Liveblog: Britain's Got Talent Live Final

With last night’s tearful drama for Hollie Steel provoking sympathy and derision in equal measure across the web and finding its way on to News At 10, tonight’s show has a lot to live up to. Will Susan Boyle (who’s gone from Hairy Angel to four-letter word flinging liability in the eyes of the tabloids) get the win as the bookies predict or will one of the other finalists pip her to the post, American Idol style?

Join me here from 6.40 for a no-doubt snark filled commentary on the most exploitative show on telly (well, at least until Big Brother returns next week).

18:48 They’ve got the guy who does the “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble” boxing announcements in to introduce Ant and Dec onstage. I suspect tonight’s heavyweight battle will not be a knockout.

18:49 Amanda Holden has come dressed as Marilyn Monroe (the Aldi knock-off version).

18:50 “Tonight, I’m going to sit and watch like the rest of Great Bitten.” Is Amanda talking to a giant bird?

“It’s great that we’ve got something that takes our minds off greedy bankers and politicians…” says Piers playing to the gallery as usual.

18:52 First to perform it’s Flawless. “If you work hard, you can achieve you dream.” Heartwarming sentiments from the dance crew there. Simon is setting up a battle between Flawless and Diversity. It’s the biggest dance battle since Michael Jackson’s Beat It.

18:53 And…as if by magic, Flawless are dancing to Michael Jackson medley with what looks like an old Volvo in the background.

We’ve switched to James Brown’s I Feel Good and back to Jacko again. The moves are smooth and the choreography is inventive. Flawless are a typical variety show act so they’d be perfect to perform in front of the Queen but to me, they’re just a bit predictable.

18:56 Simon declares the Flawless should really walk this kind of competition while Piers ladles on the rhetoric and Amanda (self-appointed dancing queen) dubs them “one of the best dance acts in the world.”) No doubt she did a very thorough survey of the alternatives.

18:58 The first of the big acts is up next – Shaheen, the little Welsh wonder who got Lily Allen’s backing on Twitter.

He’s dressed in his finest page boy at a wedding get up and is singing Who’s Loving You by the Jackson 5. It’s the second Jacko influenced performance of the night and it’s great. The trouble is, just like the original, it’s super-creepy seeing such a young boy singing a love song.

19:02 Piers says it was “unbelievable” and goes into a little speech attacking people who say BGT shouldn’t feature children. Will every summing up from him be a chance to jump on the soapbox? It’s like he’s editing The Mirror on the fly. Amanda throws down some seriously patronising comments and Simon’s on to the debate about allowing kids to audition too. “I’ve been in two minds but that performance made me realise that if you’re talented and you can cope with it, why should we deny you the opportunity?”

Simon is praising Shaheen to such a degree that you suspect that if he doesn’t win, a contract is ready and waiting for him.

Unlike Hollie who really did seem a little stage school, Shaheen seems very genuine.

19:06 First break – quite disturbed by the new M&S advert with Twiggy. “It all started here in 1888.” “Alright, Twiggy,” says a passing Victorian ragabond. Is she really that old?

19:09 And we’re back:

It’s Aidan Davis, the little body-popping Timberlake alike. He’s a really sweet kid but we’ve already got George Sampson. Do we really need another one? It only encourages them.

19:11 Simon wonders if he can top last night’s performance.

He’s dancing to Low by Nelly. It’s about a woman with a big arse wearing Nelly’s brand of jeans (Apple Bottom). I’m not sure I’d class that as age appropriate.

It’s a good performance from Tiny Timberlake but he slightly telegraphs the last move. The studio audience loves it.

19:13 He’s got real charm and remembers to thank the audience.

Amanda loves his “superstar attitude” and asks if he’s already got “the birds lined up in his caravan”. Slightly creepy once again.

Simon says the performance wasn’t as good as last night which is quite unfair given that he’d only had 24-hours since the last show.

Piers capitalises on Simon’s audience baiting by saying exactly what they want to hear: “I don’t agree. That was better than last night.” Piers Morgan, king of bread and circuses.

19:16 Simon manages to upset Aidan a bit with his comments. There’s a few tears in his eyes. Is this the new BGT gimick? Tearful kids.

19:17 It’s 2Grand – the grandfather/granddaughter singing duo. They’re incredibly sweet. They won’t win but the story is just really uplifting, even for a heart-hearted little git like me.

19:19 They’re singing A Whole New World. John’s voice is not brilliant but Sally’s singing her heart out and looks lovely. It’s as if a club singer and a classical pop starlette accidentally got lost and ended up on the same stage. The story is better than the act. But what a heartwarming story.

19:21 Lola Darling has a fond place in her heart for them as they’re from Doncaster and so has Simon (“I love you two.”) though he knows they won’t win.

Piers does a little speech about John’s wife who recently passed away (the man knows his smaltz): “Wherever she is now, she’ll be thinking wow, they’re on Britain’s Got Talent!” I think she’ll be thinking: “I didn’t think you’d get such a good Freeview signal in Heaven.”

John says performing on Britain’s Got Talent has really brought him out of a depression. That almost makes the whole thing worthwhile.

19:23 After the break it’s two of the most talked about acts – Hollie Steel (tears again? drama?) and Stavros Flatley (another Lily Allen favourite).

19:28 Here comes Hollie. Dec introduces her as “the little girl who’s got the whole country talking.” I’m really not having Simon’s “bravest girl in the world” statement, I’m sure there’s a few in Afghanistan or hospital wards or facing up to their abusive fathers who deserve the award a little better. Hollie is just incredibly precocious and I have the feeling that her parents are too pushy.

19:30 She’s singing a Les Mis tune – I can’t tell you which one as I have always conciously avoided it.

19:31 She’s doing well and there’s no hint of forgotten words or nerves. The more suspicious amongst you might wonder if last night’s waterworks were a little bit too convenient. We know how much Simon loves a good Reality TV narrative.

19:32 Piers: “You looked like a little star.” Amanda: “I absolutely loved that.” Oh, Amanda says it’s a song from Phantom Of The Opera. Earlier on Hollie said she was doing something from Les Mis on the North West local news. Hence the confusion.

Simon is praising her to the hills. “You handled it brilliantly. You handled the big notes brilliantly. You put yourself back in the competition not by pity but by a good performance.”

I think SuBo may have her work cut out for her now. The cute kid’s story might just beat the beatification of Boyle. Over exposure could do for her. The tears are more fresh in the public’s heads.

19:35 It’s Stavros Flatley. They’re so endearing.

“I can’t believe we’re in the final, two little podgy fellas.”

This is the feel good act.

19:36 There appear to be leather trousers involved. And the pair of them are dressed as your actual Michael Flatley impersonators.

The shirts are off and the manboobs are in motion.

Dancing to Lord Of The Dance, they’ve got a battalion of real Irish dancing ladies behind them.

It’s really shoddy but incredibly good fun. Dimitri’s checking that his wife pressed record on the video.

19:39 “I’m fit to burst” says Amanda. TMI love. She’s asking people to vote for Stavros Flatley.

Simon says “It’s genius. I’d rather watch you two instead of Michael Flatley any day…It’s about how people make you feel. And you two make people feel good.”

19:41 Piers has declared that he’ll appear with them if they win.

Dimitri tells Piers he’s a diamond, tells Amanda he loves her and says Simon must have some Greek in him – “No one’s that cool and not Greek.” I see the confusion, it’s all the Grecian 2000 Simon’s been sticking in his hair.

19:43 Ad break and they’re hawking Paul Potts’ second album. Apparently, it’s “stunning”. I find it’s stunning that he’s made it to a second album.

19:46 Sean Smith’s up next. He’s your standard generic X-Factor/Idol/Popstars/BGT type singer. You could essentially make him from spare parts left over from Shane Ward, Gareth Gates and Will Young. Bland. Bland. Bland.

19:48 And as if to prove that point he’s singing Ain’t No Sunshine. Whenever reality TV performers do this kind of material they make it sound like they’re singing a shopping list. This is a soul so plastic it could be made by Tupperware. No disrespect to the lad (said in my best football pundit voice) but he’s just OK.

19:51 Simon loved it – here’s another one who’s certain of a contract.

Piers says he’s got a lot of competition.

For Amanda, he ticked every box. “You’re sexy, you’re cool…” She’s gone a little cougarish there.

19:53 It’s Susan Boyle. Will she manage it after all the terrible newspaper coverage in the past few days. “It’s the accumulation of 40 years of dreaming. A life long ambition.” That could be the sentence that wins it for her.

19:54 She’s gone back to her original song – I Dreamed A Dream from Les Mis.

She’s been put in a silver dress and has picked up a new head shake move.

Going back to this song will please the BGT montage makers if she wins. Footage of her unstoppable rise, the song soaring in the background. But does this just make her seem like she’s got a range of two songs she can do?

19:56 She speaks well and thanks everyone for their support. “I really feel at home on stage. Of course I do. I’m among friends am I not.”

Piers once again is on his soapbox: “You’ve been boiling over, cracking up…but you did it. That was the greatest performance I’ve seen in Britain’s Got Talent History.” Susan looks pleased but there are boos from the audience.

Amanda backs Piers comments. “You did it girl, you did it for Scotland and you did it for Great Britain.” And the universe…

19:58 Simon: “You had every right to walk away from this. You could have had a lot of stuff coming your way in America. A lot of people said you were not equipped to deal with it. For what? To sit alone at home with your cat…you came, faced your critic and you beat them. I’ve got to know the real Susan Boyle, who’s not the person portrayed in the media…I absolutely adore you.” The Susan Boyle narrative takes the turn you’d expect it to – it’s redemption time!

20:01 Great spot by Mof Gimmers – Sue Boyle = Mickey Dolenz

20:02 SuBo’s performance was arguably better than her initial audition but the cynic in me says a lot of the stories about her “cracking up and boiling over” came from the show’s own PRs. Where would the excitement be if she won this thing easily?

20:04 They’re trailing America’s Got Talent. I really don’t think I’d be able to hack that.

20:05 Here come Diversity. It’s the second half of the street dance beat down. Will they floor Flawless?

“Diversity are an amazing group of boys,” says Amanda. Calm down.

20:06 Simon wonders if they can match their stellar choreography in earlier shows.

20:07 Yep. They can. It’s a robotic style dance with the group forming up into robot shapes before the appearance of BGT’s littlest Superman.

20:08 There’s a portion of the choreography that mimics the judge’s panel and the big red crosses. This is creative and frankly brilliant. They could well have the potential to steal a win.

20:10 Amanda thinks they’ve “blown Flawless out of the water”. She’s right.

“I don’t think there should be any assumptions about who’s going to win the show.” – Amanda.

“This would be the only performance I’d give a 10 to.” – Simon.

“I thought Flawless just edged it.” – Piers.

Piers is being deliberately contrary while Amanda and Simon are trying to keep the sense of drama going. Boy I’d love to hear the instructions from the producers in their earpieces.

20:12 Finally, it’s Julian the sax player. He’s a nice bloke but he lacks that killer reality TV story. His selling points appears to be – hey, I’m an ordinary guy with a wife and kids. How can he possibly compete against Tear Girl, SuBo, Shaheen or the world-beating robots of Diversity? Solo saxophone playing really only belongs in 80s films and soft-porn.

20:15 “Another fantastic response from the audience there,” says Ant unconvincingly.

20:17 He’s as bland as his music. Great comments from the judges but *yawn*.

20:18 Voting info and suchlike is here.

I don’t want to try and influence your vote at all. In fact, I Stavros Flatley refuse to do that kind of thing.

20:22 They’re already taking applications for next year’s show. It really is the show that never ends. You can hop over to ITV2’s Britain’s Got More Talent but I’m off for some more wine and a handful of sedatives. I’ll be back in an hour for the results. Try not to get too excited in the meantime.


21:29 Here they come. Is it a foregone conclusion or is SuBo cruising for a major upset?

21:32 You can tell it’s important because they’ve pulled out the Exorcist style portentous music – this isn’t them subtly telling us that Aidan is actually Damien in disguise is it?

21:35 Surely most of the acts must know a) that they’ve not go a snowball’s chance in hell of winning and b) that they’ll earn a nice wedge on the Britain’s Got Talent Live Tour. Can you imagine a less appetising proposition than that? At least Piers won’t be there I suppose.

21:37 Piers: “Loads of people have been texting me to book the acts. Freddy Flintoff wants to book Stavros Flatley for his birthday.” Translation: “I’ve got loads of mates. Loads of famous mates. I’m POPULAR I am. Honest.”

21:38 It’s the montage time – all of the weird ones, the farting guy, the Ferrero Roche eater (beaten by Ant), squeaky voiced man (“Brilliant,” said Piers.), the complaining mother-in-law, the exposed boobs lady.

Thankfully we’ve switched to clips of the finalists. Unfortunately it’s backed with Land Of Hope And Glory which does make it seem almost like a slightly more entertaining BNP party political broadcast.

21:42 The break: The Virgin trains ad “Platform 4 to Becky’s boyfriend’s flat” is pretty much the televisual equivalent of that couple kissing in the pub when you’ve just been chucked. Or that could just be me being sensitive.

21:46 We’re back. The phone lines are now closed. Please don’t call in and throw your cash away. Time to hear from the finalists one last time to hear what performing for the Queen would mean to them. This is both filling time and missing the point, there is £100,000 on the table too.

Hollie’s speech sounds like it was written for a little robot: “I would. Like. To. Perform. In. Front Of. The Queen. So I Could. Make. Her. Heart. Melt. Error. Error.”

Heather Mills is backing Susan Boyle. She just replied on Twitter to say: “she is talented and has been built up and torn down, people lose courage for no reason and think what’s the point in trying.”

21:50 Time for the public’s top 3 acts (in no particular order):

Susan Boyle – she looks incredibly spooked. Bless her.

Julian Smith – seriously? seriously? Oh lord, the country’s bad taste elements have been at work.

Diversity – that’s a good result.

Surely it has to be between Susan and Diversity. Julian is a total wildcard.

21:52 In third place – Julian Smith. He really punched above his weight. “I’m just happy to have taken part.” His final words are as bland as his performance.

21:53 Between Susan and Diversity. She looks so worried. I think this is almost too much for her.

The winner is…Diversity.


Susan looks relieved. “The best people won,” she says. “They’re very entertaining. Lads, I wish you all the best.”

She’s doing her odd hip wiggle again and has shown a bit of leg. That was slightly unsettling.

21:56 Diversity – deserving winners and clearly suprised to have won it.

They’re performin again and seeing the routine again it is genuinely impressive. I do wonder what Simon will be able to do with them. They’re not exactly the kind of cash cow a singer would have been. But then the Susan Boyle story is unlikely to end tonight. The album is inevitable and the thousands of column inches on her “loss” are going to fill tomorrow’s papers.

If you’re a real glutton for punishment, Britain’s Got More talent is on ITV2 now. I think I need a lie down. Or if you’re really masochistic – call up and register for Britain’s Got Talent 2010. Lines are open again now.

“Diversity were sheer and utter perfection,” says the continuity announcer. I think she’s a little bit in love.

That’s good night from me and good night from my fellow BGT liveblogger, the incomparable Lola Darling.


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  • regan

    Is it any surprise that the last three acts were the public’s top 3?  Once again, stupid voting system.  Freshest in your mind is bound to get the numbers dialed on the keypad.

    Susan not winning will no doubt just fuel the BGT fire.  Will she go on to great things now that she doesn’t have the Simon Cowell machine behind her or will the man still give her some coin and coaching?  After her dismal media display, is it any wonder she came second?

    Oh how quickly we turn!

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