Rachel devastated after she is voted off Nancy star role
Rachel Tucker's dreams of becoming Nancy in the west end production of Oliver were shattered last night after she was voted off I'd Do Anything by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The Belfast woman found herself in the bottom two last night — despite being given a standing ovation by the audience following her performance of Cabaret on Saturday evening's programme.
Rachel and Samantha had to sing Memory from the musical Cats in the sing-off.
Faced with the choice of booting one of the girls out and letting the other through to the grand final, Andrew praised Rachel for her "wonderful" rendition of Cabaret before telling Sam "I have to go with you."
Rachel's friend, Hollyoaks actor Gerard McCarthy, said she was "robbed" but said that she had done herself and the people of Northern Ireland proud.
Last night's nail-biting show followed from Saturday's performance when Rachel won rave reviews from the panel.
Denise Van Outen, who criticised the 26-year-old in the past for being over-guarded, described her Cabaret performance as "phenomenal" and asked "how are the other girls going to follow that?"
Barry Humphries told her she "gave a star performance" while fellow panelist John Barrowman said: "This girl is an actress — she has the ability to play any character and she definitely has the ability to play Nancy.
"She should be in the final," added Humphries.
And Andrew, who led the standing ovation, shouted "bravo" before telling Rachel "I am so proud of you."
After all four finalists belted out a rendition of the Beatles hit Hard Day's Night last night, the four panelists were asked who they thought should be sent home.
None of them said Rachel.
And despite the favourable comments made by the judges on Saturday evening, our girl found herself in the sing-off for the second week in a row.
During last week's sing-off, Rachel triumphed over Bangor hopeful Niamh Perry.
Last night Andrew chose to save Sam but told Rachel: "I just know you have this huge career in front of you, you are fantastic.
"I have a sneaking suspicion you will play Nancy one day. You were fantastic."
Rachel admitted she was "absolutely devastated" she didn't make it to this weekend's final but said her journey has been "amazing."
Her friend Gerard McCarthy, who plays Kris in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, said Rachel was "robbed."
He said: "I can't believe Andrew Lloyd Webber saved Samantha over Rachel, particularly given Rachel's brilliant performance on Saturday night.
"She was clearly the panel's favourite to win.
"No matter what happens now, Rachel will go on to be a star.
"She did herself proud and Northern Ireland proud."
This weekend's final will see Sam, Jodie and Co Kerry's Jessie battle it out to secure the role of Nancy in the West End show.