Having had a career path which has seen him working as a model, making records in the band Fresh and starring as Simba in the stage production of The Lion King, Roger Wright brought a wealth of experience, together with a fantastic voice, all the way to the final three in the search for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new Jesus. Sadly he wasn’t “the chosen one” but he looks back very fondly on the experience.
Tell me about that wonderful final show.
It was a very dramatic final wasn’t it? It was a great experience after such a long process to get to the final, and it was a really electric day. It was very enjoyable indeed and I feel that I completed the “mission”, if you like, of Superstar which was not only to make a serious attempt to get the part of Jesus but also to polish up some of my skills and to learn a whole load of new ones.
Did you think, at the beginning, that you would get to the last three?
Yes, to be honest, I did. I always have a focus when I go for something, you have to aim as high as you can and think big and believe – it’s really important to be positive – and it’s not an arrogant thing, it’s just clarity in thoughts.
I knew that I had the qualities, and have the qualities, to take me forward in the competition and, at the end, we let the public make their choice and they chose Ben which is great because he is fantastic and I really am very genuinely happy for him.
With that huge wealth of experience already on your CV, what are you going to do now?
Well, there’s a lot to do but, first things first, I need to get a bit of rest after such a rollercoaster journey. I think that it’s really important, after you finish a job, to take stock and to get your energy back up but, at the same time, whilst the iron is hot you’ve got to strike it, so I’ll be out there and I’m already having some discussions with different people.
We’ll see, but you always keep things under wraps, because you never know what might be about to come your way in our industry - so you just make sure you keep all your options open and ensure that you’re ready if or when it happens.
As the last couple of weeks have unfolded, the remaining guys seemed to bond much closer. Is that how it was?
Oh yes, the first person to go was Afnan and that was really very emotional because it really brought it home that this was a competition that only one person would win. But we all tried to look at it in a very philosophical way, we knew that only one of us could win and the most important thing about us all being together in that house was to be able to support each other, and that is exactly what we did.
It was all very genuine. I think I was seen as the bigger brother in the house, and I don’t mean the big brother, I just mean the older brother but we would all cook for each other and share the dishes and, although there were moments when it was tough getting used to other peoples habits, we just adjusted and it was all about us just caring and sharing.
How did it feel to get such positive, and flirtatious, comments from such illustrious judges?
It was just hilarious and well received that, as well as the critique, there was a lot of banter. Dawn has a fantastic sense of humour – well, she would because she’s a comedienne and an actress - but she also has a wonderful personality. She is very well read and well informed and she gave us some incredible feedback after the performances – and she added the bright light of humour.
I think she was exceptional and I was very grateful for her being there because her comments were received with joy. You often saw me laughing because she made me chuckle and, through that, made me more relaxed on stage as well because the live shows were a bit daunting. She has done a lot of TV and is very good with the cameras and she is very wise. During rehearsals she would always take time out to talk to all of us, and share her wisdom - she’s a very humble lady, and very personable, in very much the same way that Andrew is.
I will always be grateful to Dawn and to Andrew for their forthcoming and heartfelt support and, of course, not forgetting the great comments that also came from Mel and Jason.
It was refreshing to see a judging panel who wanted to help you and not put you down.
Oh yes, it was all very positive, and even when they had to tell us about things we needed to improve on, they told us in such a way that we just went away and did it. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about learning what you can, growing and constantly moving forward, not backwards. They were all very encouraging and that was the fantastic thing about the show, the judges were all quite natural, very genuine and, I guess the word is, real.