Sunday 4 December 2016

BGT hopefuls set for semi-finals

Published 25/05/2015 | 11:31

Maia Gough during the audition stage of ITV1 talent show, Britain's Got Talent (Syco/Thames TV)
Maia Gough during the audition stage of ITV1 talent show, Britain's Got Talent (Syco/Thames TV)

She blew the judges away singing Whitney Houston, but Britain's Got Talent hopeful Maia Gough says for the Britain's Got Talent semi-finals she'll be doing "something a little bit different".

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Tonight sees the live semi-finals kick off on the popular talent show.

The semis will be on ITV every night this week as the contestants battle it out for a place in the grand final at the weekend.

Judges Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden have whittled down all of the entries to just 45.

Appearing on Lorraine this morning, Gough spoke about her audition, saying: "It was all really surreal to be honest. I was really nervous before I went on, but when I started singing the fear goes away and it's really overwhelming and amazing."

Other performers who will be vying for a spot in the final include French ventriloquist Metral, who caused controversy in his previous appearance on the show.

After his dog Wendy appeared to "mime", there was an outcry as it was revealed his dog was wearing a mask over its snout, which some viewers felt was cruel.

A BGT spokesperson commented: "We take the welfare of all of our acts, including animals, incredibly seriously. We consult at length with their owners and where necessary take third party advice."

Burlesque dance troupe The Ruby Red Performers, from Hull, whose ages range from 25 to 64, will also be among those competing to win the £250,000 cash prize and the opportunity to appear at the Royal Variety Performance.

The youngest semi-finalist is nine-year-old martial artist, Jesse Jane McParland from Northern Ireland, while the eldest this year is 73-year-old magical entertainer Jeffrey Drayton from Norfolk, along with his puppet Chantel.

The judges also each selected their Golden Buzzer acts, who were all awarded a place in the semi-finals.

Cowell chose 26-year-old singer Calum Scott, from Hull, while Holden selected London choir Revelation Avenue.

Ant and Dec chose dancers Boyband and Dixon selected young dance troupe Entity Allstars to go straight through to the semis.

Walliams championed eccentric singer Lorraine Bowen, 53, who sang and played the keyboard on an ironing board.

Ageing dancers Old Men Grooving, contortionist Bonetics and 17-year-old dancer Dylan Byrd also made it through.

The nine acts appearing in tonight's first live semi-final for Britain's Got Talent have been revealed.

They are: Andrew Fleming (Impressionist), Becky O'Brien (Singer), Billy and Emily England (Roller-skating duo), Cor Glanaethwy (Choir), Entity Allstars (Dance group and also Alesha Dixon's Golden Buzzer act), Henry Gallagher (Singer), Lorraine Bowen (Singer/entertainer) Mitch and Cally The Wonderdog (who are attempting to break the world record for the number of balloons popped in one minute) and dance group, the Ruby Red Performers.

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