Three contestants named in final of Over The Rainbow in bid to play Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz

And then there were three. The winner of Over The Rainbow, to find a Dorothy to star in Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s new production of The Wizard of Oz, will be announced this Saturday 22 May on BBC One. The climax of a long search to find the new star of the show will start at 7pm, with the results show on the same evening at 8.55pm.

In a tense semi-final on Sunday, Steph Fearon, 21 , from London was evicted from the show. That leaves Lauren Samuels, 22, from London, Sophie Evans, 17, from Wales and Danielle Hope, 17, from Greater Manchester battling it out in final.

The judges were unanimous when asked who “wasn’t Dorothy”, with all three saying Steph.

Each of the girls had to sing a pop song in the semi-final to prove their versatility. Steph sang Rule The World by Take That. On Steph’s performance John said: “I’ve always said I’m looking for a triple threat, and of all the girls left you are definitely that girl. You came to your first audition with a flower on your face for luck. It takes more than luck to make it in this industry, it takes talent and a break. You’ve got the talent and I hope that the public give you a break.”

Charlotte said: “Outstanding vocal performance… it was a man’s song and a classic – so hard to bring something new to it. I love the colour of your voice in the lower register, it could be great for Dorothy.”

Sheila added: “Great – as far as the lyrics go, I don’t know what it all means, but you made it sound like something.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “You did very well with a difficult song, a pop song. I would have played it a bit more innocently as that’s what we are looking for with Dorothy.”

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THE FINAL THREE FINALISTS

Before announcing who was in the bottom two, Graham asked each panel member who “wasn’t Dorothy”. The panel were united in their decision, all three saying “Steph.”

Steph and Lauren gained the least amount of public votes, and had to sing a rendition of Another Suitcase In Another Hall from Evita. Then it was up to Andrew Lloyd Webber alone to choose which Dorothy should be saved for another performance.

Andrew said: “I’m glad it’s the last time I have to make this decision. I know you all so well now, it’s like family. I feel dreadful that I have to take a decision on who is best for Dorothy. I’m going to save Lauren.”

On hearing the announcement, Steph said: “I had the best time of my life. I’ve made friends for life. I’ve learnt so much. Thanks to everyone backstage – you’re all amazing. I’ve had the time of my life.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s multi-million pound new production of the classic musical will start performances on 29 March 2011 at the London Palladium in the West End. The show will feature a number of new songs specially written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who said recently that, “the film worked fantastically but we need some new songs for the stage show”. The creative team will consist of direction by Jeremy Sams, design by Robert Jones and choreography by Arlene Phillips.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group will produce the musical.

Sister Act is currently playing at the theatre, and will now finish at the Palladium on 30 October 2010. It is currently looking for a new West End home.

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