This was the tenth year of Britain’s Got Talent and the search is still on for a Paul Potts, a Subo or an Ashley Banjo and Diversity.
Wobbly voiced Kath Jenkins got proceedings underway, singing in the judges with the colonial soundtrack of Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia. I was uncertain for a minute if I was watching Britain’s Got Talent or Britain’s Got A History of Mercantilism and Slavery. It set the tone for a seemingly subversive political Pro-Brexit finale.
Before the acts began, the judges introduced the final with a few clichés, including ‘We’re in for a real surprise.’, and ‘That is what Britain’s Got Talent is all about.’
First act up was Dance Unity, the solo dancer with smooth moves and a comedic leaning. The judges however seemed more concerned with telling him what a nice guy he is than actually judging his dancing. Simon topped it off by inanely saying he is the nicest guy who has EVER been on BGT. Whoop de woo! Another cliché was deployed when a judge praised the contestant for ‘starting the final off with a bang.’
Military Magician Richard Jones came next, who essentially done one long card trick telling a story about another military magician who served during World War Two. It was clever, but it was overwrought in its cynical attempts to get votes. Even ‘conjuring’ the subject of the story onto the stage (behind a curtain), it was unspectacular and there was definitely no wow wee moments. The judges appeared to lap it up however. Despite the noble sentiment of the performance (and the fact he eventually won) the judges praise was lacklustre, saying it was great that he remembered what to do with his hands, whilst remembering the whole story! Wow! What a talent…
I bet the nationalists and those leaning to the right voted in their droves. The patriotic tone was upped even further with another cliché, when the act was described as brilliantly British (whatever that means)
The following act was a huge choir, which apparently reminded Alesha of the Sister Act movie, and prompted Amanda to dip in to her metaphor catalogue, describing them as ‘a giant glass of champagne, and each member was a bubble’ that was intoxicating her, it was strange but at least it wasn’t a cliché.
The next act had some pole dancing and deep throating by a near naked Alex Magala, who’s ripped torso threatened to overshadow him. He got up close and personal with his mate’s chainsaw whilst dangling off a pole (and a visible rope!) It wasn’t performed live though, which I thought was a bit unfair.
Next two acts were family matters with a mother and son and husband and wife. Both acts were cloyingly personal and inevitably they made up the bottom two at the end.
The next three acts were the ‘cute’ factor. Jasmine Elcock, the girl with the big voice and even bigger smile. Nice vocals, but I really wanted her to take it up a notch and belt it out. I think the song was not the best choice in this respect. Had she done a song that showed her range and talent a bit more I think she could have won. Adorably cute Trip Hazard were next, which included a K9 walking along a wall and walking on his front legs! Even if she didn’t win, Simon offered the human half of Trip Hazard a job training his mutts at home. Beau Dermott – the girl with a big voice and slightly creepy demeanour was next. Undoubtedly a bigger vocal performance than Jasmine Elcock but without the charm. She reminds me of Adam Scott’s kids singing sweet child of mine in the car scene from the movie Stepbrothers.
Some ‘comedy’ followed with Craig Ball singing ‘Wrecking Ball’ in the voice of some Muppets and cartoon characters. The act lacked fluency though as he kept forgetting the order of his voices so had to keep looking back at the visuals behind him so he knew which one to do. Again, he was praised for being ‘nice’. Boogie Storm danced to some well-known gay anthems next, including perfunctory brollies for ‘Its Raining Men’. I have an inkling that if they were not dressed in Storm Trooper gear they would have been no way near the final. It did allow for Walliams to compare Simon to a ‘camp Darth Vader’ however, which made up for it.
Wayne Woodward finished it off – a smooth voiced crooner channelling his inner Sinatra. One of the stronger acts I feel. The judges seemed to agree, although they seemed to judge on personality saying what a great and nice guy he is. His post performance interactions were a bit strange. It seemed like he was auditioning for the role of Alfie Moon’s younger brother. Plus he kept inexplicably trying to tickle Dec (who didn’t seem to mind).
The judges appraisals throughout the final were pretty shoddy. Full of clichés and platitudes. The most used adjective of the evening was ‘nice’. What a dull and unimaginative word to use. It’s a word you use to describe a stroll in the park or an unexpected catch up with an ex-colleague, not to appraise contestants who’ve just poured heart and soul into a performance. I once made the mistake of answering my wife’s question of how she looked before a night out with the word nice. It did not go down well.
After the finalists there was the standard return for an ex contestant who performed their latest single. This was followed by ‘The very best of Britain’s Got Talent’ put together by the ‘nice’ Ashley Banjo, a nostalgic trip down BGT memory lane in light of this being the tenth series. A great reminder of some of the acts we’ve seen down the years, as well as being able to see some of the past child contestants all grown up. Little Stavros Flatley has bum fluff!
Then it was time to announce the winner. Over 2 and a half million votes. The slightly cruel rundown from least votes to most, is slightly demeaning. It would have been much more humane to merely announce the top three instead of letting everyone one know exactly how bad they did publicly. But contestant’s feelings evidently do not matter one bit as it adds to the drama. Soldier Richard was the eventual winner. In my view he was not the most spectacular or talented, but his carefully chosen act tugged perfectly on the heartstrings of the emotional patriots at home. I found it a bit cunning and cynical, but the Great British Public thought otherwise. And let’s face it, it’s an ideal act for the Royal Variety Performance.