Any Dream Will Do Joseph finalist Ben James-Ellis comes from Scarborough, although he is now living in Hackney, London. Ben, who is 18, studied Musical Theatre at The Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts.
Sorry Ben Ellis - you're not Joseph. Ben was the ninth Joseph hopeful to be knocked out during the semi-finals of the Any Dream Will Do television show on Saturday 2 June 2007. Afterwards Ben said: "I'm obviously disappointed that I didn't quite make it to the final, but I kept fighting. All the lads still in there are amazing and I wish them the best of luck."
Ben Ellis to star in Hairspray the Musical! Ben Ellis plays the role of 'Link Larkin' in the London West End production of Hairspray along with Michael Ball and Mel Smith.
Ben is a keen footballer - but that has been put on the backburner as he endeavours to pursue his dream of being an actor and singer. In fact when younger Ben saw Joseph three times - he says that he "had memorised the whole score by the age of ten. I love the story of Joseph and can relate to it in some ways, to my own life. I think I would bring a sense of youth, truth and energy to the part," adding "I know I'm the outsider but I'm really going to prove that I could be the winner. I think I've got to prove everything now. I'm coming into the final 12 at the bottom but it has given me the drive and the passion to say that 'I'm just as good as you', but if Zoe doesn't like me, or if whoever doesn't like me, I'm going to show them why I'm here." Zoe Tyler said "Ben was very very close to going home, it was a no from all of us apart from John, so he is very lucky to be here.
Ben went to the London auditioned for Any Dream Will Do. In a close race to make the final 12 Joseph hopefuls, Ben was called back to sing again for the Judges - but he finally made it through to the final - but only just, he was the last but one to be selected! Will Ben be Joseph in the new London production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?
2 June 2007: Tonight was the semi-finals of Any Dream Will Do. This week Ben Ellis sung 'Ease On Down The Road' from the musical The Wiz. Afterwards John Barrowman said "He's a star - this kid has it." Bill Kenwright comment "You are a phenomenal entertainer" and Zoe Tyler agreed saying "You are a born performer." Ben also sung a duet with fellow Joseph finalist Keith Jack of the song 'Only You' from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Starlight Express. When all remaining finalists had sung, and after the public telephone voting had closed, Graham Norton asked the panel of Judges who, based on tonight's performances, they thought was not Joseph, both Zoe Tyler and Bill Kenright said Ben. Graham then announced the all important public votes to reveal that Ben had, like last week, come bottom and was therefore in the dreaded sing-off for the third time. This week he was up against Lewis Bradley. The song choosen this week for the sing-off was 'I Dreamed A Dream' from the musical Les Miserables. Who would Andrew Lloyd Webber save? After their joint rendition of the song Andrew said "I have to go with where the musical theatre has to go... It's a really, really difficult decision. Lewis." Therefore Ben was knocked out of the show and had to say good-bye, concluding the programme by singing the song 'Close Every Door' along with the remaining three Josephs hopefuls who go forward to next week's final. Ben said after: "I'm obviously disappointed that I didn't quite make it to the final, but I kept fighting. All the lads still in there are amazing and I wish them the best of luck."
26 May 2007: For the seventh BBC Any Dream Will Do 'knock-out' show all the songs featured qualities that every Joseph needs and Ben Ellis was given the quality vulnerability for which he sung the Roy Orbison song 'Crying'. Afterwards John Barrowman said "Every time you have been given a challenge you have risen to it, you could go all the way" and Bill Kenwright commented: "That was very impressive, that was a great performance." Prior to the results of the public telephone votes being announced, Graham Norton asked the Judges, based on tonight's performance only, who did they think was not Joseph - both Zoe Tyler and Bill Kenwright thought Ben was not Joseph. Then, when the public votes where announced, it was revealed that Ben had obtained the lowest number of public votes which meant he had to face Craig Chalmers, who had come second from bottom, in the dreaded sing-off. The sing choosen this week was the Barry Manilow song 'Through The Rain' - afterwards Andrew Lloyd Webber said that he wanted to save Ben, thus Ben gets to return next week!
19 May 2007: This week was the sixth of the BBC Any Dream Will Do 'knock-out' shows. Ben Ellis sung the Elvis Presley song 'Blue Suede Shoes'. Afterwards Denise Van Outen said: "You have turned into a star, you are hot to trot" while John Barrowman said "You are my Joseph at this point in the competition." Ben Ellis also sung the Frank Sinatra song 'That's Life' along with Keith and Lewis. After all the public phone votes where added up it was announced that Ben had secured enough votes to go straight through to next week's programme.
12 May 2007: This week was the fifth of the BBC Any Dream Will Do 'knock-out' shows and Ben Ellis sung the Tom Jones number 'Help Yourself'. Afterwards Denise van Outen told Ben: "Wow, I love you, you are fantastic. You do have that pop star quality - I could see a bit of Robbie Williams in you tonight." Bill Kenwright said "You have the look, the smile and the talent" and Andrew Lloyd Webber said "I thought it was your best performance to date." After all the public telephone votes had been counted Graham Norton announced that Ben had enough votes to go straight through to the next programme of Any Dream Will Do.
5 May 2007: This week was the fourth of the BBC Any Dream Will Do 'knock-out' shows and Ben Ellis sung the Robert Palmer song 'Addicted To Love'. Afterwards Bill Kenwright told him "You are a contender ... the place lights up when you smile," Zoe Tyler said "You have star quality, through the next four weeks I can turn you into Joseph" while Andrew Lloyd Webber commented "I don't think you sang that well ... I'm still worried." Once all the votes had been counted, it was revealed that Ben had enough votes to go straight through to the next programme of Any Dream Will Do - he didn't have to face the dreaded 'sing-off' for the second time in front of Andrew Lloyd Webber again, like last week.
28 April 2007: This week is the third of the BBC Any Dream Will Do 'knock-out' shows. This week Ben Ellis sung the Ronan Keating song 'Life Is A Rollercoaster'. Zoe Tyler said that "That was the best performance you've done this series." Ben managed to get enough public votes to get through the first of the evening's two knock-outs, but when the results where announced by Graham Norton for the second knock-out, it was revealed that Seamus Cullen had scored the lowest number of votes and Ben had come second from bottom - so, for the second time, Ben had to do the sing-off. This time the song was The Hollies track 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother'. Afterwards Andrew Lloyd Webber said "The plot thickens - what an extraordinary sing-off, I asked for emotion and I got it. But tonight, and at the end of the day, I'm going to save ... Ben." Thus Ben was saved by Andrew for the second time, and gets to return next week!
21 April 2007: For the second of the BBC Any Dream Will Do 'knock-out' shows Ben Ellis sung the Eric Carmen version of 'All By Myself'. Afterwards Denise commented: "I really hope you're not [going to be in the bottom two again this week] for your sake Ben. I don't think it was a great vocal from you tonight. I think that song was very challanging for you, however I was trying to focus on the acting to see whether you could pull that off. The story of Joseph is that he is very lonely because he has been shunned by his brothers and, yes, I did feel your loneliness tonight, so it was well acted." John said: "I'm glad I fought for you. I agree with Denise - and there is something I really, really like about you, and I can not put my finger on it. But you do not deserve to be in the bottom two tonight. Well done!" Zoe said "I really want you Ben to come out here and do a great performance, but you're just not controlling your voice, you're still flat, your tuning is not up to scratch - and I know you're nervous - I too don't want you to go out yet because there is so much more for you to give. If you're still in, when I see you next week, me and you have to do so much work on controling your pitch. It is not good enough." In conclusion Andrew said "I really didn't think you where handling that song well tonight. It was very hard for you, I know, but it reminded me of a form of rap, it was not a great, great performance. Now, I don't know, Zoe may know more than I do, but I think you've got a long, long way to go if you're going to stay in this competition, sorry." After all 12 Joseph finalists had sung, Graham Norton asked the panel of Judges who they thought should go this week - both Denise and Zoe said that Ben should go. But, once all the votes had been counted, it was revealed that Ben had enough votes to go straight through to the next programme of Any Dream Will Do - he didn't have to face the dreaded 'sing-off' in front of Andrew Lloyd Webber again, like last week.
14 April 2007: The first of the BBC Any Dream Will Do 'knock-out' shows. Ben Ellis sung the song Johnny B Goode. Afterwards John Barrowman said that "Ben is not the strongest, but tonight he really went to the limit. You're the boy next door who could go the distance to being a leading man, so stick with it." Andrew Lloyd Webber excalimed: "Ben, Wow!, that was a rock and roll performance." Afterwards once all the votes had been added up it was announced that Ben had come second from bottom - so he had to do the 'sing-off' with Chris Crosby who came bottom. They sung a joint rendition of the Simon and Garfunkel song 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'. Andrew said he had choosen this song as it was both a test on the vocal skills aswell as the storytelling skills. After they had sung the song. Andrew said that he would save Ben - so Ben goes through to next week's programme.