I went in open minded and wanting to see what the fuss was all about. Potts came on stage - and immediately he opened his mouth and that sublime powerful voice started, I knew I had underestimated him. What I hadn't counted on is that as well as being blessed with a huge natural lyrical talent, he is still very unpolished, ordinary, and endearingly cocks things up - demonstrated so beautifully when he threw a rose to the audience in a dramatic gesture at the end of his first song - only to hang his head and crack a joke at himself when it didn't even make the first row!
The show was well put together, with a fantastic orchestra and great stage set with a huge screen showing beautiful animated shots complementing the journey of the music. Potts performed a combination of classics interspersed with more well-known songs - his Everybody Hurts cover was very powerful. His voice is truly fantastic and will get better with more training - there were some high notes he doesn't quite hit (in Maria) but his self-deprecating manner, obvious stagefright and being uncomfortable delivering stories (often stalling or repeating himself), just made the audience love him more - this ordinary, flawed man with such an extraordinary talent. Still totally aware of himself and amazed to be there, while he remains a man of the people they will continue to love him.
His guest, Natasha Marsh, was a total revelation. An Oxford girl, classically trained, she is utterly beautiful with an absolutely mindblowing, beautiful voice to rival Katharine Jenkins. Her performances were breathtaking, and she also came across from behind the gloss and the glitter as a fun-loving down to earth party girl who I would happily hang out with.
Potts' humility and abiilty to poke fun at himself is admirable. His awkwardness delivering some of his funny tales was apparent - but the audience stayed with him - to the end of the show when after encoring with the brilliant Nessun Dorma, his parting shot was to trip over something on the way off stage. By this time it was totally expected. His audience loves him, and I think we'll see more of Mr Potts in the future.