Friday 23 February 2018

Irish ninja Jesse Jane McParland (9) driven to tears as she narrowly misses out on Britain's Got Talent final

Jesse Jane McParland in the Britain's Got Talent semi-final
Jesse Jane McParland in the Britain's Got Talent semi-final

Nine-year-old ninja Jesse Jane McParland was driven to tears as she narrowly missed out on the Britain's Got Talent final.

The Armagh schoolgirl - nicknamed JJ - gave a phenomenal martial arts performance battling adult ninjas and wielding a sword.

However, Calum Scott, 26, who prompted show supremo Simon Cowell to push his golden buzzer at the audition stage, won last night's semi-final and Jesse Jane was up against impersonator Danny Posthill for the second spot.

The judges were deadlocked in their decision to choose between them.  Posthill was described as "incredible" by Amanda Holden following his performance, while David Walliams said the final needed some comedy.

Already a multiple Taekwondo champion with 172 titles under her belt, JJ wwas visibly upset by the decision.

Of first finalist Calum, Cowell said his performance was "fantastic", and added that he felt "quite smug" having singled him out in the initial stages of the competition.

Earlier, Cowell defended the show over claims that a talking dog act is cruel.

Viewers have complained about French ventriloquist Marc Metral and his dog Miss Wendy since their first appearance on the show.

Cowell, who has "thought a lot" about the act, said he brought in the RSPCA to check the animal was not being mistreated.

He said: " I believe if you can show that animals have personalities, more people will hopefully respect them and show compassion."

Cowell, who owns two dogs and supports several animal charities, said: "We asked the RSPCA to see Wendy in rehearsals and I was told she was happy and looked after well.

"As animal lovers I will always listen to your views. I would never allow any animal to be treated in a cruel way. But care that you care."

The act uses a muzzle-like device to create the illusion of a talking dog, but Metral has previously defended his methods, saying he has worked with Wendy since she was a puppy.

Every night this week contestants have been performing for a place in Sunday's final, with the hope of winning a £250,000 cash prize and the opportunity to appear at the Royal Variety Performance.

Thursday night's show saw a father and sons vocal group and a teenage singer added to the final line-up.

Isaac Waddington, 15, won Thursday night's semi-final after Cowell told him he had put on a "fantastic, fantastic performance", b ut it was The Neales - a four-piece vocal group consisting of singing solicitor Laurie Neale and his three sons James, Dan and Phil - who brought out his sensitive side.

They sang Father And Son, and when they finished, Cowell said: "God, I actually got quite emotional. What's happened to me?"

He added: "I really like you guys."

Katie Hopkins compares Irish BGT hopeful Dylan Byrd to BFG and says his 'parents should be prosecuted' 

At the start of this week, Welsh choir Cor Glanaethwy and dance group Entity Allstars became the first acts to go through to the final.

Performing dog act Jules O'Dwyer and Matisse won Tuesday night's semi-final, while dad-dancing five-piece Old Men Grooving also became finalists.

On Wednesday, magician Jamie Raven and Siberian dance troupe UDI were put through.

Press Association

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