Tonight’s the penultimate Britain’s Got Talent semi-final, and yes – I’m liveblogging it. Join me as I scythe my way through the talented and the not at all talented!
Who’s on tonight? We’ve got Ice (dance act), Tyler Patterson (kid dance act), Emile Harris (sensitive singer/songwriter), Twist & Pulse (chavvy but fun dance duo), Team Shaolin (boring acrobatic monk act), Mark James (um…), The Fusion (angry Wicked rejects) and Janey Cutler (Scotland’s more dignified answer to Susan Boyle).
Amanda’s got the glittery dress on tonight, while Simon’s reverted to the darker suits.
Ant says “A lot of people are saying last night was the best semi-final yet.” Who? The publicists? Was it anybody impartial? Last night was a joke.
Leading the charge tonight are teenage dance act Ice, who took some criticism from Mr Cowell at their first audition for being auditioned by a teacher rather than a member.
Ice come out with a pretty tight routine. They dance as a pack and they’re not as visually challenging as some of the acts have been this series, but it’s tight and entertaining for it. Less is more?
Piers: I thought it was quite good. My problem with it, it was a little bit old fashioned. The kind of thing I’d expect a dance troupe to come up with in the mid-eighties. Amanda: The choreography is great. Because they mixed the old with the new. I loved the feistyness of the routine. Every dance troupe needs a choreographer, Simon. Simon: I was right, you should have fired your choreographer. You call yourself a street dance team. You’re not, you’re a dance studio team. It all felt very old fashioned, contrived. It didn’t feel to me that you had any part in this routine at all. I don’t think you’ve got any chance after that.
My rating: 5/10
Junior street dancer Tyler Patterson next. This is one adorable kid, he seems really likeable and confident, but not cocky (*cough* George Sampson *cough*).
It starts out a little rough, but quickly gets better, with Tyler running up a bar and flipping over, then spinning on his head. Hot a perfect routine, but carried out with passion.
Piers: You are one of my favourite contestants. I love the fun you bring to your dancing. Are you ready for all the girlfriends you’ll have after this? A really confident fun performance…you did yourself proud. Amanda: A very big performance from someone so little. And there were a few moves there that you could teach George Sampson. Simon: It felt that it came from you. Not only are you a great little dancer, you managed to work out a proper routine. You’ve got the mind of a 25/30 year old, the way you think things through. I thought you were absolutely terrific. You’re a little dark horse matey.
My rating: 7/10 His passion and bag of dancing tricks made up for the rough start.
Last time round, Emile performed a song of his own composition. Oooh, talented. Let me get this straight though…he’s got a family of his own, but he lives with his granny? Er…how’s that work?
This performance is notable, folks, for being the first time a singer has been able to sing an original song on the show. Simon Cowell does not look pleased. He’s got that slack-jaw look on his face. Piers and Amanda get tired of this boring dirge (it really is a dull song). They buzz him. He runs out of lyrics and spends the last minute going “oooohhhhhhhh”.
Piers: There’s no doubt from your audition that you’ve got talent both as a songwriter and a singer. But tonight you took a real gamble to do your own material in the semi-final. For me, the gamble didn’t work. The song wasn’t anywhere near as good as the one before and your voice was out of tune. Amanda: Emile it’s a very brave choice you made, but it did backfire on you. It was out of tune and I just don’t think it was your night tonight. Simon: I wanted to kind of give you a shot to the end. You’re a good looking guy. You’ve got the right kind of voice for what’s happening at the moment. The problem is, you’re not a good songwriter. That was a terrible song. It went absolutely nowhere. You became too indulgent and you’ve blown an opportunity.
My rating: 3/10 I actually marked him down more for his horrendous attempt to point at his phone number on screen. He couldn’t even get that bit right.
Twist & Pulse
These are a quirky pair. Looking forward to their act. And they don’t disappoint. Imagine Jedward with talent. Actual talent. Their routine is done to a backing track with attention defecit disorder. It never sits still for any length of time. And they’re in perfect synch throughout, delivering a great mix of dancing, comedy facial expressions and slapstick. The crowd loves them.
Piers: It’s so good to see a properly talented double act standing on that stage. We have had more dancers this year than I can ever remember. The competition in the dance category is as ferocious as ever. The attitude you bring, the sense of humour, the fun. You’re the best two dancers we’ve got in the competition. Amanda: It’s just genius. I love the storytelling, the way you’ve put the music together. The moves are so intricate, I don’t know how you remember it. Simon: It really makes my point even clearer about the first act we saw tonight. Everything about that came from you. It’s different, it’s unique. I wouldn’t have put the Cheeky Girls bit in again. You are the strongest so far.
My rating: 9/10 Intricate, entertaining and funny.
These martial arts masters went out of fashion about eight years ago. Remember when all those Shaolin demonstrations were touring the country? These guys are clearly passionate, but I felt their performance didn’t really come together first time round.
Meh. Again. There’s actually a lot going on during their performance, but it’s terribly presented. Some of the elements are utterly inexplicable – like the random, aggressive destruction of a watermelon on stage.
Piers: Incredible energy, there’s a lot going on. The routine was a bit disjointed. It was like you were trying to pack as many things as you could in. Spelbound were much more focussed. Amanda: I should be impressed. There’s loads of energy, I could see you put a lot of work into it. I like the choreography and the martial arts fusion. But I feel it’s a bit too much niche, and I found myself drifting off during that. Simon: Look, incredibly talented and difficult. My issue was partly what Piers and Amanda were saying. Like right in the middle of the routine, I wouldn’t have bothered chopping watermelons in half. You don’t need to do that. People want to see more of a spectacle, more choreography. Not as good as first time, I’m afraid.
My rating: 5/10 I appreciate the talent, but the presentation was awful.
Two of us sitting in our living room tonight, and we both groaned the moment Mark was announced. Sorry, but this is a one-dimensional act. There’s no scope, nothing particularly interesting once you know what he does.
Good idea to come out with Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, playing Elton and Kiki. He looks a little bit like Matt Lucas, doesn’t he? Some wag buzzed him almost instantly. Bet it was Simon. This is utterly cheesy, and a bit of a waste of time. Unusually though – positive comment alert – he actually holds a tune rather well compared to the ‘proper’ singers.
Piers: This is why I love doing this show. Just when I think I’ve seen everything, out you come. My issue is this. Based on the two performances we’ve now seen, you definitely better as a female singer than as a man. You may have to consider going solo. Amanda: I’m sure the Queen loves a bargain and with you she’s gonna get two for the price of one. I do think there’s a lot of potential with this act. It’s good fun, it’s entertaining. You’ve lifted the show. Simon: I’m not being grumpy. I just thought it was awful, horrific. Truthfully, there’s as much chance of you getting through than there is of me flying to the moon tomorrow.
My rating: 4/10 I can see the fun value. But I don’t want to see it again.
Ha ha, wicked witches from Glasgow. These lot look like a fun troupe, but I’m with Simon, I didn’t dig their initial routine. Now, if they come out with something different this time, I’ll be impressed.
The gang appear as skeleton pirates, all jumping out of a chest on the stairs. I’m picking up a horror theme from this group, and they do a funny thing at the end where they form the sails of a ship. But was it any different than Ice at the top of the show?
Piers: I think you’ve just proved Simon’s point is completely wrong sometimes. That was a good example of a dance group who’ve been very well choreographed, coming up with a very inventive routine. Love the outfits. On that performance, I think you deserve to be here. Amanda: I have always championed you. I love the routine, I love the creativity, it’s really refreshing to see different styles of dancing on this show. It was like a big pirate blancmange. Simon: I’m happy to admit for the second time this week that I’m wrong. Personally in terms of effort, imagination, I think it’s the best act we’ve seen so far tonight.
My rating: 5/10 Same as Ice. Beyond a bit of dress up, I don’t see how this performance was any better.
If you’re like me, you’ll have been waiting for the return of Scottish granny Janey Cutler to the show. She’s got the Scots charm, but none of the SuBo crazy. There will be no ‘triumph jig’ with Granny Cutler! And she’ll put that singing accountant back in his box too!
Janey looks hot in a red dress, escorted onto the stage by two hunky guys. She’s singing a Shirley Bassey song, This Is My Life. There’s too much echo on her vocals, but she’s giving it everything. I’m slightly disappointed that I couldn’t hear her voice properly. Love her response to Ant when he asks if she enjoyed herself: “Aye, ah did son.”
Piers: You are magnificent. I’ve been waiting for one of those moments that has the whole country talking the next day. A moment where you feel the hairs go up, your spine’s tingling. That wasn’t just the performance of the night, that was the best performance of the whole week by a mile. Amanda: Janey, I don’t know where you get it from. You have got the lungs of a twenty year old. There is so much power in you. You’re just a wee thing. You’re a credit to your family. The best performance all night. Simon: I think you epitomize everything that’s good about a show like this. Because it’s not just about talent, it’s about spirit and it’s about character. And that’s all you have. You gave it 100% percent and I’m gonna remember this for a very long time.
My rating: 8/10 The sound quality impacted the verdict here, I’m afraid.
So there you go ladies and gents. You’ve got the judges comments. You’ve got my comments. Now add your own, along with ratings in our comments section!