The semi-final of ITV's Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream is imminent, with just six musical theatre performers remaining, all of whom are hoping to become the next Sophie and Sky in the West End production of Mamma Mia!.
The talent show has been entertaining audiences since October and sees the West End hopefuls performing a variety of songs, and judged on their singing, dancing, acting and chemistry skills by a panel of performing stars.
Each week, the group has been whittled down and viewers will eventually find out who will be the West End's next Sophie and Sky during a live grand finale.
Following another double elimination, six contestants have now left the competition, but who will be next to say thank you to the music and depart the show?
As the performers get stuck into workshops and performances, there's a lot more to know about them. Read on for everything you need to know about the Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream contestants.
Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream cast
Esme admitted she thought she'd never be considered for the part of Sophie, despite always wanting to play the role.
She explained: "Sophie is a character that goes through so much in the show and her character goes on such a journey. She is such a fun bubbly character, yet she has so many struggles that as an actor, would be so interesting to get to explore.
"In my whole time training I was never typecast as the romantic lead so I never believed I could play any parts like Sophie, but I would love to prove that I can."
Esme's musical theatre journey began when she was 12 years old after watching the Les Misérables film for the first time, which just so happened to be judge Samantha Barks's film debut.
Ahead of her appearance on the show, Esme said: "I remember watching a pantomime and I couldn’t believe people get paid to sing and dance and have the most fun on stage. I left school at 16 to go train in musical theatre at a college in Liverpool, and this is where I really found my love for the industry."
From: St Albans
Much like the other contestants, Stephanie has "always wanted to play the role of Sophie". Stephanie grew up listening to ABBA and the musical itself, and said it would be "a dream come true" to play the role on the West End.
Stephanie began performing when she was very young, and always used to sing and dance Disney songs with her sister in their living room.
"I followed in my sister's footsteps and joined Tring Park School of the Performing Arts in 2012 for seven years, which taught me so much about musical theatre," Stephanie said of her starting steps in musical theatre.
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She later attended the Guildford School of Acting and graduated in 2022, which she "honed" her skills and built up her confidence "significantly".
Sophie has always been a "dream role" for Stevie.
"It's probably one of the first musicals I was introduced to and also it's a big musical for my family," she told ITV ahead of her appearance on the show.
Stevie didn't start in musical theatre until she was 15 years old after auditioning for the Musical Theatre course at The Dance School of Scotland. She got the theatre bug when she performed in an amateur version of We Will Rock You.
She explained: "I had never done a musical before and I only went along as my friends thought it would be fun. I was given the lead role of Scaramouche which was a shock and terrifying, but I quickly realised I was going to be addicted to performing."
Craig has friends who have been in Mamma Mia! on the West End and they have always spoken "so highly of the experience", which is one of the reasons why he wants to play the role of Sky.
Craig began training after school when he was six years old and continued to do that all through school and high school.
He studied at the Guildford School of Acting and graduated in 2018 and went to perform on a cruise ship for a year. His other personal credits include being part of UK and international tours.
Owen wants to play the role of Sky as he'd like to "steer Sky in a different direction".
"I think there's more depth to Sky so why not play him differently with a different edge and I think I have that capability," he explained.
Owen began singing lessons when he was 13 and they sang musical theatre songs. A few months after he began singing lessons, his mum took him on a trip to London where they went to see Phantom of the Opera.
He said: "I absolutely fell in love and I just knew that was what I wanted to do. A couple of years passed, I kept up with singing lessons, did some classical and musical theatre and school musicals."
Tobias went to the Guildford School of Acting and studied the musical theatre course. A few months after graduating, he worked on a pantomime and then worked for the Strictly Theatre Company on Giovanni Pernice's tour, where he was a lead male vocalist and dancer.
Talking about the job, he said: "I learned a lot on that job because I am not a Latin dancer at all...learning that was cool!"
Some of his other professional credits include West Side Story at the Ljubljana Festival in Slovenia and Heathers in London.
Former Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream contestants
From: High Wycombe
Marcellus wants to play the role of Sky as it'd be a "great achievement" as well as wanting to "inspire others to never give up" on their dreams.
Talking about his musical theatre career, Marcellus said he has had "a strong career so far".
He explained: "The journey has been amazing for me but I've never quite reached the peak of where I want to be yet. That for me would be playing a leading role on stage, on screen, both. I'm so grateful for where I am but I feel like this could be a big break for me.
"I made a decision in 2016-17 to never work unless it was performing. I said that if I love it that much, if I want it to work then I'm going to go in. I've been performing ever since, sometimes on, sometimes off, but I keep going."
Desmonda noted that Mamma Mia! is "one of the most recognisable movie musicals ever", and it's something she "really want to be a part" of.
She explained: "It's such a big part of pop culture known around the world. I grew up watching it and I want to be a part of that universe."
Desmonda took a real interest in musical theatre around 11 years ago. When she began university, she co-founded a musical theatre community called Jakarta Performing Arts Community and performed amateur productions.
"And that's where it all started," she said. "Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to have had a couple of jobs after moving to London."
Leah grew up watching Mamma Mia! and feels it would be "a full circle moment" to play the role of Sophie on the West End.
Explaining further why she wants to play the role of Sophie, Leah said: "I grew up watching Mamma Mia!, my inner child would be screaming! I would also love to play Sophie because she is very far from me as a person and roles that I would usually go for. It would be a challenge that I am totally up for!"
Leah noted that her musical theatre journey "has been fun but tough".
She said: "I started out at a local dance school, I was there for a while but it eventually got really expensive, so my mum took me out. However, not long after that we managed to find an affordable Performing Arts Group and I attended every week for a few years.
"I then went to college to study performing arts and I met some of my best friends and we are now at university together."
Zachkiel wants to play the role of Sky as he wants to "bring a new essence, a new flair" to the character.
He explained: "I want to respect the character – Mamma Mia! is so famous, everyone has an idea of what Sky and Sophie are like and you can stick to what people know, that's fine, but you're also allowed to create and I want to add my own spin to it – to be the Sky that everybody knows and loves but to add coolness and fun."
Zachkiel started performing musical theatre when he was seven years old as. Saturday school. He then did LAMDA exams, getting a distinction in his first one and was then encouraged by his teacher to pursue acting.
He then went to the BRIT School for four years and studied musical theatre and in his third year, he was chosen to do a professional job with Drew McOnie, choreographer of In The Heights and got to open the Evening Standard Awards.
When asked why he wants to play the role of Sky, Callum said: "It's an amazing opportunity to get to play Sky alongside a Sophie you've met on this TV show – that makes it special. I had just come out of drama school with no expectation when I did that first audition and now I'm here."
Callum went to drama school and trained at Rose Bruford for three years, and Mamma Mia! I Have A Dream was his first ever musical theatre audition.
Maisie has loved the character of Sophie ever since she first watched Mamma Mia!.
She said: "I loved her bubbly personality and adventurous spirit. She has a close relationship with her mum that I can relate to. It's the ultimate feel- good role and I can imagine it's so much fun being up on-stage dong that role every night and I would love to do it."
Maisie and her three sisters were all put into musical theatre classes when they were younger and unlike her sisters, Maisie "absolutely fell in love".
"I begged my mum to keep me in the classes and when I started performing in local amateur dramatics, I would try and do every show in the area no matter how big or small. I just wanted to be on stage," Maisie said of her musical theatre roots.
Darcy likes Sky's journey as a character in Mamma Mia!, which is one of the key reasons he wants to play the role of Sky.
Talking about his musical theatre journey, Darcy has always been part of amateur dramatics. He studied at the London College Music for three years and studied musical theatre and has been auditioning ever since.
Maddy admires Sophie as a character "a lot", whether it be her "bubbly and headstrong" personality or her caring "a lot about the people she loves!".
The 20-year-old has recently graduated from Urdang, admitting she is "very fresh into the industry".
She told ITV: "I started musical theatre quite late; I didn't do it when I was little, but I've always done music. When I wanted to go to college, I thought I might as well give it a go. So it was only when I was 17 that I decided to do musical theatre."
Mamma Mia! I Have A Dream continues on Sunday 3rd December at 6:10pm on ITV1.
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