Published Saturday, 21 July 2012
Jeff Anderson performs Whole Lotta Love on Superstar (© ITV)
The Newtownards man was competing to win the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Both Jeff and Jon Moses were the victims in a double eviction on Friday night after ending in the bottom three following viewers' votes.
Lloyd-Webber opted to save Roger Wright after all three sang Could We Start Again Please? from Jesus Christ Superstar for survival.
But the composer told the 21-year-old Northern Irish singer, who played the part of Jesus in an amateur dramatics production of the musical in the Grand Opera House last year: "I have no doubt that one day you will play Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar."
Jeff was the youngest contestant in the competition and was dubbed 'Baby Jesus' by the panel.
"It's just maybe you are our baby Jesus, maybe you are two or three years too young for it," Lloyd-Webber said.
Tonight you performed so superbly I can only congratulate you and wish you the best for the future.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Earlier Jeff received lavish praise for his version of Led Zeppelin classic Whole Lotta Love.
Judge Dawn French told him: "You are one sexy Jesus! You are a mammoth talent" while Jason Donovan said: "Finally, we are seeing you come out of your shell."
And Lord Lloyd-Webber said: "You released your inner rock god."
Jeff was one of around 200 men who auditioned for the role at the Culloden Hotel earlier this year, the first time that Andrew Lloyd Webber has held castings in Northern Ireland.
Before leaving the Superstar stage for the last time, he bade a moving farewell.
He said: "To be with the talent that is on this stage, and also to get the time spent with these iconic people, thank you so much for having me here."
Backstage he confided: "I gave my best and I got to sing Whole Lotta Love to millions of people on stage in front of Mel C, Jason Donovan, Dawn French and Andrew Lloyd Webber and they seem to love it and I've gone out with a bang.
"Every single person left in this competition could win this; they're all incredible people. I wouldn't place any bets."
Still in the competition are Wright, 41, from east London, actor David Hunter, 27, from Warrington, Ben Forster, 31, from Sunderland, Nathan James, 23, from Reading, and Rory Taylor, 24, from the Wirral.
The show returns on Monday night and the final will take place on Wednesday.
The new production of Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice's musical goes on tour in September, featuring comic Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, DJ Chris Moyles as King Herod and Melanie C as Mary Magdalene.