As has become the norm, the Britain’s Got Talent final was a hugely watched and talked about piece of TV, making the egg incident almost infamous already. Despite the predictable winners and the controversy over their non-British nationality, the range of talent was a delight to watch and so I have decided to attempt to rank each of the 11 acts, from bottom to top, in the order of who I thought should have won.
11. Pre-Skool. They’re cute. We get it. They do dance well with their small bodies for their age. They have clearly rehearsed hard and that level of commitment and passion to something so young is admirable. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re on the same level as the other performers; they obviously got as far as the final on the cute factor (which is especially weird with some of their raunchier dance moves). Their final performance wasn’t actually as well-choreographed or performed as their previous ones; it seemed more like they’d shoved together all the best bits from other dance routines to make one, and it didn’t quite gel together for me. I still enjoyed watching it, but they just couldn’t compare with some of the older, more professional acts on the show.
10. Arixsandra. Her voice is massive, getting through to the final by singing the likes of Jennifer Hudson’s ‘One Night Only’ (despite the inappropriate lyrics) but I just didn’t think her song was special enough on Saturday. Singing Christina Aguilera’s ‘The Voice Within’, it was too motionless and unfortunately she was overshadowed by the other 11 year-old girl singer in the competition (more on her later). Her voice is a remarkable powerhouse though, and it would be interesting to see what it develops into in a few more years.
9. Francine Lewis. Yes, she’s funny. Yes, the vast majority of her impressions are extremely clever and spot on. The problem I have with her is that she’s not very accessible to anyone who doesn’t watch everything on TV or read everything on the Daily Mail’s celebrity pages. I didn’t get all of them and I only knew that one of them was from a Coronation Street character because they played the theme; I don’t see how the Royal Family could appreciate this act. Any one of the other acts could include the entire audience better than this one. Also, the final Katie Price song got old quickly.
8. Asanda. The other young female singer, Asanda stormed the stage on Saturday with her second Beyoncé number ‘If I Were A Boy’ after singing ‘Halo’ in the semi-final. I found her performance a lot better than Arixsandra’s (how can you not compare them?) mostly because she had such a natural attitude as she danced around the stage- not even in an annoying way- and she dealt with the massive notes and the more poignant lines (like the last) with equal skill. My principal problem with Asanda’s performance was that it seemed that her main aim was just to simulate Beyoncé rather than be the best young artist she could be. I can definitely see the similarities with Willow Smith though.
7. Jordan O’Keefe. He sang Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ (let’s ignore the fact this is apparently one of his dad’s favourite songs…) and it was actually a really innovative cover. His voice is silky smooth and his guitar playing is simplistic but effective. Unfortunately, this is everywhere at the moment and so I struggled to care, especially as the song took a bit too long to get going- the verse is not very interesting slowed down. I think I could have really liked him but he picked all the wrong songs throughout the competition for me to be able to really root for him; he undoubtedly has talent though.
6. Gabz. For a 14 year-old, her song-writing skills and all-round artistry are really impressive. The beginning wasn’t great, as the opening to ‘Just Lie There’ sounded very clichéd and like so many chart songs at the moment, but then she started rapping and it became her own. Making it a medley with previously heard ‘Put Your Lighters In The Air’ was also a great idea, as the audience started singing along and it’s made for a big finish. I’m very curious to see if we’ll hear anymore from Gabz.
5. Attraction. The winners. The amazing shadow theatre group. The reason I don’t have them slightly higher on this list is that I didn’t think their final performance was as good as either of their previous ones. Both before were really, truly moving, with one about war and the other about one of the performer’s mother’s illness, which led me to wonder how they could keep it up as there are only so many stories that will bring people to tears, and the answer is that they couldn’t (although people obviously still liked it enough to vote for them). I just found it a bit clichéd (there’s that word again!) in that it was just a load of patriotic images about Britain and that was it. Is that really enough to move people to tears? The dancing didn’t even seem as smooth or unnoticeable where it should be as it was in the past. I was disappointed with them on Saturday and I’m a little disappointed with the public.
4. Luminites. The Luminites could genuinely be the next big pop group. Their covers are so innovative and each of the four band members has an important role to play: there is both a male and female singer, a beatboxer and a guitar player/rapper/singer, and they blend together perfectly. They could basically be in the dictionary next to the word ‘hip’ right now. I’d definitely be up for hearing more from them afterwards, and they’re rumoured to be signing with Simon Cowell so we may well do!
3. Jack Carroll. There isn’t much to say about Jack that hasn’t already been said. He is naturally hilarious- often continuing after his act has actually finished- and he is wise beyond his years. The fact that he makes jokes about his disability and seems to embrace it as much as possible is admirable, and he is genuinely a very mature child who won many people’s hearts. I can only wish the best for him.
2. Steve Hewlett. There is something really admirable about Steve’s dedication that has led to his mastering of the art, and for this reason I’m really glad the judges gave him a second chance and invited him back as their wildcard. His act was probably my favourite to watch and it definitely made me laugh more than any other. I wished we could have seen a little more Arthur Lager in the final before abandoning him for Simon and Sinitta, but they were actually very funny in themselves and Steve handled it well without being crude or going too far. The fact that he was the underdog at the start of the final and then finished fourth says it all.
1. Richard & Adam. I absolutely love these two. They’re so sweet and humble but their voices are powerful and pure and their harmonies together have been spot on. I think I preferred their version of ‘Somewhere’ in the semi-finals to ‘The Impossible Dream’, but Simon preferred the latter and I think that’s only really a matter of personal taste. I also admire how they went on without even really looking at or acknowledging the egg-thrower, even when she was right in front of them on stage. If you just listened to their performance you’d never have known she was there. However, they’ve now spoken out saying that she “destroyed their dream”, which I really hope isn’t true. Even if the distraction stopped them from winning, hopefully they can still pursue a career and move on.
So basically I swapped the top three around a bit and swapped Attraction out for Steve Hewlett. Looking at the voting figures here shows that I do basically agree with the public (except, fundamentally, for the winner) but also the landslide by which the top acts were ahead of the rest is pretty impressive, especially the fact that Steve Hewlett was 8% ahead of 5th place and he was the wildcard entry!
Overall, I think that there were some brilliant stand-out acts this year, and the whole thing was only really marred by the controversy surrounding both children and foreign acts (and eggs). While both provided some spectacular entertainment, I do agree with some of the less angry critics in that it’s called Britain’s Got Talent and that children both buckle under the pressure and also really don’t need the big break yet whereas there are some remarkable adult acts who really deserve it (eg. Steve!).