BY conventional showman logic, Britain’s Got Talent series five winner Jai McDowall’s got something.
He sings very competently, with pseudo-classical vim, his patter was sporadically amusing (“my mum came backstage earlier… fell on her arse after five minutes”’), and he fills out a tight T-shirt buffly. But then, technically speaking so are rapping grannies and skateboarding dogs talented, and we don’t see crowds bussing in en masse from the 26-year-old’s native Irvine or elsewhere to see them hit the stage.
McDowall’s gradual descent from dubious success, since TV flattered, and still flatters, some people into believing he’s pop star material, has followed a depressingly predictable pattern – one low-charting, disposable covers album on Simon Cowell’s Syco label, not a sniff of a contract extension since and threats of self-released follow-up material.
But if he ditches the misguided approach and plays to his more obvious, nuanced strengths, then he’ll maintain a stage career yet.
Flanked by a blokes-for-hire rock band, McDowall formulaically ploughed through a set of other people’s songs – Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Livin’ On A Prayer, With Or Without You and so on – with a steamrollering flatness fit to level mountains. All while stood stock still – one hand on the mic, other hand rested on mic stand, eyes closed – with pop star impressionist poise.
Camping it up with his BGT audition tune, Anthem From Chess, in the encore better suited his voice’s more theatrical qualities, sufficient to suggest there’s perhaps a future for him in musicals. Or at least panto.
Rating: * *
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