Category Archives: ‘Britain’s Got Talent’

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ 2014 – Final Review

With more talent than we’ve seen in a long time and more camp than you can shake a feather boa at, the Final of the eighth series of Britain’s Got Talent arrived tonight and saw musical theatre act, Collabro be crowned the winners. Here are my thoughts on the acts we saw, in ascending order of success.

Yanis Marshall, Arnaud and MehdiYanis Marshall, Arnaud and Mehdi

This trio of high-heels-donning dancers were never going to win, were they? They just had too much  competition. Talent, they had. A hope in hell, they did not. Still, at least they can say that they were the first act ever to be buzzed in the Final – and by Simon to boot!

The Addict InitiativeThe Addict Initiative

I love The Addict Initiative’s ingenuity, blending stunning dance with a recognisable fairytale narrative. I don’t quite know where they can go from here – there certainly isn’t a platform out there for an act like themselves but I hope that they do well, no matter what they do.

Paddy & NicoPaddy & Nico  

I was really surprised that Paddy and Nico didn’t do better tonight! They of course had the backing of Amanda but also seemed to be loved by the public. Perhaps they were just unlucky to be in a show with so many other talented performers – as it certainly wasn’t a lack of talent that let them down!

Lettice Rowbotham 

I adore Lettice! I want to be her best friend! Seriously, though, her personality isLettice Rowbotham just a small part of her act, as her violin-playing is exceptional. I loved her singing, too, although it was a shame that we only got a little burst of it – it seemed a bit out of place, really. I think it would have made much more sense for her to sing the ‘Wake me up inside’ line, rather than simply leaving a gap. She’s still an exceptional talent, though, and I really do hope that she does well in the future.

Jon CleggJon Clegg 

Thank God Jon Clegg was given the Wildcard! He is such a talented impressionist; there isn’t one of his voices that isn’t absolutely spot on and it’s a shame that he didn’t win. That’s 50p that I’ll never see again! I’ve little doubt that Jon will do well – we’ll probably see him popping up on some show or another in due course.

James Smith 

I love James! His charisma shines in his performances, he has such charm andJames Smith is not bad looking either. I’m sure he’ll have had the teenage girls of the national fawning over him tonight. Oh, and his voice is amazing too – I mustn’t forget about his voice. I just hope my boyfriend isn’t reading this review, else I’m going to be in a bit of trouble…

Darcy Oake 

Darcy’s an amazing illusionist – probably one of the best we’ve Darcy Oakeever seen on Britain’s Got Talent. I have to be honest, I thought that his audition and semi-final performances were much better and more impressive than tonight’s; the fact that ITV were allowing such a trick to be broadcast in a live pre-watershed slot removed the danger of him being seriously injured somewhat. I’m sure this show will have given him the platform to be recognised and celebrated across the world – not just in his native Canada.

Jack Pack 

Whether or not they actually stole MichaelJack Pack Buble’s crown, as Amanda claimed they did, I’m not sure but one thing’s for certain: they are brilliant! Not only do they look great, they sound it too. I said it when I reviewed their semi-final performance and I’ll say it again: they are a true breath of fresh air and I’m sure Simon will snap them up straight away.

Bars & Melody 

There’s no doubt that these youngBars & Melody singers/songwriters are talented, but I just can’t get over their sycophancy. Last week, they made a huge deal of telling Alesha that she looks beautiful. On This Morning on Thursday, they told Holly Willoughby the same – and had no qualms about stressing the point. A lot. Then tonight, when Simon said that he hoped that his son, Eric, grows up to be like them. Now, to that lovely comment a simple ‘Thank you’ would have sufficed but instead, Leondre (the youngest of the two) gushed that he hopes that he turns out like Simon when he’s older. Don’t get me wrong: I know that that’s better than them being miserable, unappreciative and insincere but…oh, it was all just a bit too much, in my opinion.

Lucy KayLucy Kay 

Isn’t Lucy’s voice just amazing? I’m so pleased that people managed to see past the “sob story” and recognise that Lucy is very, very talented. She more than warranted second place – no doubt we’ll see her topping the classical charts later this year. Watch out, Katherine Jenkins: you have stiff competition.

Collabro

If only some bitter madwoman hadCollabro started chucking eggs at Simon Cowell during  Collabro’s slot tonight, we’d have had a truly traditional Britain’s Got Talent performance! I was very surprised that Collabro won – yes, they have an abundance of talent and are incredibly popular and likeable but I thought that Bars & Melody, James Smith or even Jon might have just pipped them to the post. I am of course very pleased for them, though, and can’t wait to see where they go from here. Worthy winners!

 All images thanks to ITV, ©Thames TV/SyCo

Britain’s Got Talent will of course be back in 2015

If you still need your BGT fix, though, Stephen Mulhern looks back at the past seven years of auditionees in Britain’s Got More Talent Best & Worst on Monday at 8:00pm on ITV2

What did you think of tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent Final? 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 – Final Review

With more talent than we’ve seen in a long time and more camp than you can shake a feather boa at, the Final of the eighth series of Britain’s Got Talent arrived tonight and saw musical theatre act, Collabro be crowned the winners. Here are my thoughts on the acts we saw tonight, in ascending order of success.

Yanis Marshall, Arnaud and Mehdi

This trio of high-heels-donning dancers were never going to win, were they? They just had too much competition. Talent, they had. A hope in hell, they did not. Still, at least they can say that they were the first act ever to be buzzed in the Final – and by Simon to boot!

The Addict Initiative

I love The Addict Initiative’s ingenuity, blending stunning dance with a recognisable fairytale narrative. I don’t quite know where they can go from here – there certainly isn’t a platform out there for an act like themselves but I hope that they do well, no matter what they do.

Paddy & Nico

I was really surprised that Paddy and Nico didn’t do better tonight! They of course had the backing of Amanda but also seemed to be loved by the public. Perhaps they were just unlucky to be in a show with so many other talented performers – as it certainly wasn’t a lack of talent that let them down!

Lettice Rowbotham

I adore Lettice! I want to be her best friend! Seriously, though, her personality is just a small part of her act, as her violin-playing is exceptional. I loved her singing, too, although it was a shame that we only got a little burst of it – it seemed a bit out of place, really. I think it would have made much more sense for her to sing the ‘Wake me up inside’ line, rather than simply leaving a gap. She’s still an exceptional talent, though, and I really do hope that she does well in the future.

Jon Clegg

Thank God Jon Clegg was given the Wildcard! He is such a talented impressionist; there isn’t one of his voices that isn’t absolutely spot on and it’s a shame that he didn’t win. That’s 50p that I’ll never see again! I’ve little doubt that Jon will do well – we’ll probably see him popping up on some show or another in due course.

James Smith

I love James! His charisma shines in his performances, he has such charm and is not bad looking either. I’m sure he’ll have had the teenage girls of the national fawning over him tonight. Oh, and his voice is amazing too – I mustn’t forget about his voice. I just hope my boyfriend isn’t reading this review, else I’m going to be in a bit of trouble…

Darcy Oake

Darcy’s an amazing illusionist – probably one of the best we’ve ever seen on Britain’s Got Talent. I have to be honest, I thought that his audition and semi-final performances were much better and more impressive than tonight’s; the fact that ITV were allowing such a trick to be broadcast in a live pre-watershed slot removed the danger of him being seriously injured somewhat. I’m sure this show will have given him the platform to be recognised and celebrated across the world – not just in his native Canada.

Jack Pack

Whether or not they actually stole Michael Buble’s crown, as Amanda claimed they did, I’m not sure but one thing’s for certain: they are brilliant! Not only do they look great, they sound it too. I said it when I reviewed their semi-final performance and I’ll say it again: they are a true breath of fresh air and I’m sure Simon will snap them up straight away.

Bars & Melody

There’s no doubt that these young singers/songwriters are talented, but I just can’t get over their sycophancy. Last week, they made a huge deal of telling Alesha that she looks beautiful. On This Morning on Thursday, they told Holly Willoughby the same – and had no qualms about stressing the point. A lot. Then tonight, when Simon said that he hoped that his son, Eric, grows up to be like them. Now, to that lovely comment a simple ‘Thank you’ would have sufficed but instead, Leondre (the youngest of the two) gushed that he hopes that he turns out like Simon when he’s older. Don’t get me wrong: I know that that’s better than them being miserable, unappreciative and insincere but…oh, it was all just a bit too much, in my opinion.

Lucy Kay

Isn’t Lucy’s voice just amazing? I’m so pleased that people managed to see past the “sob story” and recognise that Lucy is very, very talented. She more than warranted second place – no doubt we’ll see her topping the classical charts later this year. Watch out, Katherine Jenkins: you have stiff competition.

Collabro

If only some bitter madwoman had started chucking eggs at Simon Cowell during Collabro’s slot tonight, we’d have had a truly traditional Britain’s Got Talent performance! I was very surprised that Collabro won – yes, they have an abundance of talent and are incredibly popular and likeable but I thought that Bars & Melody, James Smith or even Jon might have just pipped them to the post. I am of course very pleased for them, though, and can’t wait to see where they go from here. Worthy winners!

Britain’s Got Talent will of course be back in 2015

If you still need your BGT fix, though, Stephen Mulhern looks back at the past seven years of auditionees in Britain’s Got More Talent Best & Worst on Monday at 8:00pm on ITV2

What did you think of tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent Final? 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 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

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ – Final 2013 Review

After weeks of the good and the not-so-good ‘talents’ that Britain has to offer, the Britain’s Got Talent Final 2013 was here – with an eclectic (or egglectic – more on that later) mix of talents.

Pre Skool – 9th Place
Pre Skool were hardly likely to win, but they undoubtedly brought some cuteness to the Final. Also, they’re fantastic dancers – the speed of their routine was energetic and well choreographed (as always) and a great start to the show.

Asanda Jezile – 11th Place
At times I did worry that Beyonce’s ‘If I Were A Boy’ had slightly too ambitious notes for Asanda but she definitely pulled it off. The confidence with which she performed on stage was superb, and so was her vocal range. Simply brilliant.

Gabz Gardiner – 7th Place
Oh my God! If Simon doesn’t get Gabz to release an album – or a single at the very least – then he will be making a huge mistake. If the remaining 28 songs in her arsenal are anywhere near as good as the two which she performed in the Final, she will have a long and successful career ahead of her – she didn’t need to win the show.

Steve Hewlett – 4th Place
Thank God the judges picked Steve to be the Wildcard act! That was not only his funniest routine, it was the funniest from any of the contestants this series! I laughed from start to finish and was overjoyed that he not only brought back our favourites (Arthur Lager and Simon) but also had a Sinitta puppet in his routine too. I loved it – I was really undecided as to whether to vote for him. Paul Zerdin and Nina Conti had best watch out!

Jordan O’Keefe – 6th Place
I was never overwhelmed by Jordan – I always thought he was good, but I didn’t think he should have beaten Steve Hewlett into the Final. His cover of Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ tonight was exceptional, though. And there isn’t much else to say.

Arisxandra Libantino – 8th Place
As always, Arisxandra was amazing. It’s really difficult to separate her and Asanda – both have incredibly mature voices and attitudes towards their performances. A true, true talent.

Francine Lewis – 10th Place
I adored Francine – I championed her pretty much throughout the whole competition and she delivered a winning performance during the Final. Every impression was bang-on and, while they perhaps didn’t run as smoothly as in her Semi-Final performance, they were extremely funny, thanks to her and her cousin’s fabulous script. She was the act that I voted for, and I have little doubt that she will go on to bigger and better things. It’s just such a shame that she didn’t win.

Richard and Adam – 3rd Place
These sandwich-making brothers from Wales have absolutely astounding voices, as proven during their performance of ‘The Impossible Dream’. Their nan has every reason to be swelled with pride Richard and Adam - Third Place when they sing.
There is a serious issue here, though – and it has nothing to do with Richard and Adam themselves. How the hell did former BGT failure Natalie Holt (or ‘that stupid cow’, as Amanda very aptly dubbed her) manage to get onto the stage? Did no one backstage note the box of half-a-dozen eggs in her hand? Where was the security? It’s ridiculous! Let’s just be thankful that she attacked the judges with just eggs – and nothing more serious, as she so easily could have! ITV has some explaining to do tomorrow…

Jack Carroll – 2nd PlaceJack Carroll - Second Place
I just don’t find Jack Carroll funny. I know that is controversial but I don’t. I admire him for writing his own material (that’s more than most professional comedians) but I don’t understand the craze about him. I suppose comedy really is subjective, isn’t it? I just feel sorry for whoever put that £10,000 bet  on him winning. So near and yet so far, eh?

Luminites – 5th Place
I think the Luminites are brilliant. Together they create unique music and am thoroughly looking forward to seeing what happens to them from now.

Attraction – WinnersAttraction - Winners of 'Britain's Got Talent' 2013
This is something that BGT has never seen before, but we will probably see many inferior versions of in the future. They’re simply amazing and extremely worthy winners. How fantastic that for two years running we have had a variety act win Britain’s Got Talent. I can imagine Daily Mail readers across the country being outraged that a Hungarian act has dared enter – and win – a British talent show.

Congratulations Attraction and to all of the finalists. This year has seen some of the best talent of the show’s seven series – and some of the best variety. It truly proves that Britain has got talent – and lots of it.

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

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

TV Highlights (8th – 14th June)

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – with the finale of Talent and the return of both Big Brother and the Drop.

Saturday 8th June

Britain’s Got Talent: The Final

ITV, 7:30pm

After weeks of seeing the weird and wonderful ‘talents’ which the people of Britain have to offer, this year’s BGT comes to a close with a two-and-a-half-hour long Final, where we will find out who has won that £250,000 prize and a spot on the bill at this year’s Royal Variety Performance.

The line-up for this year’s Final is pretty impressive, with a health mix of many talents – not just the usual singers and dancers which we are accustomed to. Of course, there are still some (very good) singers in the Final, and here they are:

Richard & Adam

Arisxandra Libantino

Gabz Gardiner

Luminites

Asanda Jezile

Jordan O’Keefe

Okay, so there are quite a lot of singers, but, as I said, they are all very good. I know that a lot of them will go on to be very successful – Simon Cowell himself has already expressed an interest in signing up Luminites and Gabz Gardiner. The younger singers, like Arisxandra and Asanda, are exceptionally talented (especially considering their age) but I think their recognition will come in a few years’ time.

Surprisingly, the only dancers in the line-up are Pre Skool and the rest are more ‘variety’ acts. There’s comedian Jack Carroll, impressionist Francine Lewis and shadow theatre group Attraction. If you’ve read my previous reviews of Britain’s Got Talent, you’ll know that I’m not a huge fan of Jack and I think that calling him ‘a comedy genius’ and ‘the next Peter Kay’ is a stretch. He’s popular, though (one person has even placed a £10,000 bet on him winning) so he may just snatch the title. Everyone is saying that Attraction  are the clear winners and, to an extent, I agree: their act is very unique to the competition and their talent is incredible. The only obstacle which I think they will have to overcome is their nationality – being from Hungary, a lot of people are up in arms about their temerity to enter a British talent show. Personally, I don’t see a problem – I’m just overjoyed that BGT has given them a platform to showcase their act. However, my personal favourite (and the act for which I will probably vote on the night) is Francine. Everything about her is fantastic – anyone who has seen her on More Talent or Loose Women this week will have gauged that she is a very down-to-earth and humble person with an incredible talent. She can not only impersonate instantly recognisable stars with precision, she also manages to produce, with the help of her cousin, a very funny and slightly tongue-in-cheek script. Like I said, I hope she wins, but even if she doesn’t, she will go onto success – after all, 2010 finalist Paul Burling got his own primetime Christmas show in the same year (even if it was a bit disappointing).

Of course, it’s not just the performances of the finalists which we can look forward to on Saturday night: Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and K-Pop star Psy will all be taking to the stage; we’ll discover who the Wildcard act is (my money is on either ventriloquist Steve Hewlett or another of the singers: Rosie O’Sullivan, Robbie Kennedy or Alice Fredenham).

Plus, Simon announced on last Saturday’s Britain’s Got More Talent that an announcement will be made on tonight’s Final about next year’s line-up – that’s including judges and presenters. Surely no one will get their P45 on-air?

Also today: Tim Burton’s remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Channel 5, 4:40pm); Stephen Mulhern will be having a talk with Ant & Dec, the judges and tonight’s BGT winner in Britain’s Got More Talent (ITV2, 10:00pm); and BBC2’s History of the Eagles explores the popularity of the US rock band (10:00pm).

Saturday 9th June

Tipping Point: Lucky Stars 

ITV, 7:00pm

This is just another name for a celebrity special of teatime gameshow Tipping Point.

I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of Tipping Point but I do sometimes catch the end of it when a switch over for The Chase, and it has grown on me. The game involves contestants answering general knowledge questions in order to earn coins. These coins are worth £100 each (£50 in the regular series) and are then deposited into a giant arcade-style penny-pushing machine. In each round, a player is eliminated until only one is left. That surviving player then enters the Final Round and, by answering a series of questions, aims to get the jackpot counter back out of the machine – if they do this, then they will win £20,000 (the top prize is normally £10,000). It’s pretty straight forward but not particularly exhilarating.

This episode sees Sky Sports’ Chris Kamara, Countdown’s Rachel Riley and former I’m a Celebrity… Queen, Stacey Solomon take part. In the future eleven episodes, we can expect to see lots of Loose Women, Dancing on Ice stars and ITV soap actors. And bearing in mind that participants Denise Welch and Suzanne Shaw both fit into all three categories, the variety of contestants is not particularly large. It should be quite fun, though.

Also today: Liz Bonnin presents two-part documentary Operation Snow Tiger (BBC2, 8:00pm); David Suchet is back as Agatha Christie’s eponymous Belgian sleuth, Poirot (ITV, 8:00pm); aviation troubles are investigated in Terror in the Skies (Channel 4, 8:00pm); Professor Iain Stewart focuses on Africa for the first episode of Rise of the Continents (BBC2, 9:00pm); seemingly gripping French thriller The Returned begins on Channel 4 (9:00pm); one-off musical extravaganza Bollywood Carmen Live (BBC3, 9:00pm); Dan Snow fronts D-Day: The Last Heroes (BBC1, 9:10pm); and 2008 thriller Law Abiding Citizen is on Channel 4 at 10:10pm.

Monday 10th June

Dates

Channel 4, 10:00pm

As part of Channel 4’s Dating Season, Dates is a series of nine one-off dramas about people looking for love.

Written by Skins creator Bryan Elsley, Dates features a host of stars – Sheridan Smith, Montana Thompson (remember Justine from Tracy Beaker?) and Fresh Meat’s Greg McHugh and Gemma Chan, to name just a few – who play people who are just coming onto the dating scene, and with mixed results. Over the nine episodes, the individual stories will begin to intertwine and we will discover'Dates' - Channel 4, 10:00pm more about the characters.

In this opening episode, Will Mellor stars as David, a Yorkshire lorry driver who is beginning to  experiment with internet dating. When he arranges to meet Mia (played by Oona Chaplin), he realises that he may have taken on more than he can handle.

Also today: Rav Wilding is back with another series of Crimewatch Roadshow (BBC1, 9:15am); Dame Judi Dench guest stars in the final episode of the far from ‘dench’ Vicious (ITV, 9:00pm); Big Fat Gypsy Weddings: Life on the Run (Channel 4, 9:00pm); Karl gets a promotion in the last in the series of The Job Lot (ITV, 9:30pm); 2004 is the focus of another What a Load of Buzzcocks (BBC2, 10:00pm); and Prince William comes to the aid of a boy in a quarry in new series Helicopter Rescue (BBC1, 10:35pm).

Tuesday 11th June

Agnetha: Abba & After

BBC1, 10:35pm

Agnetha Fältskog was already a success in Sweden. Her debut single shifted an impressive 80,000 copies when she was just fifteen-years-old. However, it was a chance meeting with Björn Ulvaeus that led to her being the Eurovision-winning, chart-topping superstar that we know her to be today.

It is this rise to fame which is detailed in this one-off documentary, for which the BBC has been granted access to Agnetha’s recording studio and she herself has broken her silence on her rise to fame, and the heartache that came with it.

As well as featuring interviews with many who know Agnetha – including her ABBA collaborators – Abba & After will see her and Gary Barlow, with whom she has duetted on her most recent album, meet for the very first time.

Also today: Gibraltar: Britain in the Sun follows life in the British Overseas Territory in the south of Spain (Channel 5, 8:00pm); and Child Genius explores the lives of those partaking in a Mensa-organised competition to unearth the best young brain in Britain (Channel 4, 9:00pm).

Wednesday 12th June

The Apprentice

BBC1, 9:00pm

This week, Lord Sugar sends the candidates off to the Motorhome and Caravan Show, where they,Jason Leech - 'Apprentice' candidate as always, must showcase their best sales skills to make money and win the task.

I must say that my favourite candidate is undoubtedly Jason. I wasn’t too sure about him at first (describing yourself as having ‘effortless superiority’ is seldom going to gain you fans) but now I’m genuinely rooting for him – even though I doubt he has much of a chance of succeeding. I feel sorry for him, to be honest: he doesn’t know when to just keep his mouth closed and stop applying his patter, and if there’s been the opportunity to keep him out of the way of the customers (by making him work away in the kitchen, for example), the teams have taken it. Despite having not shown a shred of the aforementioned ‘effortless superiority’ which he claims to have, I just think he’s harmless – but if I was Lord Sugar, I don’t think I’d want him working with me…

Having said all that about the teams wanting to keep him out of the way of the customers, this week’s task will see him break away and actually communicate with people all by himself – and receive praise from Karren for it!

Also today: Ricky Tomlinson, Paula Radcliffe and Strictly’s Ola and James Jordan test their knowledge of their partners in All Star Mr & Mrs (ITV, 8:00pm); Baltimore-set hit musical Hairspray is on E4 (8:00pm); action thriller Con Air (BBC3, 9:00pm); The Motorbike Show is back (ITV4, 9:00pm); and Channel 4’s 10 O’Clock Live has been moved to 10:30pm for the last episode of the current series – and, although I’ve quite enjoyed it, I doubt we’ll be seeing it again.

Thursday 13th June

Big Brother: Secrets & Lies

Channel 5, 9:00pm

Yes, it’s back – and apparently meaner than ever!

The fourteenth series of Big Brother kicks off tonight with the first of two Launch Shows, which will of course see its new host Emma Willis (poor Brian!) introducing the housemates who we will be getting to know very well over the next three months (!).

Channel 5 have confirmed that this year’s house will have a green feel, with the focus of the housemates’ time within the compound on ‘self-sufficiency and recycling’. The Good Life meets Big Brother, if you can imagine such a thing. There’s also the main theme of Secrets & Lies, which will make the housemates’ lives undoubtedly tougher and allow Big Brother to manipulate them and viewers alike. In fact, we’ve already been tricked by the Orwellian figure, as the original Eye for this series was fake, and a new one has now been released. Sneaky old BB, eh?

Channel 5 and Endemol really are pulling out all the stops this year and bombarding us with Big Brother programming. In addition to the main show and Bit on the Side (which Emma will host three days a week, with Rylan Clark and AJ Odudu replacing Jamie East and Alice Levine), there will also be: nightly live coverage from the house on digital channel 5*; Rylan presenting a special companion show at Sunday lunchtimes; and (perhaps most unbelievably) Big Brother’s Bit on the Psych, in which psychologists will discuss the minutiae of the goings-on inside the house. Now I quite like Big Brother, but Bit on the Psych is a bit much!

I’ve only started watching Big Brother since its move to Channel 5 and, although I always try not to, I inevitably get drawn in by it, and end up sacrificing my summer to watch it. I don’t like myself for liking it, but I do anyway.

Also today – I swear these are all real shows: New documentary Compare Your Life sees former CEO of confused.com Carlton Hood help families change their lives by adopting a comparison website-style outlook on life (Channel 4, 8:00pm); William and Kate: Baby Makes Three looks at how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are approaching parenthood (Channel 5, 8:00pm); comedy film The Nutty Professor (ITV2, 8:00pm); Happy Families follows three British families and their everyday troubles (ITV, 9:00pm); Confessions of an Alien Abductee (Channel 4, 9:00pm) is pretty self-explanatory; hit film Billy Elliot (BBC4, 9:00pm); Mock the Week returns with a great line-up of Milton Jones, Josh Widdicombe and Katherine Ryan (BBC2, 10:00pm); and Sex Toy Stories sees eight volunteers help the Ann Summers company develop a new, well, sex toy (Channel 4, 10:00pm).

Friday 14th June

The Million Pound Drop Live

Channel 4, 9:00pm

You may think that she’s never off our screens – and you’d be right! Davina McCall is back with another series of The Million Pound Drop, the quiz show in which contestants begin with £1,000,000'The Million Pound Drop Live' - Channel 4, 9:00pm and, over the course of eight questions, try and keep as much of it as they can by either spreading it on multiple possible answers or gambling and placing it all upon one answer.

There’s also a new twist this series. If a pair reach the final question, they will face a tough choice, which will result in either ‘double the money or double the heartache’.

The show is gripping and really interactive, too. You can contact the show via Facebook or Twitter to be in with a chance of having your message read out or displayed on-screen during the show. Also, you can play along with the show live – either on the show’s website or with the mobile app. Do well enough and you might have your progress mentioned by Davina on the show.

The Million Pound Drop will be on every Friday and Saturday for the next six weeks.

Also today: Ben Fogle explores the lives of people living around Poole Harbour in Harbour Lives (ITV, 8:00pm); Sarah Millican, Jon Richardson and Bob Mortimer are among the panellists on Would I Lie to You? (BBC1, 8:30pm); there’s the second Big Brother launch show (Channel 5, 9:00pm); Amy Adams, Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe and Katy B drop by for The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, 10:35pm); and don’t pop out, go out or even ‘out out’ – stay in for a repeat of Micky Flanagan’s Out Out Tour on Channel 4 at 10:35pm.

Are you particularly looking forward to any of these shows or is there something else from the world of TV which you want to have your say about? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,646 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.

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

The final Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Final brought us a mixture of the borderline insane, the mildly talented and the absolutely sensational.

CEO Dancers
I like this trio of African dancers but their act is slightly boring. There weren’t any particularly impressive moves during their routine and once you’ve seen one hip thrust you tend to have seen them all. They’re talented, though – there’s no question about that.

Aliki Chrysochou
Aliki’s was one of my favourite auditions and this was one of my favourite Semi-Final performances. She has an astounding voice – one which could rival that of Katherine Jenkins. Her back story is so inspiring and emotional, it only adds to her charm. Aliki had tough competition tonight, but I’m sure she doesn’t need Britain’s Got Talent to ensure her success.

Glambassadors
Another messy and boring dance act. I hardly remembered the Glambassadors from the auditions and I doubt I’ll remember them from now. Sorry.

Steve Hewlett
This is exactly what BGT needs: a bit of variety! Steve is a brilliantly funny and talented ventriloquist. The leering, seedy Arthur Lager (Steve’s first puppet) was hilarious, with Steve bringing him to life with a beautifully honed script. However, when ‘Simon’ materialised, that is when Steve’s chances of progressing to the Final increased tenfold. I just loved it and, although I also liked Jordan O’Keefe, am really disappointed that he didn’t make it through to the Final. It’s a shame that there aren’t more platforms for ventriloquists on TV.

Rob’s Duelling Painos
In the words of Simon Cowell: What the bloody hell was that? Bless Rob for soldiering on after his friend deserted him, but it was rubbish, wasn’t it?

Maarty Broekman
Do talent show contestants still undergo mental health checks? Just wondering…
This crazy ‘un impressed 75% of the judging panel at his audition – and it was the same in the Semi-Finals. It was so unbelievably crazy, out of tune and…just bloody weird! I also think it’s amazing how the negative comments get lost in translation with Maarty, yet he understands the praise perfectly. I’ll have what he’s having!

Gospel Singers Incognito
I loved Gospel Singers Incognito’s audition, so was looking forward to tonight’s performance from them. The things is, though, regardless of how good their vocals are (and they are very good), the surprise element – which is the main reason, dare I say it, that they got through – was gone, and we were consequently left with a somewhat forgettable performance.

Jordan O’Keefe
Jordan took a huge risk singing Whitney’s (or, according to Amanda, Dolly’s) ‘I Will Always Love You’, but it paid off. It wasn’t as impressive as it could have been – there are lots of opportunities to experiment with that song and use it to showcase your vocal range – but his acoustic version was very original and enjoyable. I’m glad that he proved his father’s intervention to be unwarranted.

Attraction
Attraction’s audition, in which they presented the story of a soldier – from his youth to his early death in conflict, was undoubtedly my favourite of the whole series. I found it so moving and original and was overjoyed that shadow theatre had finally been given the opportunity to reach a wider audience. In their Semi-Final performance, the last of the night, they told the story of one of the group’s male members. The performance, which was dedicated to his mum, was incredibly moving, beautiful and original. It doesn’t matter a single bit that they aren’t from Britain, the point is that they are talented and our version of the Got Talent format has acted as their vehicle. I might have written a lengthy review here, but after their performance, I was stuck for words. It was just gorgeous. Along with Francine Lewis, Attraction are my favourites for the £250,000 prize.

The full line-up for next Saturday’s Final is this:

Richard & Adam (Singers)
Arisxandra (Singer)
Jack Carroll (Comedian)
Gabz Gardiner (Singer)
Luminites (Singers)
Pre Skool (Dancers)
Francine Lewis (Impressionist)
Asanda Jezile (Singer)
Attraction (Shadow Theatre Company)
Jordan O’Keefe (Singer)
PLUS the judges’ Wild Card choice!

Britain’s Got Talent Live Final is on at 7:30pm, with Britain’s Got More Talent at 10:00pm, next Saturday (8th June).

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

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,486 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.