Narrowly missing out on a chance to appear in the live final of Superstar, but finishing in a superb fourth place is the 27 year old from Warrington in Cheshire, David Hunter. After a sensational sing-off rendition of “No Matter What”, David was eliminated after Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber decided to save Rory instead. Here, David talks of his time on the show, and his 10 very special friends.
Your sing off performance with Rory was just amazing.
Thank you, I tried my best but it’s so difficult in that situation really. I’ve done two sing-offs and the first one was so stressful, I was so upset about the whole thing and it was really difficult. With the second one I just thought I’m up against a really talented lad here and I am really proud to have got this far so I’m just going to give it everything I have got and if Andrew thinks that I am the most appropriate person for Jesus then he will pick me and if not I can go home with my head held high.
Andrew gave a clue to his decision when he said he wanted a “rock arena voice”, did you notice that?
Oh yes, I could tell that was it when I was on stage. Just as when I was in the sing off the first time and he said he was looking for the guy who can act and I thought, yes, this is going my way, when he said “the arena guy” I thought that I might be going home.
To be honest, that’s unfortunate really because I’ve done the arena thing before with my band, but I guess I was always seen as “the actor” which is something that I’m very proud of and it was a great privilege to be called that. But the thing is, if you’re looking for a “ballsy” rock arena performer who is going to stand there, thrust his chest out, and give the song 100% - well, that’s Rory for you.
Well maybe, as you have done the arenas, the West End could be next?
Well, absolutely. I would really love to do a stint in the West End. Like I say, I played the arenas in a support band and I was the understudy in the West End production of One Man, Two Guvnors with James Corden, but it would be so great to go into a musical and play a lead role, or a supporting role, and just feel like I’m secure – with a nice long contract – because performing on some of those great stages would be such a privilege.
Maybe it’s time to cast you in a national tour of Sunset Boulevard?
Well, I would be absolutely thrilled if that happened, although the worst case scenario would be if Andrew did revive it and then didn’t cast me – I’d be heartbroken. But yes, if there is an opportunity like that out there I would just jump at the chance.
I just hope that Andrew, or perhaps some other casting director watching at home, has seen something in me that they might make them want to have a look at me and see if I am right for them. I just want to work really. When I went forward for the show it wasn’t just because I really wanted to get the role of Jesus, it was also so I could step up and come to a new level – to not be the supporting act any more. I’m all “fingers crossed” and “touch wood” and hopefully something will pop up sooner rather than later.
On the TV it appears that there is a great bond between all of you, is it real?
Yes it is, we were all living together for just over 2 months, 11 of us and a few of the production crew and, to be honest, sometimes that was hard but we kind of found a way to live together and that just grew and grew. I think it was only when the numbers started to go down that we really realised how important we are to each other. We were the 11 guys who went through this together and no one else can ever be in a position to say that.
We shared rooms, we’ve been together, worked together, played together – it’s been a real 24 / 7 experience which was just amazing and, as you say, you start to make a bond and, unfortunately for me, the two sing-offs that I’ve been in were with two of the guys that I bonded best with.
It was very noticeable when you walked towards the stairs, well, I say walked …
Yes, well, umm, I think by that point I was just euphoric and I just wanted to show the guys that I was absolutely fine about it and that I want them to go out and smash the final and not get hung up on the people leaving.
… well, I was looking at their faces and they were gutted for you. It was nice to see such friendship.
Yeah, and the thing is, it’s so genuine. When we have done stuff before and had press days they are all dying to get some juicy gossip that we all hate each other or something but, the simple fact is, we’re having a ball and we genuinely get along really well. I am sure that a lot of us will stay in touch and will remain friends for a long, long time.
What is the best thing that you will take away from you Jesus experience?
Well, aside from the great friends I have made, I suppose it has to be the great contacts I will have made as well. So few people get to come anywhere close to getting the experience that we have had and we have done it in such an intense way – it’s something that we will all remember for the rest of our lives.
It’s been an incredible experience all the way from the first auditions, meeting all the incredible guys, going away to boot camp with cold showers every morning and rehearsals every day and performances every night, then moving into the house and doing the shows in such an intense way – nothing comes near it.
When I look back at that first sing off when Tim and I sang off against each other and then had to go out and sing our proper songs before they decided who would stay – that has to be one of the most emotional and bizarre nights of my entire life – but I look back on it now and think to myself that most people will never experience that. To get up there and fight for something you really want, in front of millions of people, it’s just a completely overwhelming experience and I am so thrilled that I was given the opportunity to get this far.