annual West End event. I’d be Mad not to! (<— did you see what I did there? If not, you soon will).
Each year West End Eurovision takes up residence in one of the sparkly west end venues. This year happened to be the Adelphi Theatre (currently home to Waitress) and was celebrating its 9th return.
In the west end, we all love a good charity event. It was evident to see at this event. The purpose of West End Eurovision is to raise money and awareness for HIV & AIDS. Back in 2008, The Make a Difference Trust – Theatre MAD was created in order to fundraise for HIV and AIDS in the theatre community. There are numerous charity events they host throughout the year with different themes and performers, but I can honestly say, they are incredible to attend. I have been to a few and I’ve had a blast.
The theory behind MAD Trust is having the theatre community come together and make a difference as a team, showcasing their skills and talents to help those living with/impacted by HIV and AIDS.
To the event…
West End Eurovision pretty much says what it is on the tin. The same principles of the normal Eurovision, the only difference, instead of countries joining together, it is west end shows. This year, 7 west end shows came together for one night and one night only to fight it out to see who could claim the prestigious title of, “West End Eurovision Winner 2019!”. Gracing the stage were the casts of ‘Only folks and Horses’, ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘Mamma Mia!’, ‘Follies’, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Wicked’.
Last year’s winner was The Phantom of the Opera and trust me, everyone was gunning for that title this year.
The claws where out and no wow factor was left unturned. We had pyrotechnics, light shows, insane choreography, a human Ken doll and quick changes!
For the night we had the delightful Richard Gauntlett hosting, ensuring the laughs kept coming and the show kept moving.
First up we saw the cast of ‘Only Fools and Horse’ performing “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”. The energy was fab and a great start to the show. It set the bar high for the other contestants. They were cleverly able to incorporate their show into the song!
Second to perform was ‘Everybody’s Talking about Jamie’ with their version of “Toy”. Now, this song secured Israel’s win in the 2018 Eurovision and it was looking to have the same fate with Jamie. The costumes where in keeping, with each ensemble labelled as a different toy brand. The three lead vocals smashed it and well…the human Ken doll at the end was an added bonus. Layton Williams demanded everybody’s full attention; aerial, pirouetting and splitting all over the stage. They know how to please an audience! Things were looking great for ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ as the audience found themselves asking, “what could top that?!”
Third to perform was the cast of ‘Aladdin’ with “Monsters”. Yet again, another strong contender. With brilliant choreography the fluorescent green was really mesmerising to watch as the lights dimmed.
Closing act one, ‘Mamma Mia!’ took to the stage and performed their choice song, “Je Ne Sais Quoi”. Something new was brought to the stage that we hadn’t seen prior to this performance…comedy. Initially I think the majority of the audience was distressed when it appeared a cast member was almost dropped and then hobbled off stage only to return with a cast on her leg. By this time enough had ‘gone wrong’ for the audience to relax back into the night and laugh along.
‘Follies’ had the honour of opening up act 2. We saw a much slower pace is comparison to act 1 however this pace change did not impact the entertainment! With “L’oiseau et L’enfant” the smallest cast of the night had the audience in the palm of their hand. You could have heard a pin drop during that performance. For the first time that night, the whole audience erupted! This had just become the lead contestant!
And just when you thought the talent couldn’t get any better. No seriously, I thought it had peaked, the cast of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ had the entire building lose their chill! Oh my word, there have only been a handful of moments where I had full-body chills during a performance and this made the list. Their performance of “Grande Amore” caused me to forget how to breathe! Firstly, those vocals were to die for. Obviously, we knew there would be perfect harmonies. Secondly, we witnessed wow factor after wow factor! The energy of the performance gripping to and working in perfect unison with the music. Each heightened moment visually replicated on stage. The moment the performance finished the audience blew the remainder of the roof off the Adelphi! It is safe to say that ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ was back to reclaim the title of West End Eurovision winner 2019.
That Phantom runs an incredibly tight ship. WHERE CAN I JOIN PHANTOM BOOTCAMP?!?!
The final show to take to the stage was ‘Wicked’ with “Wild Dances “. I hate to say this, but they were very unfortunate in this line-up. I mean, how on earth could you top The Phantom of the Opera’s performance? The talent was there but just fell a little short.
Having never been to a West End Eurovision I was unsure on how the voting would play out. To my surprise it was much more technically advanced than I was expecting! We had the four main judges; Amber Davis (winner of Love Island 2017), Bonnie Langford (currently starring in 9 to 5), Wayne Sleep OBE (Cats, Song and Dance) and Tim Vincent (TV personality). The four judges were providing comments after each performance. There were several categories the shows could win but I know that you are all interested in the overall winner. This was determined by a combination of votes from the judges and the audience. In the room, we had a certain amount of time where we could text a main number to cast a vote. The votes cost £1 a go but all the money went to MAD Trust.
During this time we were entertained further by some incredible special guests. These included Michael Rice (winner of the BBC’s All Together Now in 2018) and Dana International (winner of Eurovision in 1998). Michael Rice’s voice was fabulous. He is one to watch out for!
Now it was the moment we had all been waiting for. The auditorium held their breath as the suspense ate us alive. When people say the shows get competitive, you had best believe them!
All in all, I had a bloody amazing night! Everyone involved with performing and putting on the show is there on their own time. Not a single person is paid but that doesn’t impact the quality you receive. I’ll be going again, for sure.
Not only are you getting a fabulous night of pure talent and laughter, but you are also helping out a well deserving charity!
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