The Grand Final of Series One of New Faces was recorded on Christmas Eve at the ATV Studios on Broad Street, Birmingham. The show was a specially extended edition of the previous show format, running for 70 minutes in total. It was also confirmed that New Faces would return in April 1974 for a second series of star finding fun.
There was no act critique from the judges for the final, they just scored the acts based on their final performance to decide the winner. The judging panel for the grand final were Bill Ward, Tony Hatch and Clifford Davis and of course the show was hosted by Derek Hobson. Birmingham based comic, Alton Douglas, provided the warm-up act before the final started.
The final featured the thirteen acts that had won their respective weekly heats in the shows that had preceded the final. The winner of the show would have a further opportunity to improve their chances of stardom by appearing on Sunday Night at the London Palladium, just one day after the show airs on TV, where they would share the stage with Sacha Distel, Mireille Mathieu, Ronnie Hayward and Jim Dale.
The line-up for the Grand Final was music heavy with seven solo acts and five groups and just one comedian. In the order they performed, they were;
George Huxley’s Dixieland Jazz Band (six-piece jazz band) – Heat 13 winner
Tony Hatch said, “They make nice, happy, toe-tapping music..there is always room for a group like this and they are obviously very popular, and they are very professional and very rhythmic.”
Tony Hatch’s comments were, “Very versatile singer and I think her voice could very easily adapt to the country music style”
Dri Jinja (folk trio) – Heat 5 winner
Clifford Davis commented that “They have a very rare thing, which is quality, they look nice, they’re young, they’re exciting, I think they’ll go a long way”
“A terribly exciting singer, I think for a girl he must have a great sex appeal. I found him very exciting. I’m sure he’ll go far” said Clifford Davis.
Bill Ward commented, “I didn’t know what to expect, they built and they built very, very, very well. Good act.”
“She chose a very difficult song to sing and she sang it very, very well with a great deal of confidence and I think she’ll go very far” said Bill Ward.
Anthony Waters (actor/vocalist) – Heat 3 winner
“I found him fairly convincing in his role as Professor Higgins and I think if he gets some stage experience, I don’t know how much he’s had already, there’s a shortage of actor singers, he could do well” commented Tony Hatch.
Ricki Disoni (vocalist) – Heat 12 winner
“He’s very good, he’s very professional, I just wish he’d adopt a new position for delivering his songs, maybe the right foot in front of the left for a change” suggested Tony Hatch.
Trotto (folk trio) – Heat 10 winner
“It’s very different, I don’t know whether the ethnic groups take Trotto very seriously, but I would think that’s the area in which they’d work, very underground. A long way” said Tony Hatch, who was clearly not a fan of this act.
“Well they’re quite fantastic, I think they’re terribly modern, I think they are going to do tremendously, I’m very excited. I think they are wonderful” was the praise from Clifford Davis.
Jean De Both (vocalist) – Heat 6 winner
“Jean De Both is a bit out of the Sacha Distel stable, I enjoyed him, he’s very smooth, he’s very professional and I just hope he does as well as he ought to do” commented Clifford Davis.
Jackie Carlton (comedian) – Heat 9 winner
“What a gay day, I liked him very much. He’s a lovely comic and he’s been around for a long time and I don’t know why the hell he hasn’t appeared on bigger shows than this one” was the comment from Bill Ward.
John D. Bryant (guitar/vocalist) – Heat 2 winner
“Folk singers are poets of course and sincerety is their stock in trade, they sing like I do, which isn’t very well, but you have to listen to them because they hold your attention and John D certainly held mine” was the honest view of Bill Ward.
The winner of the spot on Sunday Night at the London Palladium was Tom Waite, who beat runners-up Showaddywaddy by just seven points and Jackie Carlton was a close third. With the second and third placed acts very close behind the winner they too got London Palladium bookings as a result.
The full result and votes from the judges were;
|Tony Hatch||Bill Ward||Clifford Davis||Total|
|4||Jean De Both||71||61||65||217|
|5||John D Bryant||76||74||65||215|
|10||George Huxley’s Dixieland Jazz Band||61||58||65||184|
Showaddywaddy have always maintained that the result was rigged. Answering a question about the result they stated, “We knew that Tom Waite was going to win as he was already on the schedule for the winners slot on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. Our manager actually told us that we were going to come second. We obviously weren’t particularly happy about it, but it was a good introduction to the workings of our weird & wonderful industry!”
Huge thanks to Kim from Yakity Yak for all the information on this show
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