Britain’s Got Talent: The Final Preview

June 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Features

Pre-Skool

Let’s face it people. This year’s Britain’s Got Talent final is pretty much The X Factor lite.

Out of the ten finalists through to the grand final, six of them are singers in some form of another. Only two have been voted for by the British public, whereas the other four were put through by the judges. I’m not planning to throw any ideas with this article, but given that Simon Cowell’s other television phenomenon is under ratings scrutiny, it wouldn’t be surprising to subtly use BGT as a vehicle to find his next singing sensation. I mean, this was the show that made Susan Boyle an overnight sensation after all.

The hot favourite is young comedian Jack Carroll, a wheelchair bound school pupil with a good eye for comedy. Good enough to make him popular with the public, and the judges table. While I don’t find Carroll laugh-out-loud funny, he certainly has the chops to become better in the coming years.

Impressionist Francine Lewis has also made the cut, with strong impressions of famous celebs such as Cheryl Cole & Katie Price. Nothing new and by no means the best on the show, but it’s good to have at least one impressionist in the final, instead of it being flat on comedic talent.

Something that also surprises me is the lack of dancing groups this year. Out of the potential ten in the semis, only one managed to squeeze a place in the grand final, that being the youngest of the lot: Pre Skool. A dance troupe full of toddlers with a remarkable talent that will instantly pull the cute and emotional strings of the voting public. Whether they have the potential to go all the way to the top is another story.

We then finally land on Attraction, a shadow theatre group who have truly brought something new to the BGT table. Unlike the other acts, Attraction offer a fresh new act to the show with its clever use of shadow puppetry, one act that the public and judges have eaten up massively.

Back to the singers, and the fact that only a handful of them really stand out as different in terms of personalities and vocal talent. Luminites are the strongest singing act in the final, in terms of personality and likability factor with the audience. But don’t rule out the younger contestants such as Arisxandra & Asandra Jezile, who both have strong support as well as vocals going into this final.

Richard & Adam can separate themselves entirely, given that they are opera singers. But I’ve preferred to mash them together in the singing category given that it is still singing, despite it being opera. That being said, they themselves have a strong chance at winning the show too, with their vocal power and correspondence with the voting public.

The final ace yet to be played is the wildcard, chosen exclusively by the judges. One hopes not to see another singer thrown in, and would opt for another dancing act, given that Pre Skool seem to be the only ones voted in by the public. There are a lot of far stronger acts in the competition that failed to make it past the semis. Acts like Jordan Hall or Youth Creation, who both pulled in strong performances, only to be let down by the judges during results.

With the final not until next Saturday, it’s a test to see whether ITV can hold interest for another seven days, and pull in some strong ratings before the dry months of summer roll in, bleeding TVs dry across the nation. With no major sporting event on, this may be ITV’s last chance before The X Factor kicks in, for some real ratings winners.

Amanda Holden Wants To Fix It For You

November 13, 2012 by  
Filed under News

To the presumed delight of pubescent boys all over the country, Amanda Holden has revealed she would like to host a modern version of Jim’ll Fix It.

The Britain’s Got Talent judge explained that she’d like a show where she could make “dreams come true”, but accepted that replicating the Jimmy Savile format wouldn’t be wise following the child sex abuse allegations levelled at the late presenter.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Holden stated: “If I had a dream show, I probably shouldn’t even mention it in this climate, but it would be like a kind of Fix It show.

“A show where little children… can write in. That’s the kind of show.

“I like making dreams come true, which is kind of what we do on Britain’s Got Talent, but I’d like to do it so people can blow up chimneys and things like they used to.”

Asked if she could see herself quitting the Britain’s Got Talent panel in the future, Holden replied: “No. They’ll have to sack me and I’m quite difficult to sack, so good luck with that.”

“BGT Favourite Jonathan To Be Bigger Than SuBo” ..Cowell Gets Excited

May 12, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Pudsey may be the most popular dog in the country right now, but as this evening’s Britain’s Got Talent final approaches, Simon Cowell has decided who his favourite to win this year’s title is.

Well we say that, but in reality we doubt he’s bothered because he’ll sign Jonathan Antoine and (begrudgingly) his singing partner Charlotte Jaconelli whatever the result tonight and privately, he hopes the couple can be bigger in the US than BGT’s most successful alumni, Susan Boyle.

“This time last year Simon was faced with the not-particularly exciting prospect of having to sell Jai McDowall records. He was in a funk. But this year his excitement levels are off the scale,” a friend of Cowell told The Sun.

“He’s watched as Jonathan and Charlotte have taken the country by storm. He knows that opera is a big seller, especially if people like the person singing it.?

Cowell will reportedly offer the pair a £1 million record deal with his music company SyCo next week. Meanwhile, Sony boss Rob Stringer is flying in from America to watch 17 year-old Jonathan and his 16 year-old partner perform tonight with a view to signing them up to Columbia Records.

The deal will mean that Cowell sells the pair’s records in the UK while getting a large slice of the American sales and with studio time booked for the week after next, an album could be on the way before Christmas. Crucially, sources explained that all deals were for both Jonathan and Charlotte.

Meanwhile bookies have admitted that it would be “one of the biggest shocks in TV talent show history” if the pair didn’t win and a vast amount of cash has been staked on Antoine and Jaconelli. Yet despite his confidence, Cowell seems to be wary of publicly comparing them to Subo.

“I think they’ve got a big, big chance of selling records all over the world,” he admitted. “They’re amazing singers. I’m particularly impressed with how Charlotte has improved. I’m not sure anything will ever be as big as Susan but I certainly believe an American audience will like them both.?

He also claimed that second favourite Pudsey could “become a worldwide star — maybe our biggest star yet.?

So who’s this Jai McDowall bloke then?

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ITV Revenues Up 13% Thanks To…Titanic?!

May 10, 2012 by  
Filed under News

The Fellowes' drama sure did BUOY ITV1 revenues...

Britain may not have fallen for Julian Fellowes’ class-obsessed Titanic, but apparently international demand for the series has helped boost ITV revenues by 13%.

The drama has now been bought up by almost 100 countries, helping ITV Studios to rake in around £565mn in the first quarter of the year.

The staggering figure improved by almost two-thirds compared to this time last year, with analysts pointing towards earlier-than-expected broadcasting for many shows and strong international demand for shows. Prime Suspect and Jeremy Kyle have also been prime British exports in 2012.

Despite the positive studio production and demand figures, advertising revenue for the broadcaster took a surprise dip. Audience share (obviously key in determining advertising rates) fell 2% in Q1, resulting in a 1% reduction in income.

Top dog at the channel, Adam Crozier, is not fazed. Far from it! He remains upbeat about the channel’s potential over the coming months given the impending football fest and remaining Britain’s Got Talent shows. The Euro 2012 football championships should see ad. revenues up by as much as 17%, spring boarded by an expected 6% rise this month thanks to BGT.

“We expect to outperform the TV ad market in the first half and for the year as a whole,” Mr Crozier said, adding that a “strong autumn lineup? would also help to boost revenues by 3% later in the year.

If Crozier is right, then shareholders will be chuffed with his progress with the much-touted “Transformation Plan?. The strategy, intended for “growing and rebalancing the business?, will be on track in year three of five if it makes its end-of-year forecasts.

ITV’s share price has nearly tripled since Mr C took over, and the company has moved from making a regular loss into profit. Aside from share prices? The other advantage of all this extra cash is that we, the humble viewer, should be afforded some finer viewing experiences…let’s hope all that cash doesn’t end up in any deep pockets.

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Lovable Rogues In BGT Fix Storm

May 10, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Everyone knows that it’s not a proper series of BGT if a nice FFIIIIXXX! news story doesn’t crop up at one point and this year’s has finally arrived. And not before time..

If The Sun is to be believed*, then the act that has been hand-picked to reach the final and win the competition by Darth Cowell is Lovable Rogues, the popular musical trio who won the semi-final on Tuesday night and were subsequently snapped after scoffing a bit too much whisky at some launch event.

Apparently the group were fast-tracked through the audition process after the show’s talent scouts spotted them on YouTube.

“Yes, we did get approached,? said one of the band, while another added. “The audition in front of the judges was the first we’d done.?

Cowell praised them to the rafters on Tuesday night and it seems he will sign them no matter whether they win the final on Saturday, but a BGT spokesperson refused to be drawn on the situation last night.

“We let people know about auditions in lots of ways,” they murmured. “All acts are auditioned on their merits.?

*Yeah we know..

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Nice Guys Finish Last? The Voice Loses A Million Viewers..

May 7, 2012 by  
Filed under News

A couple of weeks ago, the BBC claimed that they had finally managed to produce a reality talent contest which entertained without being nasty to contestants, but bosses are being forced to consider that approach this morning after Britain’s Got Talent surged ahead of The Voice in the ratings.

The singing competition attracted a million less viewers on Saturday night than a week previously and viewers have complained that coaches are sugar-coating their comments to support average acts. In the auditions, the novelty of the swivel-chairs managed to keep viewers interested, but now it seems that audiences find the lack of bite rather dull.

According to The Sun, producers have ordered Will.i.am, Tom Jones, Jessie J and Danny O’Donoghue to get nasty with their acts. What’s more, they will now double the number of acts given the boot to four a week, rather than two.

The Voice originally sold itself as being the ‘nice’ talent show and viewers loved that when it was coupled with the drama of the spinning chairs during the blind auditions,” a source told the newspaper. “But once the show moved into its live stage, a lot of viewers have tired of it and criticised the coaches for being too nice to singers who just aren’t that great.

“Bosses have now told them to toughen up, be meaner and to really speak their minds — even if it means upsetting people. The coaches made progress on Saturday but there is still a long way to go.?

Jessie J – who spent much of last week championing the positive attitude of the show – also seems to have changed her tune this week..

“I am going to be meaner,” she explained. “It does get to the point where everyone is a bit too nice. It is hard when Tom, Will and Danny are saying people are great and I think they are c**p. The first results show got really emotional and everyone was in tears and it just really p****s me off!?

Hannah Berney and Ruth-Ann were given the boot last night, but not all viewers were disappointed to see them go.

“The coaches said that Ruth-Ann was ‘pitchy’ but I thought that the phrase “completely off-key” would have been more appropriate,” tweeted Lorna H.

BGT outscored The Voice by two million viewers on average over the weekend, peaking at 11 million, compared to 9.1 million watching BBC One.

Alesha Dixon Back With The Beeb

May 1, 2012 by  
Filed under News

The Judas Iscariot of the BBC aka Alesha Dixon, is set to make a prodigal return to the channel she abandoned last year.

Muddled bible stories aside, this is the news that Dixon will present a BBC dance show for “hip youngsters? competing to become her next Street Dance Stars.

Reprising her role of talent-hunting queen, Dixon will be scouring the streets for dance talent in the new CBBC series. After a number of trials and dance-related challeneges, the lucky winner will be walking away with “a money-cannot-buy-prize? – presumably this will exclude Alesha’s unswerving loyalty. Feel free to watch some clips from the show here.

Meanwhile, over on ITV, Alesha continues to sound her “blarp? of doom at unsuspecting dogs and stripping grannies. Last year, Dixon left her place on the Strictly Come Dancing panel to join Simon Cowell and the gang on Britain’s Got Talent.

Darcey Bussell has since been announced as her replacement.

After weeks of being downtrodden by the Beeb goliath, The Voice , Saturday’s episode of BGT managed to beat its rival show into rating submission, drawing an average of 9.4mn viewers in compared to the BBC’s 9.3mn. Whether this had anything to do with Alesha is up for debate. What it almost certainly had something to do with was this grinning organist:

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Britain’s Got Talent Snatches Ratings Crown From The Voice

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under News

 

Big finish: Malakai received a standing ovation

Britain’s Got Talent finally managed to get one over on Saturday night rivals, The Voice UK, thanks to some last-minute editing from Simon Cowell.

Apparently some last minute tweaks from the sex pest light-entertainment genius apparently secured the talent show’s triumph over the BBC singing competition with BGT drawing in an average of 9.4mn viewers to The Voice’s 9.3mn.

The win may be a marginal one, but it represents ITV1’s first straight-forward ratings success against the BBC since both shows launched in competing slots back in March. Such was the ratings rivalry that BGT was forced to move into taking a later position in the schedule and yet was STILL outdone by the Beeb.

An ITV spokesperson said: “BGT is packed with thrills and spills, tears and laughter and we are delighted that it consistently continues to be such a firm favourite with viewers.” Nine-year-old Malakai’s performance prompted raptuourous applause from the studio audience and an outpouring of public support on Twitter. If you missed it  - get the lowdown here.

Meanwhile, The Voice has now moved into the “live rounds?, where contestants sing for survival from the audience and ultimately rely on the affection of their respective mentors to live on.

This week saw Samuel Buttery (Team Tom) and Sophie Griffith (Team Will) cruelly rebuffed in a tearful results show on Sunday night. Even Tom Jones was seen swallowing VERY hard and attempting to control his quivering upper lip.

Dermot O’Leary, of The X Factor – another of Cowell’s brainchildren – has recently questioned the show’s supposedly “less harsh? approach to mentoring: “Everyone who goes on those shows does so to be judged and maybe an even harsher critique is someone not turning around.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, he added: “The most important thing is to have fun on the shows. And just because auditionees are a bit strange, it doesn’t mean they are not good.

“I like the fact we are about the package. I like that we get acts like Johnny Robinson who look ridiculous, but it doesn’t mean they can’t sing,’ he added.

Meanwhile Black Eyed Peas star and Voice mentor, Will.i.am has insisted that both Saturday night shows “need each other?.

“The rivalry is important,” he said. “They need each other… because the music industry needs these shows.”

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Malaki Paul Has Got Talent.. But Is Too Young For TV?

April 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

The trouble with running a talent show year on year, is that believe it or not, there’s only so much ‘talent’ about in the UK. So when you’ve harvested all the best acts, you have to start looking somewhere else, or you’re out of business. As such, ITV have been accepting younger and younger applicants for Britain’s Got Talent in recent years. But is it right to subject young children to the pressures of live television or should age be no barrier if you have a gift?

Last night Malaki Paul wowed ITV viewers with a stunning audition (below) but at nine years-old, is he ready for life in the goldfish bowl? Audience opinion was well and truly divided last night..

“It really was uncomfortable viewing with Malakai. I think he had a beautiful voice but he clearly isn’t ready..” said one commenter on The Sun’s website, while another added.. “Mother shouldn’t put him through it until he can handle it.”

Yet others reacted to the suggestion of an 18 years and over rule by arguing that.. “If we did that then you would not discover new talent until it was too late! As long as they are looked after correctly then there shouldn’t be a problem.”

BGT has previous when it comes to this and few fans will forget the way young Hollie Steel broke down on the show a couple of years back. Ronan Parke was also put through a great deal of stress after some complete jackass cooked up a theory that the whole show was rigged last year and dozens of other youngsters have passed through the system. Cowell’s track-record of turning the young starlets he finds into credible stars is questionable..

So what do you think? Should we stop mollycoddling these youngsters or should they be held back until they are old enough to handle the pressure of life in the goldfish bowl?

ITV Risks Losing £100million SyCo Deal

April 20, 2012 by  
Filed under News

"I did NOT have sexual relations with that woman"

Today’s Simon Cowell story is brought to us by the news that ITV may be about to lose their £100million deal with the mogul because they have dared to show a lack of “respect?.

The channel, which currently broadcasts The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, is apparently risking a “self-destructive war? with Cowell if they don’t change their attitude. The claims have come out of an “unofficial? autobiography on the TV giant published by Tom Bower, and serialised by The Sun.

The book – which is out today – also accuses the channel of “shooting themselves in the foot? by making critical comments on Cowell.

Bower adds: “They are risking a self destructive war by not respecting the man who saved their channel from bad ratings when they have failed to create other original and attractive programmes. Without Cowell their ratings would sink.”

BGT currently draws in 12 million viewers a show, with last year’s final raking in over £5million of advertising revenue for the station.

PLenty of rumours have emerged since the book Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life Of Simon Cowell surfaced earlier this month. But Cowell is claiming that the book was “unauthorised” and is apparently planning a dramatic TV denouncement of some of the juicier revelations – inclusing an alleged affair with Danni Minogue – contained in the biography.

According to the Daily Star, Simon plans to read the book this weekend before deciding what to do.

A source told the paper: “Enough is enough. Simon’s taken a lot of flak this week and now it’s time to take the bull by the horns.”

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