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Series 6 of Britain’s Got Talent splashed onto our screens on Saturday night with a great theatrical opening number set in Covent Garden. The ITV lot seem to have drafted in some expensive cameras this time round, as the show was littered with a lot of very cinematic shots, with no doubt more to come, coupled with dramatic power ballads of Leona Lewis (the typical Cowell-ITV choosing for the cut scenes) over the coming weeks. So, let’s take a look at the first offering of wannabes gracing the London Palladium stage this week and look forward to tomorrow’s show.
In true ITV fashion, we were presented with a few awful attempts at talent, launched by a folk duet with as much joyful soul as a pissed dementor ringing through their voices. It was truly chilling. This was quickly followed by a Professor Lupin wannabe who believed himself to be a Werewolf, answering Simon Cowell’s initial questions with a series of barks. Yeah… that’s the way to get on in this competition. I think he was more after YouTube hits, but an actual act of some sort is at least required even for a YouTube video worth watching!
It was after the howling man that on came Patrick George – a rotund man who claimed to be a gospel choir. As the sole man on stage, I did wonder how one voice could reflect that of an entire gospel choir, expecting some amazing form of ventriloquism or throat singing or something. Cowell himself risked a joke with “Did you eat them?”. When the music started however, we were soon enlightened when members of the gospel choir popped up in the boxes in the auditorium and emerged from the wings of the stage. Together, they formed a tour de force of vocal talent and blew away the audience and the judges. It was lovely.
Next up…Comedians. Again, ITV presented us with some of the worst jokes known to man. One guy in particular, Mr Paul Stark, took it very personally and claimed ‘I’m better than you lot anyways’ as he was booed off the stage. Meanwhile, Jack Carroll, waited nervously in the wings claiming to Ant and Dec that the audience were like a Roman Amphitheatre shouting beheading orders at Simon for the worst comedians ever. This made me smile and promised a good audition from the young man.
When he finally took to the stage, his cerebral palsy quickly became a part of his humour with class jokes such as ‘I’m an Olympic gymnast’ in response to Simon asking ‘What do you do?’. Brilliant. Bright things ahead for this young comedian!
In the interlude between acts, the bromance between Simon Cowell and David Walliams was highlighted in a nice little comedy feature. This is emphasized when Cowell can’t attend a full audition after being held up, and the three panellists, Walliams, Holden, and Dixon, take full advantage passing some rather odd acts (including a man dancing with a broom dressed as a nun) through to the next round.
Fortunately, Cowell returned to the panel rather sharpish which was good news for all! However, this did take away the relief felt by acts back stage and set nerves back on edge. Particularly for the next auditionee, 11 year old Arixsandra Libantino. She took to the stage dressed in a fairytale-esque pink dress and shoes which could have been her mother’s as they were about three sizes too big. The voice that then came out of this little girl in the form of Jennifer Hudson’s ‘One Night Only’ was completely the opposite. This little vessel of a girl erupted into a powerful rendition of the song and blew the roof off the London Palladium. Immense. Even titled as “Superhuman” by Cowell.
Next to the stage was my favourite of the evening, and my tip for the winner of this year’s competition. Theatre can be a powerful medium, and Attraction (the Shadow Theatre Group from Hungary) really demonstrated this power in the form of a magical production using only their bodies as the tools for their shadow based performance. MUST WATCH! Amazing. The touching performance and entrancing voice of Alice Fredenham to the tune of ‘My Funny Valentine’ closed the evening with a touch of class and pure modesty
All in all, this was a great start to the latest series of Britain’s Got Talent. Maybe this year’s winner won’t have four legs! Make sure you tune in to find out whether Britain really has got any talent left.