Britain’s Got Talent: Was Chloe Hickinbottom’s performance a wasted opportunity?

Right, so it’s time for us to start talking about this year’s [[Britain’s Got Talent 2010|Britain’s Got Talent]]. I don’t know if you saw last Saturday’s show, but one of the highlights of the night was a young singer called Chloe Hickinbottom.

Well, Chloe came onstage and performed that old Vera Lynn chestnut, The White Cliffs Of Dover. We were wowed on two fronts – one, that she sang such an old song and two, that she sounded like an authentic wartime singer. As I commented on the Unreality TV liveblog, “All she needs is a “scratchy record” sound effect for added authenticity.”

While we can’t debate the quality of her vocals, I’m left baffled by her song choice and what it means for Chloe for the rest of the competition. As Simon Cowell would frequently remind wannabe singers – you’ve got to be contemporary. And White Cliffs Of Dover is anything but contemporary.

So, does this mean Chloe is going to style herself as a singer of WWII songs? If so, the target market for that type of nostalgia is small and getting smaller each year, I’d imagine. And why is it that every time the Union flag gets trotted out, we revert to this sepia tinted age of street parties, bunting and Vera bloody Lynn?

What I honestly hope – because she’s a great singer by any standard, let alone a 10 year old – is that Chloe was doing this to get attention and differentiate herself from the other auditions. I’ll still be scratching my head as to where she goes from here, but can you win Britain’s Got Talent on scratchy wartime classics? You tell me.

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  1. sweetheartx3

    She obv sung a song she likes, you could tell this by the way she sung it. Whats the point in singing a song without passion ? and I don’t believe Susan Boyle is contemporary ? x

    1. Gerard McGarry

      I get that she’s passionate, and all the talent is there. My point is that it won’t work as a game plan, especially once Simon starts dropping his comments (he wasn’t there the day Chloe was put through).

      And you can’t seriously compare a 49 year old woman to a 10 year old girl. Susan Boyle got a phenomenal head start based on an audition video that went viral. Hands up who wants to buy an album of wartime songs sang by a child?

      I’ll reiterate here that I think Chloe Hickinbottom is a talented young singer. But that’s not her problem. Her problem is placement and target market.

  2. Ageing tart

    It is highly unlikely that a young girl singing wartime songs will win this years BGT. This is despite sounding like an older lounge come revue singer. Which for a young girl of ten may be seen as either a) unique and very different or B) a bit of an insult, ie the fact mention has been made already of comparing her voice to a 49 year old when she is but ten or eleven years of age.

    I think the best thing Chloe can do next is to join a youth theatre group in her region and to see if she can engage with others of her age and then to see whether the 10 or eleven year old voice is still there not the voice of a 49 year old. If so she could have a great deal of fun interacting with her own age group, as believe me age has been a seriously influencing factor here in her choice of entry song to BGT. Its been one for Nan and lovely and sweet as it is, it will not sell in the millions if it were recorded for the industry.

    Please don’t misunderstand me, its not that I feel wartime songs haven’t got there place in the world of music, they obviously have within set environments. I,e musical plays in existence or in the process of being written about the war years. I do have a media sheet in my possession about the BBC’s drive to encouraging those pensioners with wartime experiences to write them up and if any were of a standard to warrant publication than just maybe they’d warrant becoming used as the basis of some musical dramas.

    I hope for Chloe’s sake she is allowed to live out the rest of her childhood aswell as the placing of an older head on young shoulders isn’t really fair to gifted children.





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