Popstar to Operastar to face the axe?

Myleene Klass: Will there be another series of Popstar to Operastar

Popstar to Operastar faces the chop after its current series. The ITV1 Sunday night show, which sees music stars try their hand at opera singing, has seen ratings drop to just 2.9 million after opening with 6.3 million and now bosses are pondering the programme’s future.

An insider revealed to the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Things have gone rapidly downhill. It may be that the end of this series becomes a natural end for the format.” On Sunday (26.06.11), the show, which is fronted by Myleene Klass with judges Katherine Jenkins, Rolando Villazon, Simon Callow and Vanessa-Mae, was trounced by BBC One’s Countryfile and BBC Two’s ‘Top Gear’, who both got almost five million viewers each.

Former X Factor winner Joe McElderry is favourite to win this year’s show, alongside Steps singer Claire Richards.

An official ITV spokesman insisted no decisions had been made on the show’s future, saying it is usual practice to wait until the end of a series before officially deciding whether to commission a new one.

Last year’s series – which averaged almost four million viewers – was won by former Pop Idol star Darius Campbell.

Popstar to Operastar: Cheryl Baker banned from booze

Cheryl Baker: Told to lay off the booze

Cheryl Baker has been banned from drinking while she competes on Popstar to Operastar. The Bucks Fizz star has been told by her coaches, including Katherine Jenkins, who is a judge on the ITV1 show, to lay off the alcohol in order to protect her vocal chords and give her the best chance of winning.

She said: “We’ve all been warned to protect our voices. You’re not meant to drink alcohol but have lots of water. So everyone is saying, ‘No Bucks Fizz.’ Ha! I’m not meant to drink milk or eat cheese or chocolate. Dairy products clog up your chords. But you are meant to get lots of sleep. Some chance!”

Cheryl, 57, says if she makes it through to the final she wants to be able to sing one of Buck Fizz’s biggest hits in a opera-style.

She added to the Daily Star newspaper: “I’ve said to the producers if I reach the finals of ‘Popstar to Operastar’ then those of us left should be allowed to sing one of our own famous songs in an opera style.

“Joe McElderry and Claire Richards are the ones to beat. But we all get along and support each other.”

Katherine Jenkins: ‘Joe McElderry could have opera career’

Joe McElderry: From Popstar to Operastar

He may not have much of a pop career after being dropped from his record label 18 months after winning The X-Factor, but Katherine Jenkins thinks Joe McElderry could have a successful career as an opera singer.

The classical music diva, who is one of the singer’s mentors on Popstar to Operastar, said: “I think Joe could be an opera singer if he wanted to be – with training. I think Joe’s got a very good chance. He’s young, he’s really working hard.”

Although Joe is favourite to win the latest series of the ITV1 show, Katherine says his victory is not set in stone.  She added to The Sun newspaper: “To sing classical music is difficult.”

While Joe seems to be doing well, Katherine admits his fellow contestant Claire Richards is having a tough time, as the former Steps star keeps breaking down in tears.

Katherine said: “She’s already been in tears, bless her. But I think this is a really emotional thing for her and she’s doing really well. I can’t wait for people to hear her sing.”

Joe Washbourn didn’t plan Popstar to Operastar

Joe Washbourn didn’t think he would appear on Popstar to Operastar in a million years.

The Toploader frontman, best known for singing the catchy hit Dancing in the Moonlight – and, er, being the best man at Dan Hipgrave’s wedding to Gail Porter – explained while he had never planned to take part in a TV talent show, he “thoroughly enjoyed” learning how to sing opera because it is so different.

He said: “It’s pretty random singing opera. I didn’t think I’d do it in a million years but I thoroughly enjoyed it in the rehearsals, so I thought, ‘Why not?’

“It’s nice to do something completely different and get out of your comfort zone.”

Joe will sing in the competition for the first time on Sunday (12.06.11), and he thinks the judging line-up of classical violinist Vanessa Mae, theatre director Simon Callow, Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins and Mexican-born tenor Rolando Villazon are much harsher than last year’s panellists.

He added: “It’s between Simon and Vanessa who is scariest. Vanessa is going to be pretty hot on the musicality side, they are a lot tougher than Meat Loaf and Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen were last year.