Its EVICTION time!
So finally we begin to see the cracks in the armoury..and two people have the dubious honour of being the first evictees.
How tough was it, as judges, to make the decision? It was certainly a back and forth process. The choreographer- a gentle guy – but very focused on what is required was fairly clear in his assessements.
The Cruise Director deliberated hither and thither a bit more . As chief judge I wanted to make sure they both had time to really sort out their thoughts, because I had a feeling that we might have a split decision…and I was anxious to hear how their ideas were chiming with mine
Gillian was the easy target..she was a gallant woman. Her story was not unfamiliar – an illness that had threatened to be terminal, a reprieve and the realisation that life is finite. It happens not infrequently to mature women like myself and many react with deeds of derring-do such as climbing mountains, trekking deserts, making major job changes and so forth.
Gillian chose entertainment – a harder route for a woman of her age. Whilst applauding her decision to try something like this, it was clearly the wrong challenge for her and it cruelly exposed her inability to work at the pace set for her team AND to be able to pick up routines which required quick reactions – tough for even the young when inexperienced.
There is no bar to a person of any age to work and live amongst people much younger and those who do it usually find it to be a two-way process: give out a little wisdom and experience, take in a lot of energy and optimism. But it requires a willingness to have a flexible mind set, not always easy for persons who are more set in their ways.
For Gillian, it was a bridge too far…she was in unfamiliar territory in every way – stripping off to be fitted for costumes and being at ease with your body being seen by all and sundry (something performers quickly learn to accept from the start), doing everything at the double, attending crew drills, accepting orders from officers and sharing a cabin with very young women.
Hopefully, when she has time to reflect, she will see that she gave it her best, that everyone was rooting for her and hoping to get her through but that she was in the wrong place…
Loretta was a tougher decision. She also had her dreams and was really desperate to do well. A lovely girl who was no trouble at all and she performed well in the first show. If anything, she was a victim of the rule that two people had to go.
It was a tough call and there was deliberation amongst the judges with Stephen liking Loretta and Nicky liking Ashanti. After we had decided that the other three were ‘keepers’ – we debated their individual merits. Ashanti’s unique voice was a factor (although her dancing needing some work!) and in the end my casting vote went against Loretta because she was not outstanding in one particular area and couldn’t keep her nerves under control. She wanted to do it but it was a dream…from the audition onwards her nervousness was perhaps an issue and it was hard to see that there was something special which could be drawn out.
Sadly, she took it very hard, it really was a bubble bursting for her.
Perhaps a lesson in just HOW tough it is to be a really good entertainer and I hope she is now more at peace with it.