Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's that time of the year again, which is... Britain's Got Talent time! I must say I love the whole thing about this show (except the fact that the videos on that page don't play outside the UK). The way they edit it to tug at your heartstrings, the way they put this act on in the first audition show and that one on later... One has gained momentum over the month or so, and the other is fresh in the audience's mind -- who will prevail!? Messing with our heads! This year, it is youth and beauty all the way. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: all the winners were 20 or younger! Thursday, one 19-year-old guy and four women in their 20s.

Saturday night is the final and this week I've been silently betting on winners in the semi-finals. (My family wish I would shut up about this, so maybe not so silently...) Oh la!

Your finalists are here. Ones I want to win are bold!

Ashleigh &Pudsey
Ashleigh and Pudsey, a girl and her dog. Really, can anyone beat a cute dog? It's a bonus that Ashleigh is also totally likeable, beautiful, a good dancer. Teenager #1, and w00t, female! (Last year, there was one woman in the final!)

Only Boys Aloud, heartstring tuggers all the way! A boys' choir from Wales -- they always mention the grand tradition of male singing (without ever mentioning Only Men Aloud, their parent choir) and the hard times people are having in the Welsh valleys. Another act where I just have my breath taken away by beautiful youth.

Jonathan and Charlotte were on the first show of the auditions and the presentation was just the same as Susan Boyle's all those years ago. The judges, especially Simon Cowell, were dismissive as the act came on stage: oh, it's a fat guy, this is going to be terrible -- and then, wow, it turns out he can actually sing. Teenagers, and excellent!

Kai and Natalia are another pair of teenagers, who dance. I can't get excited about them, myself. I hadn't picked them for the top three that night, but perhaps I don't know what is hot and what is not. Could that be?

Loveable Rogues
The Loveable Rogues were fantastic and are so fun. Like David Walliams, I would buy their record now if I could. Their song of heartbreak and misery is so catchy and danceable!

The other winner Wednesday night was Molly Rainford, an 11-year-old the judges have called a little Mariah Carey! She is very composed and has a wonderful voice.

Thursday everyone was crap except for Sam Kelly and Nu Sxool. Not really crap, but not good enough for a final of anything. My loves were the dancers, the Sugar Dandies, but they did nothing very exciting, and I bet they didn't choose the music themselves. (Here, in a non-BGT show, I think they are marvellous.)

Sam Kelly
Sam Kelly is certainly one of my favourites of the finalists. Super voice, nice manner, all-round wonderful.

Ryan O'Shaugnessy
Nu Sxool are cute kids who can dance, and the only large dance troupe through! They are the youngest of this youthful group.

Ryan O'Shaugnessy, singer, songwriter, heartthrob. It's going to be hard for him and Sam to compete; they have a lot in common and it'll be fun to see how they distinguish themselves on Saturday.

Ryan provided a lot of the gossip this time 'round. He sang to a mystery girl in his audition and he had to get out of a contract with the Voice in Ireland in order to compete in the BGT live shows. Don't tell me no one knew about this conflict from the get-go! Surely the acts fill out a form at the beginning of the whole process with a question like: Is there any legal stuff going to get in our way here?

So far, aside from the choir master from Only Boys Aloud, and one of the guys in the Loveable Rogues, everyone is 19 or under!

AquaBatique is an amazing group of synchronised swimmers who perform in a large see-through tank, doing sort of underwater dancing! Nice to see, and they all at one time wanted to be on the Olympic team, so they have that patriotic/Olympic connection which might get them a lot of support. Also they are not singers, so that might give them an edge if people get tired of all the cute boy singers!

I myself prefer the singers to the rest. Sam, Ryan, the Rogues, Jonathan and Charlotte and the choir all top my list over the dog, the swimmers, the two dance acts and Molly.

There will also be a Wild Card spot in the final. Likely candidates: The Mend, another bunch of singing boyz;  Twist and Pulse Dance Company; or maybe Billy George, who rolls around in a big hoop, which sounds crazy but is quite fun to watch. Personally, I think it'd be criminal to not let the Mend in. But then, I do seem to like the boy singers and maybe someone with a more all-encompassing view of things would like to see more dancers or another variety act.

Fine print: I have linked here to the official YouTube channel, BritainsGotTalent09, but for longer clips, with judges' comments, and for the results -- "The act going through to the final is.... .... .... .... ... ... {zoom to each act in turn}... .... ... .... ...  ..... {someone in the audience shouts}.... ... .... ... .... ...  ..... ..... ... {insert name of act here, finally!}" -- you need to see the videos of 12345djbridger. And of course, I didn't take any of these pictures.

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