Monthly Archives: May 2014

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ 2014 – Semi-Final 5 Review

The last Britain’s Got Talent semi-final of this year brought us perhaps the most underwhelming line-up yet, but it also threw up a few surprises, with previously good acts receiving some criticism, and a couple of ‘novelty’ performers doing really rather well!

La Voix and The London Gay Big Band

Who’d have thought that with David Walliams and Yanis Marshall, Arnaud and Mehdi there, there’d be room for even more camp in the semi-finals? La Voix and The London Gay Big Band are not just a bundle of camp, though: they are in fact very talented musicians. La Voix is a particularly good show-woman as she held the audience in the palm of her hand. They might not have made it through to the Final but I’m sure they’ll have shifted an extra few tickets for their next shows.

Bailey McConnell

It was a shame that Bailey faced Paddy and Nico in the judges’ vote as he would have fitted in extremely well in the Final. His vocal and writing abilities are exceptional, so, as David said, I have no doubt that he will be making music professionally soon. Maybe the fact that James Smith – a performer of a similar age and with a similar voice – is already in the Final also acted against Bailey. If that was the case, it’s a shame as they are both genuinely, and equally, talented. I hope he has a great career ahead of him!

Kings & Queens

I’m with Simon. I really enjoyed Kings & Queens’s first audition but tonight I too thought that it was a mess and ultimately underwhelming. There was nothing in it to make them stand out from the crowd – except perhaps the Peter Andre segment and music changes, but even they didn’t work as well as perhaps they should have.

Peat Loaf & Elaine

‘Peat’ said in his VT that Meat Loaf is gobsmacked every time he sees him. The implication was that this was because of their striking resemblance but I wonder whether the great Michael Aday is actually just shocked to see his stalker again. Like Alesha, I just can’t get excited about Peat Loaf & Elaine; I’m bet that they’re entertaining in a club once you’ve had a few bevvies but on Britain’s Got Talent? I’m not so sure.

Andrew Derbyshire

I saw Andrew performing in Thriller Live at the Sunderland Empire last year and was really impressed with him even then. For some reason, I remembered him, so when I saw him audition for BGT, I was over the moon – and tonight I thought he was brilliant. Alesha, Amanda and Simon exhibited such an unnecessary lack of tact when giving their critiques. Yes, at some points, Andrew’s performance might have shown signs of weakness as he perhaps reached for notes which were beyond his capabilities but the judges surely could have pointed this out without being so terribly rude! I hope that their comments and him not getting through to the Final hasn’t dampened Andrew’s spirits too much. I wish him every bit of luck for the future.

Jenson Zhu

Jenson is without doubt one of the funniest acts I’ve seen on Britain’s Got Talent. Granted, his talent to make us laugh is unintentional, as his actual impressions are, to say the least, poor, but he was great entertainment and I think that the Final will be a more sombre affair without his presence.

Kieran Lai

Kieran’s initial audition was fantastic – he looked like he could be the next George Sampson (winner in 2008) and I couldn’t wait to discover what he had lined-up for the semi-final tonight. I, like Simon, was left very disappointed, though. His performance was quite disjointed and really failed to showcase the talent that the nation knows he has. I truly believe that if he had created a better routine, he’d have at least been in the top three tonight.

Paddy and Nico

If it wasn’t for the fact that Nico throws and spins Paddy around so violently and so often, they probably wouldn’t have got through to the semi-finals or caused the hype that they have. They are fantastic, though. The injury clearly held them back somewhat tonight but they still did considerably well, bearing in mind they only had twenty four hours to choreograph and rehearse the routine. I hope they come up with something even more spectacular in the Final!

Jack Pack

The music was as perfect as Alfie’s face. Jack Pack are such a breath of fresh air, mixing their youthful looks with swing music. Their voices are beautiful and I am sure that they will go far beyond the Final. Could we perhaps be looking at the next Overtones?

 

So, the Britain’s Got Talent 2014 finalists are:

Illusionist, Darcy Oake

Singers, Collabro

Singer, James Smith

Dancers, The Addict Initiative

Dancers, Yanis Marshall, Arnaud and Mehdi

Singer, Lucy Kay

Singers and songwriters, Bars & Melody

Violinist, Lettice Rowbotham

Singers, Jack Pack

Dancers, Paddy & Nico

Plus, of course, the Wildcard. My money’s on either Jon Clegg (impressionist) or Light Balance (futuristic dance act)

 

The Britain’s Got Talent 2014 Final is on ITV next Saturday (7th June) at 7:00pm

What did you think of tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent? Do you agree or disagree with my review or the judges? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show –@UKTVReviewer

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ 2014 – Semi-Final 4 Review

Among the usual in-jokes between Ant & Dec and the judges, and Simon and Amanda’s tragic attempts at usurpation of David Walliams, a few examples of the talent that this great country of ours has to offer were squeezed in during tonight’s BGT. Here’smy opinion on them:

Innova Irish Dance Company

For some reason, I loved Innova Irish Dance Company’s first audition – and I wasn’t disappointed tonight. Simon’s so wrong: the girls don’t need a ‘lead’ dancer, they’re absolutely fine the way they are! The way that they bring Irish dancing to a contemporary audience with modern songs is ingenious! It’s a shame that they only just missed out on going through to the Final, but I’m sure that this exposure will do wonders for them.

Kieran and Sarah

Kieran and Sarah are undoubtedly fantastic singers and in my opinion, contrary to what Mr Cowell purports, are capable of being recording artists, rather than just ‘cruise ship singers’. I really didn’t like the staging tonight, though – I found it corny and thought it really undermined their talent, which was a shame.

Pyroterra

Pyroterra present a spectacle when they perform, with their elaborate use of – as their name suggests – pyrotechnics, and don’t get me wrong: their talent really is impressive. However, to me, the act was just a bit disjointed tonight and I was ultimately left somewhat disappointed.

Toju

I just don’t get it. Of course, comedy is subjective and if Ant & Dec and the judges saw fit to rave about Toju, then that’s fine. Who am I to question their sense of humour? For me, though, his jokes were weak and crying out for cohesion, he addressed the judges far too often in an attempt to appeal to them and even his impressions weren’t strong enough to warrant his place in the Semi-Finals. I was hoping that he would make me laugh even slightly tonight but sadly he did not.

Eva Iglesias

Thankfully, we have now almost moved on from her tragic story of a love lost (read ‘last ditch attempt to get through her audition’) and we can focus on her amazing talent. The song that she sang tonight was perfect for her voice and she clearly wowed the judges and audience alike. Obviously, though, not enough to get through to the Final.

Light Balance

Debate may be rife as to whether or not acts from outside of the UK should be allowed to enter Britain’s Got Talent but there is surely no doubting that Light Balance are extraordinarily talented. The complex nature of their act, which leaves the audience (or me, at the very least) amazed is truly commendable. Sadly, their nationality may have caused them to fall at the final hurdle.

Allan Turner-Ward

Well Allan Turner-Ward might be something of a novelty act but I think that if Simon Cowell wanted, he could release that song tomorrow and make it a monster hit. Honestly. Well, ok, perhaps not ‘a monster hit’ but it certainly would be popular, I’m sure. Let’s face facts: there was no chance of Allan progressing into the Final but I’m sure it was nice for him to leave the confines of Radio Wimborne and get his fifteen minutes of fame.

Bars & Melody

These young lads have both huge likability and terrific talent. Their songwriting ability is to be admired and their stage presence is impressive too. It was evident from the audience’s reaction at their audition, when Simon chose them as his Golden Buzzer act, that Bars & Melody were, and still are, adored. I can’t wait to find out what the topic of their rap will be in the Final!

Lettice Rowbotham

Violinists’ answer to Stacey Solomon, Lettice is an incredibly creative and musical individual. I’m overjoyed that she’s through to the Final: she brings a ray of sunshine to proceedings while also managing to dazzle with her musical capabilities.

Tomorrow night is sadly BGT-free but on Saturday, the last, and seemingly weakest, of the semi-finals will consist of the following acts:

Musicians, La Voix & The London Gay Big Band

Singer, Andrew Derbyshire

Dancers, Kings & Queens

Singers, Peat Loaf & Elaine

Impressionist, Jenson Zhu

Musician, Bailey McConnell

Dancer, Kieran Lai

Singers, Jack Pack

Now, you may notice that there are only eight acts there. Sadly, Amanda’s Golden Buzzer act, Paddy and Nico, have had to pull out of the competition due to an injury.

Britain’s Got Talent is on at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, with Britain’s Got More Talent at 10:00pm, every day this week (exc. Friday)

What did you think of tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent? Do you agree or disagree with my review or the judges? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ 2014 – Semi-Final 3 Review

In possibly the campest, most bizarre Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Final in the show’s seven year history, we were treated (well…) to an array of acts. Here are my thoughts on what we witnessed…

Crazy Rouge

Burlesque groups on Britain’s Got Talent all too often fall into the trap of providing entertainment only for the dads but tonight, Crazy Rouge gave something for everyone – the guys, girls and gays of the nation. I imagine this would look great in a pub or club but on the BGT stage, it was somewhat underwhelming, unfortunately.

Ellis Chick

It’s great to see young performers with confidence but Ellis Chick has it in excess. Granted, he has a great voice and stage presence and seems very likeable but I do worry that he’s in danger of crossing the line between confidence and cockiness. I really wasn’t sure whether or not he’d be voted through to the Final, and I hope that the fact that he didn’t make it hasn’t dashed his hopes of a future in singing.

Sam Jones

Well the judges said it all where Sam was concerned: the material was not as good as it was in his initial audition and he really needed to work on his enunciation. The ending was also particularly poor; Sam’s audition built up, with his cries of ‘Stop it!’ eventually bringing it to a crescendo and causing a satisfying ending, but tonight is just tailed off. Perhaps if he’d had a huge ending, we’d have forgiven what we’d seen before and been left with an overall good impression of him. Alas, however, that was not the case.

Reaformed

When Alesha chose Reaformed as her Golden Buzzer act, I was a bit confused; they just didn’t really stand out to me, so I didn’t quite understand what she had seen in them. However, tonight they really proved themselves to be worthy contenders in the competition. When I saw them in the Semi-Final, I felt as if I was watching an established girl group perform! I really hope that they have a great career ahead of them.

Brian Chan

God, that was terrible! I’ve never understood the whole thing of experimental fashion and Brian’s painting on the wall just made it all the more puzzling. I mean, what was the point? Why was he put through? Sorry, not for me.

Cartel

I don’t know what on earth Alesha and Simon are talking about! Jamie’s place in the group is as valid as any of the other members. All of them are incredible movers, the surprise of Jamie’s return to the group worked brilliantly and, just like The Addict Initiative last night, they stood out from the crowd of other dance groups. It’s a true shame that they didn’t make it through to the Final – so near and yet so far, eh?

Kitty and Rosie

I really enjoyed this mother-and-daughter duo’s first audition but tonight, although they sang as well as expected, I felt like I’d seen it all before. Simon hit the nail on the head when he said that it was like a karaoke performance on a hen night – which isn’t to say that it was bad, but it was just a bit disorganised.

Lucy Kay

She is and the song was beautiful! Even Simon sounded choked when he gave his critique. She has an exceptional talent and I wasn’t surprised in the slightest that she made it through to the Final. I can’t wait to find out what she’ll wow us with a week on Saturday!

Yanis Marshall, Arnaud and Mehdi

These men are hugely talented – they’re fantastic dancers anyway, but the fact that they do it in (very) high heels is incredible! It’s just a shame that I couldn’t hear the music over the sound of Putin spinning in his grave. What’s that? He isn’t dead? Oh well, we live in hope.

The acts taking to the stage tomorrow night are:

Dancers, Innova Irish Dance Company

Singer, Eva Iglesias

Variety act, Pyroterra

Singers, Kieran & Sarah

Comedian, and Ant & Dec’s Golden Buzzer act, Toju

Alternative dance act, Light Balance

Disc jockey, Allan-Turner Ward

Violinist, Lettice Rowbotham

Rappers, and Simon’s Golden Buzzer act, Bars & Melody

Britain’s Got Talent is on at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, with Britain’s Got More Talent at 10:00pm, every day this week (exc. Friday)

What did you think of tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent? Do you agree or disagree with my review or the judges? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ 2014 – Semi-Final 2 Review

The second semi-final of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent brought an array of the good, the bad and…well, the good and the bad. It wasn’t the strongest night of talent I’ve ever seen, but it still threw up a few surprises…

Mini Moves

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such flexible little dancers as these girls! Mini Moves were brilliant in their audition and lived up to expectations tonight with their very well choreographed and executed routine. The judges’ assurance that they will go on to have careers and the whole nation is behind them didn’t sit well with me, though. These girls are talented – there’s no question about that – but how can the panel make such bold statements as those? I’d like to think that the comments haven’t filled Mini Moves with false hope, as around 90% of Britain’s Got Talent participants are truly talented – hence the title of the show – but sadly not all of them go on to have the careers that they deserve or the judges predict.

Ed Drewett

Ed’s self-penned song is so catchy and an excellent demonstration of his talent – but I wanted to hear something different. After all, that was his audition song, and perhaps a change would have solidified, along with his illustrious body of work, that he has plenty more potential hits in his arsenal and can perform them just as well too. It’s a bit like the situation with onesie-clad teen, Gabz Gardiner on last year’s show: ‘Lighters’ was hugely successful for her in her initial audition, but she took the risk of performing a different song in the semi-final, albeit still written by her, and it paid dividends. He might not have got through to the Final tonight but at least this show has given him the exposure of both his vocal and writing talent that he has been waiting for.

Bolddog FMX Team

Having a unique talent like this is perfect for BGT as it helps you to stand out from the myriad of singers and dancers. Motorcycle display team, Bolddog FMX’s semi-final performance was, as was reported in the press, pre-recorded (but, as Dec was very keen to point out, in one take) and certainly did not disappoint. Just like their audition, it was exhilarating to watch – although slightly less nerve-racking, as the possibility of any injury was very low, owing to the fact that the clip was actually being broadcast. It would have been interesting to see what they had in store for the Final but, sadly, we won’t get to find out.

Jodi Bird

‘You sang for your life’ is a much over-used saying. However, in the case of Jodi, it’s apt. Her rendition of ‘Let It Go’ (which of course is familiar to parents up and down the land as the song from Frozen) was exceptionally powerful. Simon’s main qualm with her in her audition was that she sang a style of music that was not to his tastes, so what a relief it was that she came out and sang a Disney song tonight! I hope that a musical theatre producer was watching and was as impressed by her as I was. It’s a shame that she didn’t make it through to the final but with any luck she’ll have a fine career ahead of her.

Sweetchix

Sadly, I barely remembered Sweetchix from the auditions and didn’t like their performance tonight. They were probably let down by their song choice of Taylor Swift’s ‘Trouble’ as it was clear that they were good vocalists but for whatever reason, it just didn’t seem to work tonight. Not in my opinion, at least.

Ricky K

The first time I saw Ricky K, I was sat in the staff room at work while a repeat of the previous night’s BGT was on – and as soon as he came on, everyone who had already seen the episode began raving about him and laughing before he had even begun his act. So, after the endorsement from my fellow McDonald’s burger flippers, I was expecting great things – and I wasn’t disappointed. His slapstick style makes him so comparable to people like Norman Wisdom and, particularly, Lee Evans, yet there seemed to be something unique about him. What I’m trying to say is that I loved his first audition. Tonight, though, it just didn’t work as well. I don’t know why; the music was well-selected and -placed, and Ricky’s mimes were as exaggerated as usual, but it just fell flat – hence the ambivalence from the audience and buzz from Simon. It’s a shame really, because he showed so much potential in his audition.

The Addict Initiative

I have to admit, I had dismissed The Addict Initiative as ‘just another dance troupe’ – after all, since Diversity and Flawless in 2009, all dance acts like this have just seemed the same. Well, they have to a layman like me, anyway. Tonight, though, The Addict Initiative were stunning! The aid of a narrative, and such a recognisable one at that, was instrumental in them getting through to the Final, but their ability to perform in such sync with each other was also hugely important. I think that tonight they became genuine contenders for the title of ‘winners’.

Kony Puppets

Well the last time we it was with Antonio Popeye (whose surname is very much a clue to the nature of his act) in 2011 but tonight Kony Puppets received four buzzes during their semi-final performance. I guess I can understand why the judges pushed their buzzers – it is, after all, not a hugely entertaining act. It becomes very ‘samey’ very quickly. However, Britain’s Got Talent does aim to find individual, unique talents and I think that Kony and his team are just that. The way that they use those puppets is so clever – they move like the celebrities they represent! Of course, Kony Puppets was never going to win the show (or, dare I say it, progress past the semi-finals) but I am surprised that they received four buzzes.

James Smith

James’s confidence and voice are incredible! I loved his stripped-back version of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’. It was an unconventional song choice and, although I loathe to use such a hideous cliche, he genuinely made it his own. It came as absolutely no surprise that he sailed through to the Final purely on the public vote and, although I’d prefer a variety act to triumph again this year, he might just be performing at this year’s Royal Variety show. I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

The acts for tomorrow night include:

Dancers, Crazy Rogue

Singer, Ellis Chick

Singers, Kitty & Rosie

Dancers, Cartel

Fashion designer, Brian Chan

Ventriloquist, Sam Jones

Singers, and Alesha’s Golden Buzzer act, Reaformed

Dancers, Yanis Marshall, Arnaud and Mehdi

Singer, Lucy Kay

Britain’s Got Talent is on at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, with Britain’s Got More Talent at 10:00pm, every day this week (exc. Friday)

What did you think of tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent? Do you agree or disagree with my review or the judges? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ 2014 – Semi Final 1 Review

Jubilation tonight as the brilliantly funny and entertaining Britain’s Got More Talent went live! Before we got to the real treat of Stephen Mulhern, though, we had to sit through the comparatively inferior Britain’s Got Talent – and it is that farce that is the basis for the proceeding review…

Countryvive

Simon was right – Countryvive’s performance tonight wasn’t at all as impressive as their audition. When we first saw them, they seemed fresh, bringing line and country dancing to a wider audience, but tonight faded into the background with acts like Jon Clegg and Darcy Oake also on the bill. In isolation, they’re very talented. Among other top talent in the semi-finals, though? I’m afraid they failed to stand out.

Micky Dumoulin

Micky would have done so well on X Factor, I’m sure. He has the ‘right’ appearance and a magnificent voice – which really suited his rendition of ‘Don’t You Worry Child’. He’s also incredibly likeable. In a similar way to Countryvive, though, I think that his fellow performers were better. Perhaps it was because a lot of them were variety acts? I don’t know.

Lauren and Terrell

How do you buzz children? Should you buzz children? It’s difficult, isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong: Lauren and Torrell are brilliant dancers but I just wasn’t wowed by their performance tonight in the same way that I was by their audition. I thought it was a bit…disconnected. It didn’t flow. Like I said, though, they’re brilliant dancers.

Patsy May

This puppet (sorry, but she is) reminds me of another Patsy: Patsy Stone. Google her, kids! The judges were absolutely right; it would have been great to see Patsy demonstrate how funny she can be – but as her act was, I thought it was brilliant. There’s never been an act quite as individual as Patsy on Britain’s Got Talent and it’s just a shame that she appeared on such a strong night.

Henrietta Adewole

I thought Henrietta was great! I don’t quite know what Amanda meant by saying that her voice is “an acquired taste” – surely anyone can hear that she has a gorgeous voice? It’s a shame that Alesha and Amanda in particular didn’t seem to like Henrietta’s performance, as I think that that seriously hindered her chances of progressing to the Final.

Jon Clegg

I always love comedians on Britain’s Got Talent (well, except Toju – Ant and Dec’s golden buzzer act. I didn’t quite get that one) and Jon is no exception. I was surprised that he received a standing-ovation at the end of his performance, as the audience’s laughter during his three minutes seemed quite sparse, but that was probably just down to them not immediately identifying who he was impersonating. I just hope and pray that the judges pick him as their Wildcard when the Final comes.

Darcy Oake

Magicians frustrate me. How the hell did he do it? Darcy’s talent is just infuriating! How dare he be so clever as to be able to pull of a trick like that! Seriously though, there was never any question about him going through to the Final. It was just a given. I can’t wait to find out what he does a week on Saturday!

Christian Spridon

Wow. That was incredible! It was an awful vocal and gayer than Louie Spence in an Ab Fab cameo but my God, it was entertaining. Unsurprisingly, though, we’re not going to see him again. I’m sure the nation will get over it.

Collabro

I remember when Collabro auditioned a few weeks ago and Eamonn Holmes said on This Morning that he didn’t know who their fanbase will be as they look like they should appeal to a younger audience but their style is more suited to the more mature viewer. I think that that’s what makes them so great, though; they’re unique, capable of successfully blending the old and the new and have amazing voices. Oh, and more importantly, they’re good-looking too. Well that’s what inspires me to vote, anyway.

On tomorrow night’s show, there’ll be:

Stunt display team, Bolddog FMX Team

Comedian, Ricky K

Dance group, Mini Moves

Singer/songwriter, Ed Drewett

Puppetry act, Kony Puppets

Singers, Sweetchix

Singer and guitarist, James Smith

Singer, Jodi Bird

Dance troupe, Addict Initiative

Britain’s Got Talent is on at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, with Britain’s Got More Talent at 10:00pm, every day this week (exc. Friday)

What did you think of tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent? Do you agree or disagree with my review or the judges? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer