Belfast Telegraph

Superstar Jeff Anderson stays on the path to glory

By Chris Kilpatrick

Northern Ireland’s ‘Baby Jesus’ Jeff Anderson was left feeling like he could walk on water after progressing to the next stage of the hit television show Superstar.

The 21-year-old rocker from Newtownards — dubbed Baby Jesus — took another step closer to securing the lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s forthcoming arena musical — the revamped version of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Jeff first took to the stage in the first live show on Sunday, performing Red by Daniel Merriweather in front of Lloyd Webber, Jason Donovan, Spice Girl Mel C and Dawn French.

And he was the first person to walk up the ‘stairway to heaven’ on last night’s show, securing his stay, for another night at least, on the programme.

Prior to last night’s performance, Jeff said: “I need to step it up. I really need to get my story across. If I’m going to up my game and win then I need to give it my all and I will.”

And he had the studio audience on their feet with his rendition of Mr Brightside by The Killers.

Jason told him: “Jeff, it is incredible ,everyone certainly has gone up a notch I think from this afternoon’s dress rehearsal that’s for sure.

“And you can obviously see out there Jeff there is a lot of love and support.

“You are a very gentle, sensitive person. Personally, I wanted just a bit more passion, the character of Jesus requires that.

“I wanted you to dig a little deeper, a little bit more fire in there.

“That’s one of my favourite songs and I think, at parts, you were slightly struggling with it.”

However, Dawn said she felt that Jeff had “really pulled it off”. “You are blessed with the fact that the camera really loves you,” she added.

Andrew said: “I thought you did well. I think you will grow as we go along. I do agree somewhat with Jason I have to say.

“You are internalising things somewhat. You need to let it out, now come on man!”

Afnan Iftikhar (23) from North Shields, ended up in the bottom two after failing to win enough viewers' votes. And he was sent home after Andrew opted to keep Dirk Johnston (24) on the show.

Meanwhile, Jeff has revealed that he was inspired to take part in Superstar by his big brother, Kyle, who won the Irish version of Popstars and went on to form part of the band Six.

“He favours rock music but they made him into a pop band, I mean he's fine with it, it's great, they did really well, got the fastest selling number one single ever in Ireland,” said Jeff.

Jeff, who previously played the lead in an amateur production of Jesus Christ Superstar, said he enjoyed singing the part.

“I was a bit obsessed with it, you know like on YouTube 24/7 because of the high falsetto notes,” he said.

“It's just such a challenge to be able to sing like that.”

The show is back on UTV tonight.

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