It’s time to shine in Starstruck: The Final

Saturday:Starstruck: The Final; (ITV, 8.30pm)

Adam Lambert, Sheridan Smith, Olly Murs, Beverley Knight and Jason Manford
Adam Lambert, Sheridan Smith, Olly Murs, Beverley Knight and Jason Manford

From Billie Eilish to Freddie Mercury, over the past few weeks we’ve seen some remarkable transformations as members of the public took to the stage to perform as their pop idols.

For most of the contestants, it was a one-night-only deal, but tonight it’s the final, which gives the best impersonators from the heats a chance to come back and battle it out for the £50,000 prize (which is a definite step up from Starstruck’s predecessor, Stars in Their Eyes, where the winners got little more than bragging rights).

While they previously had to take to the stage with two other singers, now they’ll be going it alone. Panellists Adam Lambert, Sheridan Smith, Beverley Knight and Jason Manford are on hand to offer their support, while the voting audience will decide the winner.

At least one of the judges will be glad that she doesn’t have to decide who will be going away with the cash – in Sheridan’s eyes, they’re all winners.

The actress laughs: “I think I am the easily pleased judge if I’m honest. I take my hat off to all of them, I’m nervous just sitting in the chair and the stage is epic. These are people who are a mechanic by day and Elton John by night, to me it’s mind blowing that they can do that, so I’m in awe of them. Their families must be so proud, I’m just on my feet, I’m almost like a proud mum. I am so behind them all and I want them to do well.”

That doesn’t mean she hasn’t been evaluating their performances though. She says: “I guess as the actress, who has played roles like Cilla, I’m looking for more mannerisms and embodying the character, not just sounding alike. A lot of people can do caricatures of people whereas I’m kind of more about the little details and that’s kind of my role.”

It’s impressive that Sheridan has found time to judge the show at all. As one of Britain’s most popular and acclaimed actresses, she’s always in high demand, and has already starred in three high-profile dramas (The Teacher, Four Lives and No Return) this year alone.

But if she were to come back to Starstruck as a contestant, who would she be? It doesn’t take her long to come up with an answer.

She says: “It would be Dolly Parton without a shadow of a doubt. I am obsessed with her. My Mum and Dad were a country and western duo so I grew up with country music. A pair of fake boobs and a big blonde wig. I’d have to practice the voice but she is my idol so that’s who I would want to be.”

While we cross our fingers to see that some time soon, host Olly Murs introduces tonight’s finalists – and those who have made the cut include the aforementioned Mercury and Eilish along with Barbra Streisand and Cher.

But who will prove to be the biggest superstar on the night?

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