25 MAY 2013Rylan Clark was critiqued by the judges on last year's The X Factor, but the tables were turned on Thursday night when he formed part of a celebrity judging panel. The reality TV star joined Strictly Come Dancing stars Lisa Riley and Russell Grant along with I'd Do Anything winner Jodie Prenger to judge contestants in West End Eurovision 2013, a superbly camp, kitsch homage to the song contest.
"I'm here to look for a husband," joked Rylan.
The annual fundraising event sees sees casts from London's top shows perform covers of past Eurovision songs. Gok Wan, Sinitta, Ben Richards and Christopher Biggins were guest presenters on the night, which included performances by former Eurovision winners Katrina and the Waves.
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"It's the campest most beautiful night you’ll ever experience," said Jodie.
"Camper than Rylan and me?" asked Gok.
"Maybe not that much," quipped Jodie.
Ten musicals competed in this year's West End Eurovision, which was held at the Dominion Theatre in London. Spamalot's rendition of Portugal's 1981 entry Playback included Bonnie Langford doing the splits, while the cast of Billy Elliot became boyband stars for the night as they paid tribute to Blue's 2011 entry I Can. The event started at 11.30pm, after the West End shows had finished.
Wicked, Viva Forever, Mamma Mia!, The Phantom of the Opera, Rock of Ages, Top Hat and Rock of Ages also competed, but it was new Irish musical Once who won the coveted trophy with their rendition of Dana's All Kinds of Everything. The winners were chosen after votes by the judging panel and public.
The audience were up on their feet and dancing in the aisles when Katrina Lescanich concluded the evening by performing the Katrina and the Waves hit Walking on Sunshine and the UK's last winning Eurovision entry, Love Shine A Light.
The evening raised funds for the Make a Difference Trust, which brings together the British entertainment industry and its audiences to support those living with HIV and AIDS or facing hardship as a result of another long-term medical condition.
This was the sixth annual West End Eurovision. Last year's winners were the cast of Sweeney Todd, who performed a cover of Michael Ball's 1992 Eurovision entry One Step Out of Time, with a surprise cameo from Michael himself.
Billy Elliot – I Can, originally performed by Blue, UK, in 2011
A Chorus Line – Party for Everybody, originally performed by Buranova Grannies, Russia, in 2012
Mamma Mia! – Euphoria, originally performed by Loreen, Sweden, in 2012
Once – All Kinds of Everything, originally performed by Dana, Ireland, in 1970
The Phantom of the Opera – Hard Rock Hallelujah, originally performed by Lordi, Finland in 2006
Top Hat – Genghis Khan, originally performed by Dschinghis Khan, Germany, 1979
Viva Forever – This Is The Night, originally performed by Kurt Calleja, Malta, 2012
Wicked – Wir Geben 'Ne Party, originally performed by Mekado, Germany, 1994