EMOTIONAL scenes at the Hammersmith Apollo as Michael Jackson’s nephews 3T take to the stage.
Fighting back tears, Taj (that’s one of them, by the way) announces: “Our last song is very special to us.
“It’s a song we sang with someone that can never be replaced.”
Yet I never knew they’d ever even performed with Louise Redknapp, formerly of Eternal and among many missing parties at ITV2’s The Big Reunion concert finale last night.
In fact half of the “six immortal pop entities” (has-beens) from the 90s and noughties who’ve been reunited for ITV2’s second series of pop nostalgia were a member down.
And to that I say, so what?
It’s been every bit as brilliant, explosive and entertaining as the first run.
Granted, the line-up – 3T, A1, Damage, Eternal, Girl Thing and “mighty pop pentagon” 5th Story (Gareth Gates, Dane Bowers, Adam Rickitt, Kavana and Kenzie) manufactured in an inspired move by the producers – may not have carried quite the level of gravitas or star billing as the class of 2013.
But the beauty of this show is that the fame of the personnel is almost irrelevant.
It’s all about the decade-long animosities, vicious spats and, most importantly, welding the whole lot together, the lingering will-they, won’t-they question of possible reconciliation.
Some do bury the hatchet (Eternal, Girl Thing), some don’t (Damage outcast Coree Richards, this series’ Jason “J” Brown from 5ive).
At least he gave it a shot though and confronted the other band members in the same room, unlike J, in one of the most awkward, tense and ultimately futile showdowns you’ll see outside of The Jeremy Kyle Show.
It all built to a gig in front of the likes of Vanessa Feltz, Towie’s Arg, Mark Wright, Kimberley Walsh, a man in a Batman costume and a gaggle of teenyboppers whose puppy fat has become actual fat.
Narrator Andi Peters said: “It’s the moment the bands, the fans and dodgy T-shirt vendors with 12-year-old piles of unsold Girl Thing stock have all been waiting for.”
His scripted quips have been the most frustrating aspect of the series.
“Six pop ensembles focus on the ice cream of redemption as they attempt to smash the misery-drenched meringue layer of psychosomatic baked Alaska.”
As the old Chinese proverb goes.
Only the singers themselves can truly sum up The Big Reunion. Take it away Andrez from Damage, reminiscing on past glories outside the Apollo: “We played here with Michael Jackson and Aaliyah.”
Bandmate Jade: “Now we’re here with A1, 5th Story and Girl Thing.”
Rock ‘n’ roll, kids.
This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...
Catchphrase’s studio audience turning on the contestants for being so clueless.
Lionel Messi in Sky Sports’ epic Real Madrid 3, Barcelona 4 El Clasico.
Bebe Winans performing with Eternal at The Big Reunion gig.
The Chase producers deliberately cracking up Bradley Walsh by feeding him a question about: “The giant cock on the Fourth Plinth of Trafalgar Square.”
The heroic bagpipers and drummers of Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band managing to drown out The Sport Relief Games Show foghorn Alex Jones.
Nick Cotton’s arm popping out of his coffin from EastEnder Ian Beale’s accidentally hilarious comedy pratfall.
Will.i.am’s feedback for The Voice talent Christina Marie: “For a person throwing up you sounded amazing.” Plus him asking Georgia: “Whose idea was the choreography?” “The choreographer.”
And Daybreak guest entertainment editor Brian McFadden after the Muppets Most Wanted premiere: “It’s amazing that a piece of cloth with someone’s hand made me star-struck.” Aled Jones: “Don’t say that. It’s a real frog.” “I was talking about Ricky (Gervais).”
This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...
Match of the Day allowing Russell Brand anywhere near the pundits’ sofa, even for charity.
Louis Theroux’s LA Stories succumbing to the bewildering fad for dog telly.
The “drama” of BBC2 sheep counting Lambing Live which, testicle-obsessed Kate Humble declared, is: “At the most exciting time of the sheep farming calendar,” a title that carries quite the competition.
Corrie’s Gail Platt, confronted by a burglar, failing to yell: “Bloody hell! It’s Les Dennis!”
The Voice’s Will.i.am telling a cinema audience to turn off their phones when he cannot get his nose out of his iPad on live TV.
Spin-off Louder On Two host Zoe Ball failing to ask Kylie a single question about quitting The Voice.
And EastEnders’ Sharon persuading Phil Mitchell to attend Nick Cotton’s funeral: “I’ll be wearing black today. Black dress. Black stockings. Do you want me to go on?” Not if you value my breakfast staying down you don’t.