On last night's Legally Blonde the Musical -- The Search for Elle Woods, the final four competitors got a little cheerleading training. In this photo from August 2006, Laura Bell Bundy took a tumble into the world of cheerleading with Robert Eskridge at Town & Village School of Dance in Paris, Ky., in preparation for originating the role of Elle Woods on Broadway. Copyrighted Herald-Leader photo by Matt Goins.
At the end of last night's audition on Legally Blonde The Musical -- The Search for a more reasonable title, judge and writer Heather Hach said, "I completely want to do a Frankenstein and combine the comedy of Rhiannon, Bailey’s professionalism and star quality, the freshness of Lauren and Autumn’s voice."
Well, that sort of takes us back to our original misgiving about this reality TV as Broadway audition thing: They've ended up with a field where no one is a complete picture of Elle Woods, so there's going to be some settling to do to fill this role.
Yes, this blog is a bit of Autumn rooting section, but she is not the dancer Bailey is, doesn't have the charisma of Rhiannon and lacks Lauren's youthfulness.
Ultimately, the judges decided Lauren was a bit too youthful and sent her on home before the show ended. The other shoe will drop next week when another finalist is sent packing at the beginning of the episode before the last audition. The final show down will be in the Palace Theatre in front of director Jerry Mitchell, who has the last call.
It's hard to imagine Rhiannon will make it, because she wound up very winded in the audition with What You Want last night, and her vocals were a horror show. That would create a Bailey-Autumn finale and they're not two really friendly competitors. Bailey was relishing Autumn's tribulations with tap dancing last night, and Autumn doesn't believe any of the final four have earned their shot at Broadway the way she has.
I'm going to stick with my Autumn prediction, maybe not quite as confidently as last week. A key to me was when Bernie Telsey talked to Autumn about her dancing and said, "when it’s in your body, you're Elle, 100 percent." Autumn's been straight up about not being a great auditioner. But it is much easier to believe that she can get that character in her body in the few weeks between the end of the competition and her first performance, which is actually next Wednesday, than it is to believe Bailey could develop the depth or Rhiannon could develop the vocal chops and to play Elle. All that said, I can't help thinking Autumn may be a better Elphaba or Millie.
And you know, the Southern pride side of us may like to see the role already played by Louisianan Reese Witherspoon and Kentuckian Laura Bell Bundy go to South Carolinian Bailey. We'll see, next week.