Category Archives: Talent Show

‘Tumble’ (BBC1) Review

Question: What happens when you toss Strictly and Splash! together and, with some fanfare, stick the end result on primetime BBC1?

The answer is Tumble: a new talent show which requires celebrities to learn gymnastics, of both the floor and aerial varieties. They’re coached by a gymnast, partnered by a gymnast, commentated on by a gymnast, and then judged by a panel of gymnasts; it’s very much a gymnastics-orientated  vehicle. This week, all of the celebrities performed for the  first time and were guaranteed a place in next week’s show – but at the end of the second episode, the two contestants w ho receive the fewest votes will have to take on the Vault, and whoever is deemed to be the poorest will be eliminated. Sad times.

Other than the gymnastics element, there is nothing to set Tumble apart from any other celebrity talent show: the forced drama, mixed bag of routines and tedious judges have all been seen on shows previously. Even the celebrities aren’t new to 'Tumble' contestantsreality TV fans: Andrea McLean competed on the first series of Dancing on Ice; Ian ‘H’ Watkins (the ‘H’ is very important nowadays) has been a Celebrity Big Brother housemate; Emma Samms, as well as being one of the less recognisable faces from Dynasty, was a contestant on Celebrity Scissorhands; and Peter Duncan has been on The Games and Let’s Dance for Sport Relief – as has Carl Froch. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with the celebrities – they seem a perfectly amiable bunch – but they’re largely typical reality TV fodder, and are therefore often as disengaging as the training videos in which they feature and routines they perform.

In fact, even the judging panel is quite unappealing, comprising of Louis Smith and three others who, I think it’s safe to say, most viewers of this programme have never heard of, nor have any interest in.'Tumble' judges - (L-R) Sebastien Stella, Louis Smith, Nadia Comăneci and Craig Heap They’re all gymnasts and all are disengaging. I mean, say what you like about Jo Brand’s right to be on the Splash! panel but at least she cracks a few gags and brightens up the mood after her fellow judges have commented on a ten-second belly flop with far more scrutiny than is necessary, or even appropriate, for a Saturday night celebrity competition. Tumble doesn’t even have a Jo Brand figure, though, meaning that the only person who rises above the tedium of his peers is Craig Heap, whose desperate emulation of Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood is painfully obvious and threatened only by mild conceit.

My main qualm with Tumble, however, was that it didn’t live up to its title – we saw very few 'Tumble' host, Alex Jonestumbles. There’s a reason why the public love shows like You’ve Been Framed and It’ll Be Alright on the Night, and in the past have voted week after week for Todd Carty and Joe Pasquale to stay in Dancing on Ice, and Ann Widdecombe and John Sergeant to endure on Strictly: rightly or wrongly, we love to see failure and accidents on TV. It entertains us as a nation! So, when a show like this comes along, which doesn’t involve something that viewers have at least a smidgen of knowledge and can pass judgement on, like singing or dancing, we long for the accidents – the eponymous ‘tumbles’ – and when they fail to come, it makes for quite a boring show, as Tumble proved to me to be.

I appreciate that the celebrities have put a lot of time and effort into their routines, and Alex Jones did a quite admirable job as host, but the result was something bordering on car crash TV. I imagine that during these summer months, it will prove popular with families, and a few years ago could even  have been lumped into the ‘Bearably Bad’ category – but now that that is occupied by shows like Splash! and Your Face Sounds Familiar, Tumble just seems like a bit of a damp squib.

I’m just preparing myself to pity the BBC when it goes up against The X Factor in a few weeks’ time…

 

Tumble is on Saturdays at 6:30pm on BBC1

What did you think of Tumble? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer

Advertisements

‘The Singer Takes It All’ (Channel 4) Review

Described as ‘really groundbreaking’ by its host, Alan Carr, new interactive talent competition-cum-gameshow The Singer Takes It All began on Channel 4 tonight and saw an indifferent celebrity panel of two, some technical problems and a mixed reaction from the Twittersphere.

Despite my faith in Channel 4’s golden boy, Alan Carr, and inference from the much-shown trailer that The Singer Takes It All would be one of the few talent shows that was just out to entertain and wouldn’t take itself too seriously, I was worried. It just seemed to smack of failure straight away – a show that would be much-hyped in the days and weeks leading up to its debut, get a few column inches afterwards thanks to TV critics, and whimper out in six weeks’ time with only a fraction of its original audience, and perhaps someone expecting to see 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, tuning in.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not my prophecy about its fate will come to fruition but I have to say that I enjoyed the first episode. Obviously there are a few teething problems: I’m not quite sure about Lips (the commentator and score deliverer, voiced by 2005 X Factor semi-finalist, Brenda Edwards) and think that the interactive app – which determines whether or not a singer stays or goes, and is arguably the epicentre of the show – should have been tested more thoroughly beforehand. Oh, and I have a hunch that the conveyor belt gimmick will wear thin ten minutes into next Friday’s episode.

The format itself, however (a singer taking to the stage and, depending on whether the majority of the public deems them to be a ‘Hit’ or ‘Miss’, sailing through to the Gold Zone or being put in reverse, and disappearing through a cloud of smoke) is a pleasing one – but it’s not being used to its full potential! I, like many other viewers, found it quite amusing when CCJ and Tara Newton-Wordsworth (no relation, to my knowledge) were put in reverse and vanished through the smoke and agape doors. They weren’t bad singers – they perhaps just failed to live up to people’s expectations or hit a bit of a bum note. It seems that this format was made for bad singers, though: so where were they? The problem appears to be that because all of the contestants are on the show because they uploaded an audition clip to the The Singer Takes It All app and were voted for by its users, we only tend to see good singers, who, more often than not, sail through to the Gold Zone. We, the viewing public, must start to make a few maverick moves and press ‘Hit’ on the app for singers who aren’t as vocally talented (and know they aren’t; I’m not advocating any X Factor-style false hope here) so that we get extra laughs by more people disappearing through the doors, and the format can be used to its full potential!

Thankfully, to the more casual viewer, many of the holes in the show might not have been all that noticeable, thanks to the perfect selection of Alan Carr as host. He injects his trademark cheeky humour at every opportunity – which very few other hosts, even comedians, could have managed, I’m sure. His unwavering enthusiasm kept the fledgling show afloat – just – and he dealt with the all-too-frequent technological failures involving the app (to reiterate, very much the focus of the show) extremely well.

The Singer Takes It All may have received a mixed-reaction on social media as the TV snobs came out in force and condemned it for being too frivolous and ‘stupid’, just because it had the gumption to buck the talent show trend and not have a panel of judges, or promise of a recording contract for its winners, or wish to do anything other than entertain, but a lot of people seem to be having fun with the app – so perhaps the programme has legs. Or the app does, at least. People just need to approach The Singer Takes It All sensibly: if you’re looking for a serious singing competition, get yourself onto YouTube and watch clips of The Voice, but if a typical Friday night of rowdy fun and interaction is what you’re after, you’re in luck.

'The Singer Takes It All' host, Alan Carr

The Singer Takes It All is on Fridays at 9pm on Channel 4

What did you think of The Singer Takes It All? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @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, 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

‘The X Factor’ 10 – Auditions Week 2 Review

With a second week of X Factor came some more of the weird and wonderful warbling hopefuls this country has to offer.

Actually, this series seems to be offering more of the wonderful than the weird, which is a welcome change for The X Factor. Each week I select and write about my five favourite auditions, so naturally not all of the best – and by that I mean talented – contestants will make it onto here. There were some fantastic auditionees this week, and I particularly wish I’d written about the Yodeller, but these are my favourites, and the ones which stuck in my mind the most. So, here we go…

Thomas FeelyThomas Feely
Let’s start with someone who was memorable for all the wrong reasons, shall we? This incredibly boring and straight-faced disc jockey was simply hilarious. He entered the audition room, laptop in hand (innuendo very much intended there) and proceeded to warble through Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’. Bless him, it wasn’t brilliant and he received some brutally frank feedback from Gary, but he tried – and you have to admire him for that.

Relley C
This very giggly, overwhelmed housekeeper from Birmingham got off toRelley C a bit of a shaky start with her song in her first audition but soon came into her own and managed to showcase her talent. Not only did Relley seem a fantastic singer, she had such likability, too. At her arena audition, however, things were quite different. Her chosen song, Chase and Status’s ‘Blind Faith’, was not right for her at all, and she tried to do too much with it. Nicole stopped the song half way through and Relley was met with silence from the audience and negative comments from the judges – but because of her ‘potential’ and strong original audition, she received four yeses. So she sailed through to Boot Camp. Despite how good we’ve seen her be previously, does this make something of a mockery of the arena auditions? Hmm, I’ll leave that for you to decide.Abi Alton

Abi Alton
Morrisons worker Abi, from near Middlesborough, went to her X Factor audition armed with only her dad, guitar and superb voice. I can’t believe Louis didn’t think she was right for the show: I thought she couldn’t have been more perfect, and am so pleased he realised that at the arena stage, when Abi sang her wonderful self-penned song. She sounds quite similar to Ellie Goulding and I have no doubt will have an awful lot of fans out there and will go far in the competition.

Colin Stacey
Whereas Abi turned up at her audition with her biggest fan – her dad – ColinColin Stacey appeared with a framed picture of his: his cat, Patch. His song of choice was ‘Someone Like You’ – but unfortunately sang it about twice as fast as Adele, and with less than half the ability, too. Despite Gary and Nicole singing along and trying to get him back on track, Colin failed to stay in time with the music – not that it would have been any better if he did, mind you – and was sent home. I guess Colin won’t be following in the footsteps of Joe McElderry and Matt Cardle after all – or “Joe McElddy and Matt Cardell”, according to him.

Melanie McCabe
The final auditionee of each X Factor episode is invariably brilliant, andMelanie McCabe Melanie was no different. She was the last in a long line of former auditionees (which included 2011’s Jade Richards, 2012’s Amy Mottram and 2006’s The Dolly Rockers) and was hoping that it would be fourth time lucky for her, having tried in 2009, 11 and 12 – but only ever getting as far as Judges’ Houses. I have huge respect for her for auditioning four times: that shows true dedication and determination. In my opinion her arena audition wasn’t as impressive as that in the room, but nevertheless she has a beautiful voice and I really hope that Dermot’s right, and this year will be different for her.

The X Factor is on Saturday and Sunday nights on ITV, with The Xtra Factor immediately after on ITV2

What did you think of The X Factor? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer.

You can also see what’s coming up on TV in the coming week on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

All images thanks to ITV and Tom Dymond, ©Thames TV