Due to the departure of Kelly Rowland as a judge from this year's X Factor UK panel producers have been drafting in a raft of pop females as a possible replacement with one off spots at this year's audition rounds. Ginger Spice Geri Halliwell arrived in her usual dramatic style earlier this month grinning like a Cheshire cat on a car roof. Halliwell had previously been a judge on Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, the show that launched Girls Aloud and had stood in for Dannii Minogue as part of the X Factor auditions in 2010. She has always been vocal about her desire to join the panel full time, but if press reports are to be believed this year she suffered booing from the crowd and a lack of support from 'head judge' Gary Barlow. We can only imagine her surprise when a few days later her old compadre Melanie B aka Scary Spice popped up for a guest spot. Barlow and the other judges have given Mel their support and time will tell if she gets taken on permanently, which would have to sting poor Geri.
Mel B has already proved a success down under since her Spice Girls days as a judge on The X Factor Australia where she has been a judge on both last year's and this year's upcoming series. She has since also become the co-host of the Australian version of Dancing With The Stars, and had previously wowed America in 2007 with her own dancing skills coming second as a contestant in the hugely popular US show. In 2010 she fronted her own UK reality series Mel B: It's a Scary World on the Style Network. Her first solo album Hot, released in 2000 underperformed but delivered three UK top 10 hits. Her 2005 follow up charted particularly poorly. A resurgence in visibility in the last few years has helped her win a new music contract this year with EMI Music and she is currently readying a new album.
Geri Halliwell's solo music career got off to a better start than Mel's with four UK number ones in her first five single releases. Her debut album Schizophonic sold over a million copies worldwide, although sales declined for her two follow ups. She too has been busy in the studio of late and plans to release her fourth album Putting On The Bling later this year. She also released a series of six children's books based around her character Ugenia Lavender in 2008.
Emma Bunton, or Baby Spice as she was dubbed, also had a good start to her solo career hitting number one with her first official solo single What Took You So Long and enjoying 9 UK top 20 hits altogether. Her third album Life In Mono released in December 2006 peaked at a lowly 65 however, despite positive critical response to its retro 60s feel. She has stayed in the public eye in recent years as one of the judges on Dancing On Ice in 2010 and 2011, a frequent guest on popular game show Celebrity Juice and a number of cameos in Jennifer Saunders' comedy series Absolutely Fabulous as a heightened version of herself. Saunders has also penned the book for the upcoming Viva Forever musical.
Sporty Spice Melanie C has remained the most dedicated ex-Spice to her solo material and has continuously released music since her debut album Northern Star in 1999. Her fifth album The Sea was released in late 2011 to glowing reviews and strong European sales, although UK chart success in recent years has been elusive. Her most recent foray is a collaboration with drag DJ Jodie Harsh on the current club music EP The Night which was released in May this year to positive feedback. The first Spice to move into musical theatre she spent 6 months as Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre between 2009 and 2010 and will co-star in the upcoming arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar playing Mary Magdalene. She won an Olivier Awards nomination for Best Actress in a Musical at the 2010 Olivier Awards for her work in Blood Brothers.
Arguably the most globally successful Spice Girl since the group's split has been Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice. Ironically she has found more success by shying away from music altogether and by building a fashion and branding empire. An ill-fated attempt at a solo music career was abandoned after the public didn't take to her as a solo artist and she has frequently been cited as one of the main voices against reunions of the group, although she admitted she was happy when the group did reunite briefly in 2007 for a Greatest Hits album and tour because she wanted to prove to her children that 'mummy was famous once'. She is now an internationally recognised fashion icon with a successful clothing brand dVb that is popular with many celebrities. She won the Designer of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards. Her fashion collections have been well-received by critics for having a strong mix of style and wearability and her marriage to footballer David Beckham has played a large part in helping build their brand as a couple, which has led to advertising deals plus sunglasses and perfume sales. Their estimated joint wealth is £125 million.
The five girls still lead such hectic lives that it is very rare for them all to be able to meet up - and they are also canny enough to know that if they do it will be an event. Their involvement in the development of Viva Forever The Musical means that they will undoubtedly be reunited for the show's official premiere, if not at a high profile event before that. The girls like to keep us guessing to keep up the intrigue…and it's working! Excitement is building for the upcoming show with both the Spice Girls and Viva Forever frequently trending on social websites such as Twitter in the last few months.
As soon as tickets for Viva Forever come on sale you will of course be the first to know - we are as excited as you are! If you want to go on our Viva Forever waiting list so that we contact you as soon as the Spice Girls musical tickets are released, email us with your contact number at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ha see ya - hold tight!