Britain’s Got Talent 2011 The grand final: What the judges said!

Amanda Holden

The winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2011 was announced last night as Jai McDowall. The singer beat off competition from Paul Gbegbaje, Les Gibson, Michael Collings, Jean Martyn, Razy Gogonea, Steven Hall, Ronan Parke, New Bounce and James Hobley in last night's final.

After thousands of hopefuls auditioned, Jai McDowall won Britain’s Got Talent 2011, and walked away with £100,000 prize money and a coveted slot on this year’s Royal Variety Performance.

On winning the competition, Jai said: "It feels absolutely amazing."

The show also saw special guest performances from Nicole Scherzinger and America’s Got Talent’s Jackie Evancho.

Here's what the judges said about the finalists' performances...

Steven Hall
David: You could win this…it was very entertaining, very confident performance, very funny.

Michael: Hilarious, absolutely stunning, the dancers in audience, we’ve had dance off with Michael and Raza, but you could be the biggest threat.

Amanda: I love you, I could watch all night, for me my favourite act was Stavros Flatley and you are up there with them, I don’t know what’s going to happen tonight but you’re going to have a massive career, you’re going to do very well whatever happens, I’m going to book you.

Simon: Absolutely fantastic, you really are taking it seriously and you believe you can win, great lip synching, great tight moves, loved song choices…he’s (Steven’s) cool

Michael Collings
Michael: Congratulations, I loved it, I’m glad you did that song again, it was fantastic, you get better and better, your dress sense has greatly improved, if you make it to the Royal Variety Performance you’ll be in a tuxedo, and you might just make it there.

Amanda: Great song choice, it feels right with your voice, the huskiness is great for recording albums, I know your family are here and it means a great deal to then.

Simon: I’m glad you did that song as I wasn’t there the first time, it’s a brilliant song, in fact when you first sang it you sent the original back into the charts…you’re not bothered about things too much, you wear the same shirt the next day and when the song finishes, you’re like ‘whatever’ and that’s part of the appeal. You’re not a showy person, it’s all about the song, well done.

David: You’re such a likeable guy, when you come on stage you make me smile, I wish only the best for you, whether you win or not you whole life has changed forever, everyone’s looking at a star right now, you got it buddy.

Les Gibson
Amanda: Les, I was rooting for you, I loved your semi-final, tonight there were some gems wasn’t, but not quite as good as other evening, I loved your Hoff, Michael, Louis, you need to work on your Simon, sorry for that.

Simon: I sounded like Boris Karloff with the lisp, I don’t have a lisp, Dermot sounded like Ross Kemp, you got David right, Michael right, I didn’t think the script was that good, you’ve got three minutes, you’ve got a big audience, you’ve got to come out here and nail that routine…it was nowhere near as the one before, I think you’re in trouble tonight.

David: Les comes out with confidence, great looks, great charisma, the audience loves…hope you do well, whatever happens you’re going to have a huge long career.

Michael: It’s a massive show…you went for it and you were right to try and impersonate us, I applaud you and, like David said, you’ll have a very, very successful career.

James Hobley
Simon: I said this last time and I’ll say it again, that was absolutely brilliant, you’re fearless…I’ve never been a fan of individual dancers, but there’s something about you, you interpret the music, you’re passionate, you give it 100%, I think you’ll do well tonight.

David: When you dance you put me in a trance, I can’t stop watching you, whatever happens you’ll have a huge, long, fantastic career as a dancer…you did beautifully, congratulations.

Michael: I think you better than in the semi-finals, you kept it simple…last time there was a lot of smoke and we lost your dancing…this was graceful and magnificent.

Amanda: It’s a weird thing to watch modern dance and have it touch you, but you always touch me…you’ve overcome so much, it’s not about your story, it’s about your talent…I think you won everyone over again this evening.

Paul Gbegbaje
David: I honestly didn’t think you’d have a chance tonight, you so proved me wrong…you got better and better and by the end you blew me away…you did what you had to do to win this competition… you stepped it up five notches.


Michael: There’s nothing better in the final than witnessing someone raising their game and going for it…it was intricate and spectacular, I don’t think you realise how good you are, infinitely better than the semi-final, I think you’re in with a shot.

Amanda: It was very good, this is a fantastic platform for new music, you’re a beautiful pianist and this shows off you’re a great composer as well…congratulations.

Simon: It was a risk, the problem in your first audition is you did this medley which cheapened you, you’re better than that, then you decided tonight to take a risk and the risk paid of, absolutely great.

Ronan Parke
Michael: Ronan, seriously, that was perfect, I was such a great fan of yours, I felt nervous so hoping you’d do well and you put me at ease with your first note, perfection…I love the song as well, it shows off how much strength you have in your voice, absolutely exceptional, I’d pay to go and see you.

Amanda: The moment we set eyes on you in your audition there was a magic about you, your composure, strength of voice, you’re a gorgeous, gorgeous boy, you’re a credit to your parents and this show, congratulations.

Simon: (In reference to events of this week) You’ve coped so well, at your age, you come out on stage…it’s a big, big song and you nailed it, you just did brilliantly.

David: I wrote down that Ronan will win this competition if he nails it and buddy you nailed it.

Jean Martyn
Amanda: Brilliant again, I’m loving your jacket and the matching shoes, you’ve got a set of lashes on, you’ve really gone for it and I love the campness, the sparkle, I could watch you forever and ever

Simon: You’re like musical fish and chips...something you see at the end of the pier occasionally, have a good time, eat your, chips listen you sing…I had no idea what the dancers were doing, but it’s all part of the madness surrounding you I guess.

David: Once again you make me smile, I can imagine you at football stadiums playing, playing in front of 1000s of people, making them smile.

Michael: You know how much I love you, I would like to manage you Jean…I’d like to see lot of lookalike Jean Martyn’s on the stage…I preferred your semi-finals but I love you equally.

Jai McDowall
Simon: This was very, very well timed, this is you at your best, I love that song, I loved the whole staging of the choir, the drama, remember the winner of this show gets a hundred grand, and the chance to perform in front of the Royal Family and we saw last night, Diversity, they are winners because they act like winners and for the first time in this whole competition, you came out on the stage believing you could win…I don’t think the vocal was perfect, it was a little mototone, it could have done with more light and shade, but I’m going to take that into account and it was still terrific.

David: You sang beautifully, you come across as a humble, cool guy, you sing with your heart and it comes right through, you have a beautiful voice, I loved the choir, it looked like half of Scotland were here.

Michael: Jai, I echo what David said, I love your voice, your passion…you’re very stressed, but it’s good to see how much it means to you…when Simon mentioned the hundred grand you nearly keeled over…fantastic night, you should be very proud of yourself, you delivered, the whole of Scotland will be voting for you tonight.

Amanda: The boys have said it all, a powerful performance, you need to relax your hands, you did a lot tonight and I think you could be the dark horse in the competition.

Razi Gogonea
David: You’re on fire tonight, literally…fantastic.

Michael: You totally raised your game…excellent choreography…the fire was another level, a new dimension…it was sensational.

Amanda: Oh my goodness, I thought you were turning into Basil Fawlty…I didn’t know how you were going to pull that off but oh my god you did…you do the best everytime we see you and I applaud you, congratulations.

Simon: I thought the end of act was insane because you turned from a dancer into a circus performer…so many people do that and you couldn’t put it (the fire) out, the end didn’t work, you needed a big bang and instead we got a little fizzle, so I’m not sure that was the smartest decision you’ve ever made.

New Bounce
Michael: You’ve literally got better again, you were sensational…you look fantastic together, well done guys.

Amanda: You are so ‘now’ and so cute, you sound fantastic together, you’ve really improver…in the next few months we will definitely see your faces on an album cover.

Simon: You’re a group who could work in the real world, the whole idea, we see 1000s of auditionees to find somebody who will have a career in the future, we saw JLS perform last night and I see how they’ve progressed, I see that potentially that could happen with you guys…you’re nice guys, ambitious, everything I would love to find from a show like this…I’m hoping you’re in with a shot of winning, you deserve it.

David: You get better and better, I loved your song choice tonight…each one of you came through on your own, you guys could have a career for fifty years, you’re just starting out, fantastic job, congratulations.