Over the Rainbow



Graham Norton


Judges: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charlotte Church, John Partridge, Sheila Hancock

'Toto' Judges: Jodie Prenger, Gerry Cott, Sarah Fisher


TalkbackThames for BBC One, 26 March to 22 May 2010 (18 episodes in 1 series)


Andrew Lloyd Webber re-unites with Graham Norton for another theatrical casting show, this time seeking a performer for the role of Dorothy in the musical The Wizard of Oz.

Nationwide auditions lead to 110 singers being invited to London to perform in front of the judges. After their performances, the judges whittle the field down to 54 girls. The lucky 54 move on and attend 'Dorothy Farm'. Here the girls receive vocal training, and tuition in dancing and acting. Each girl performs again for the judges, before the judges narrow the field again to just 20 girls.

The show then moves onto its live stages as the top 20 perform to win a place in the top 10. During this first live show, all the girls perform a group song, before splitting into smaller groups of four to perform a pop song, and then a song from a musical. Following this, the judges select the girls who will form the top 10. For the other 10, a final chance to progress sees them collectively perform Over the Rainbow, before the phone lines are opened, and the public decides which girl should join the top 10, as a wildcard entry, with the remaining nine girls leaving the competition.

On each show thereafter, the remaining girls perform a group song, before delivering an individual performance, after which the judges give their opinion. In addition, we see footage of the girls completing a Dorothy related task, such being a farm girl. The winner of the task, and some of the other girls chosen by them, get to perform an additional song at this point. At the end of the show, the phone lines are opened, and the public cast their votes. On the following evening's results show, the two girls with the lowest amount of public votes are revealed, and they must perform again for the judges, before Andrew Lloyd Webber decides which of them will leave the competition. The last remaining Dorothy at the end of the series wins the role of Dorothy on the West End stage.

The series also saw a search for a dog to play the role of Toto in a one-off gala performance. This search was overseen by the winner of I'd Do Anything Jodie Prenger, alongside animal experts Gerry Cott, and Sarah Fisher. This search was conducted without a public phone vote, and saw the judges narrow the field to a final five, from which, 'Desperate Dave', a one-year-old Miniature Schnauzer, was chosen to play Toto.


Danielle Hope

See also

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

Any Dream Will Do

I'd Do Anything


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