Tag Archives: whitney houston

TV Pitches: Sonia

I had the pleasure of seeing Scouse popstrel Sonia Evans perform as part of the Hit Factory Live reunion gig the other day. She was tucked way below the likes of Steps and Jason Donovan on the bill, so what next for the chirpy songstress if this doesn’t relaunch her career? Here are some TV show ideas…


youll never stop me loving you

Experimental science show in which Sonia is kept alive until the end of time to demonstrate the persistence of emotion. Long after her fella’s death she’s still telling herself that his refusal to answer her calls is no obstacle. After the earth is devastated by bio-nuclear war she still wanders to the site of his home in the hope of catching a glimpse or two. And following the eventual obliteration of our planet, billions of years into the future, she lingers – now evolved into gaseous form – between the stars. Finally the collapse of the universe into a singularity renders her video diaries useless. But we are left with a sense that Sonia’s love endures. Narrated by India Fisher.


TV Jessen 1

Sonia teams up with TV’s Doctor Christian to learn the secrets of auscultation. Armed with only a stethoscope and a well-meaning grin she must correctly diagnose which of five celebrity volunteers has a heart murmur. If the pilot is successful a live roadshow series in shopping centres around the UK will follow.


counting every minute

Endurance gameshow in which Sonia must count out loud to 1,440 in exactly twenty four hours, speaking once per minute and making no other sounds or movements. Throughout the day distractions come in the form of other popstars with time-themed hits. Five Star attempt to coax Sonia into not waiting another minute. So Solid Crew make an appearance to trick her into thinking she’s only got a few seconds to go. Finally the ghost of Whitney Houston will try to make Sonia focus on  a single moment of time only. Hosted enthusiastically by Alison Hammond.


only fools never fall in love

Sonia must keep her wits about her in this new dating quiz show! She’s given the chance to get together with the man of her dreams, but if she fails a general knowledge test she must sign a legal document agreeing never to see him again. Piers Morgan presides.


better the devil you know

Documentary series in which Sonia explores comparative religion to discover which faith’s afterlife punishes wrongdoers most severely. In the first episode she visits Sister Wendy Beckett to discuss eternal torment in Catholicism; later there’s an awkward moment when Donny and Marie Osmond tell her she can look forward to being cast into the Mormon “outer darkness”. Sonia’s smile slips for a second. But only a second.


Whitney Houston: Didn’t We Almost Have All The Key Changes

What to say about Whitney? She always seemed distant, imperial, unknowable – not someone it was easy to imagine getting on with personally. So I’m not driven to write the sort of gushing OH NO SHE’S DEAD post I did when Amy Winehouse or Elisabeth Sladen died.

But her music’s been a huge part of my life for 25 years. I listened to her second album pretty much daily  when I was a teen, and I passed the first Christmas Eve I ever spent alone listening – tragically – to I Will Always Love You on repeat. So let’s celebrate those amazing songs, and in particular her way with a key change. Some turn their noses up at this forced way of adding drama to the closing parts of a song, but I’m a sucker for them. Here are my top five. 

(And despite the title of this post, there’s no Didn’t We Almost Have it All – that  song rocks back and forth between two keys all the way through, and I’m looking for the classic manoeuvre: a cynical shunt-up at the end that takes the final chorus (or two) to another level).

5. I Wanna Dance With Somebody

It’s a key change that comes out of the blue with no build up, so you could call it a cheaty and reprehensible one. Suddenly the chorus is kicked up the arse! But this is Whitney, and she makes what could feel like an enema sweet and joyful. We dance.

4. All The Man That I Need

Coming out of a (yes!) sax break, Whitney flutters around in the high ranges as she introduces the new key, which on this occasion comes with a FREE GOSPEL CHOIR. This is key-change as ecstatic rapture.

3. I Have Nothing

Absolutely magnificent – Whitney dicks about on the original dominant chord in a HUGE sweep on ‘DON’T… MAKE… ME…’ before launching into ‘CLOSE’ a couple of keys further up. Dramatics.

2. Where Do Broken Hearts Go

A proper gospel key change. Whitney repeats the last line of the bridge: ‘NOW I KNOW… NOW I KNOWWWW’ in the dominant chord of the new key to take us through, and it’s immediately followed by a modified chorus with a couple of heart-stopping pauses. Textbook.

1. One Moment In Time

Whitney’s Olympic moment. Stand aside, The World. In the most dramatic and swooping of bridges she tells us ‘YOU’RE A WINNER! FOR A LIFETIME!’, before her voice carries the modulation over martial drums: attacking the high notes to force the transition, before swooping immediately down by more than an octave to complete it. The chorus blasts in with a parp of heraldic brass. Glitter cannons are fired, tinsel showers fall, and we’re all winners – if not for a lifetime then at least for a minute and a half. God help anyone who attempts this at karaoke (I’ve tried). And pity whoever has to sing this at the Olympic opening ceremony in London this year. Pity us if it’s Jessie J. Whitney deserves better.