Back to the day job for Toploader star

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TOPLOADER’S frontman was knocked out of Popstar to Operastar in the semi-finals at the weekend.

Joseph Washbourn, from Eastbourne, was up against Cheryl Baker, former X-Factor winner Joe McElderry and Steps singer Claire Richards in the ITV1 show.

Joseph was second to perform in the live show, broadcast at 8pm on Sunday (July 3).

The Eastbourne man, who had already survived two previous sing-offs, performed the champagne aria from Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Katherine Jenkins, who had been coaching Joseph and the other contestants through the competition, was full of praise after his performance on Sunday.

She said, “You really, really worked hard to get all those notes right.

“Ninety-eight per cent of the time you were in the operatic voice.”

However, despite praise from the reality show judges and the backing of Toploader fans, Joseph and Claire Richards were voted off the show. This leaves 80s popstar and television presenter Cheryl Baker and Joe McElderry in next week’s final.

Joseph was delighted to make it through to the semi-finals of the competition.

Speaking last week, before Sunday’s performance, he said, “If you had told me, when I first started the process, I would be in the semi-finals I would have laughed at you.”

“It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience though.”

Joseph says the judges of the show have been successful in bringing opera to the masses and he now describes himself as an ‘opera fan’.

Now Popstar to Operastar is over for Joseph, he will give his vocal chords a rest before returning to his day job in Toploader.

The Eastbourne band has just released a new album called Only Human and single called a Balance To All Things.

Joseph and his fellow band members Dan Hipgrave, Rob Green and Matt Knight are hoping to do another gig in their home town of Eastbourne, following the success of their bandstand comeback concert in the summer of 2009.

Joseph told the Gazette Toploader are currently looking for Eastbourne venue suggestions.

Anyone with ideas is asked to contact the band through its website at