THE BLOG
18/07/2012 14:13 BST | Updated 17/09/2012 06:12 BST

Superstar, Keeping Up Appearances

"Georgie Best. Superstar, Wears frilly knickers and a Playtex bra!" I was amongst thousands of kids in the 70s who sang that, oblivious as to the original, and I still sing it whenever the credits come on to Superstar.

"Georgie Best. Superstar, Wears frilly knickers and a Playtex bra!" I was amongst thousands of kids in the 70s who sang that, oblivious as to the original, and I still sing it whenever the credits come on to Superstar.

We're right in the thick of it now. You can smell the hair product and almost hear the straining as the remaining 9 potential 'Jesi' try and force their facial hair to grow as fast as possible to improve their chances.

Jesus had a beard- this we know. Ask anyone and they'll tell you that as a stone cold fact like they used to trim it for him back in the day.

According to Lord Webber, we don't know anything about him at all. Ask him if Jesus had a beard and he'll just shrug his little shoulders and look at you with those eyes that look like they're in their own individual wind tunnels and say, "We simply don't know".

This brings me to something that has been bugging me for a while now so I might as well just get it out there.

Should the physical appearance of an actor play a part in their being cast for a role? I think it should. This isn't an album we're making, it's a staged event, and if Jesus walks on looking more like Mariah than a messiah then the greatest rock voice in the world isn't going to sell it.

It's been a problem for me for a while. My wife was in Billy Elliot and, in the interests of fairness, there have been Billies of every ethnic origin and colour. I love fairness and I'm a great advocate of equal opportunities but if I saw a young Chinese lad, as I did, playing the son of two Geordies in the 80's then I'd want some kind of explanation.

Why not have a girl playing the part, as has been suggested for Superstar? Because it would be laughable, that's why.

What we DO know, Andrew, is that Jesus was from Nazareth, not Notting Hill, and therefore wasn't white. So congratulations Roger.

"Oh, no, hang on!" I can almost hear ALW (who is looking more and more like an aged Tin-Tin with every show) interject. "This is a Rock opera- it doesn't have to be historically accurate dear boy!" Well, that's alright then because I was also wondering how 'the date' can be 4BC, as you told Dawn French, if it's got Jesus in it.

I don't fully understand why appearance means so much to me, and neither does anyone who's laid eyes on my fat, scruffy ass, but it does.

I find myself wondering if the Superstar logo really is the result of a hasty one night stand between Optimus Prime and a 'Simon Says' toy. Or if Mel C got her hair style from a dead girl at the bottom of a well.

I even use appearance as an aid to remembering the contestants. It can be a bit tenuous but it goes like this:

Nathan- Thundercat.

David- Martin Freeman from The Office.

Ben- Jason Isaacs with Mr. Bean's ears

Niall- Chris Addison from the Direct Line ads.

Tim- Orville (sorry mate, it's the glasses)

Roger- How John Barnes thinks he looks

Jon- Mark Owen in a hall of Mirrors (Or Geoffrey from Rainbow)

Jeff- Kenny Everett joins a rock band and beefs up

Rory- a white Ashley Cole.

Cruel? Shallow? Almost certainly but that's how my brain works and it's not a reflection on them as performers.

Like I said in my last blog, the quality of the singing on this show is unprecedented. When Afnan and Dirk were in the first sing-off they were given 'Memory' to sing, and in the words of my wife, it's a bitch of a song for a bloke. Simon Cowell wouldn't give that to Olly Murrs without a re-write and a key change but this was the first live night on Superstar and there was nowhere to hide.

This show has become exactly what I said it would. The production is chronic. The contestants were perched on a set of stairs for their first live opening number and had to stand up, one at a time, to do their bit like the world's most poorly attended Mexican wave. Amanda was told to use phrases like "Stairway to heaven", and, "Walk into the light" until the sound of angry Christians being sick into buckets could be heard across the country and they were dropped the next night. The judges are doing a great job in spite of clearly being told to urge people to vote every ten seconds and Dawn French is not only beautiful and funny, but seems to be developing into the best TV panel judge I've ever seen on any show. Her notes are original and genuine and constructive and her intelligence shines through the screen like the sparkle in Mel's never-blinking eyes.

In spite of having the production values of a primary school nativity play it still cannot remove the quality from the contestants and THAT is why I'm still watching.

I have my favourites- of course. Personally I like David and Ben. I want to be Tim's friend and pen-pal, and Nathan is growing on me like a fungal nail infection, but they are ALL very good singers and for that we should thank which ever lord we want.

I shall be tweeting from the studio live on Thursday so please follow me @MrIanWatson and I'll do my best t keep you entertained.

Amen.