CHESTER women’s choir A Handbag of Harmonies has won a place among the final 15 singing groups on BBC 1’s new talent show Last Choir Standing.
On Saturday night (July 12), the popular feather-boa wielding group, led by musical director Matt Baker, were seen arriving at BBC Television Centre for the call-backs which had seen an initial 60 choirs whittled down to 27.
Those 27 had to perform before an invited audience before listening to the comments of celebrity judges Russell Watson, Suzi Digby and Sharon D Clarke.
After singing their arrangement of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Matt explained how they had taken Clarke’s remark about being a ‘gimmick’ group the previous week to heart.
Their hard work paid off as far as Clarke was concerned, who praised the Chester choir, but this time it was Watson and Digby who indicated they weren’t as impressed as they had been first time round.
Watson said he felt they didn’t have the ‘sassiness’ he saw earlier while Digby criticised them for losing their sense of irony which had appealed to her.
The nail-biting format of this round saw the Handbags head back to Chester, leaving their musical director behind to go before the panel of judges to hear the verdict.
After being told they were through to the final 15, Matt then travelled back to Chester where he broke the wonderful news to the rest of the group and their families on the steps of the Eastgate Clock in the city centre!
Earlier in the programme, the Handbags had been glimpsed in rehearsal as well as gathering for a photocall at the bandstand at The Groves with their families.
Next week, they will travel back to London to take part in one of the three studio heats when they will go head to head with four other choirs to try to impress the three celebrity judges once again.
Two will go through from each of the heats to form a final six who will be subjected to a public phone-in vote.