A spooky magician, an adorable school choir and a singing Dalek were among the highlights on the launch episode of Britain’s Got Talent 2019.
Fan-favourite judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams are back again to scour the UK (and abroad) for the best talent they can find.
There is some mild trepidation this time, though, as the ITV talent contest is now in its unlucky thirteenth series.
Fortunately, there’s nothing unlucky about the contestant line-up, as tonight’s opener was packed with hilarious, jaw-dropping and thoroughly entertaining performances.
As always, hopefuls are competing for a £250,000 cash prize, and a spot on the bill at the Royal Variety Performance.
The show also saw the reunion of presenters Ant and Dec, as Ant returns to our screens following his lengthy break.
Read on for the lowdown on the week one results…
The Queen (4 yeses) – No, Her Majesty hasn’t auditioned to appear at her own variety show. This monarch is in fact a drag artist, who was led to her throne by guards before making a comedic address to the nation. She referred to Amanda as Simon’s Camilla Parker Bowles and called Alesha “below average”. That latter gag earned her a buzz, which she hilariously brushed off as if she’d passed wind. The Mis-Teeq star forgave HRH in her critique, calling her “the most original, most funny, most brutal act”. Simon added: “I want you to perform for you at the Royal Variety!”
Fabulous Sisters (4 yeses) – The judges may now be getting bored by dance acts, but one who bucked the trend is this all-female group from Japan. Their fast-paced yet pin-sharp movements captured the attention of the London Palladium and won them a standing ovation. “It was astonishing what you did, it was incredible,” reviewed David. “You’re the sweetest, daintiest girls, then you just turned in to these fierce warriors,” observed Alesha. “It hit me so hard, I’m a little speechless!”
Y Pedwar Covi (4 yeses) – Dressed in knee-length coats, kilts and stetson hats and carrying violin cases, Welsh foursome Covi (as Alesha called them for short) seemed like they’d be a fairly serious music act – until they stripped off, revealing suggestively-placed pots and pans, which they proceeded to hit by thrusting. “This is what I love about this show. Such a silly act, right up my street!” grinned David. “It was a proper variety act, which Britain’s Got Talent celebrates,” commented Amanda.
Jimmy Tamley (4 yeses) – Jimmy’s been a professional ventriloquist for forty years with an array of characters in his repertoire. However, for his BGT audition, Jimmy turned Amanda and David into his dummies, fitting them with comedy masks which he controlled. The joker made David skip, ballet dance and even perform a striptease for a mortified Simon. He ended by giving himself two yesses through his puppets’ mouths. “I feel like my career is over, but that was fantastic,” smirked David. “I’m gonna have some seriously bad dreams tonight,” mused Simon.
Faith Tucker (4 yeses) – Given that 18-year-old student Faith’s biggest inspiration is Beyoncé, you’d have been forgiven for expecting her to perform a huge pop hit. Instead, she surprised the audience with a powerful rendition of the classical piece ‘Granada’. “I wasn’t expecting that, to be honest,” reacted Dec from the sidelines. Amanda described her voice as a “total knockout”, while Alesha praised her “depth, warmth and richness” and said she “commands attention”.
The Haunting (4 yeses) – Flickering lights heralded the arrival of Elizabeth, who aims to “make the impossible possible” with magic. The reason for her stage name became clear when she led Amanda beneath the stage in search of the ghosts that haunt the theatres of London. Watching on the big screen, the other judges saw her make a connection with one Agatha Turner – whose spectre then appeared, leading a terrified Amanda back to her chair. “It was the most scary act we’ve ever had and I want to see more,” gasped Alesha. “I was seriously spooked,” noted David.
Siobhan Phillips (4 yeses) – Musical comedy was popular on last year’s series thanks to the likes of Robert White and Micky P Kerr, and now Siobhan is picking up the baton. She took to a grand piano, performing a song about giving birth at middle age. Lyrics included: “I’ve piled on weight, they say when is it due? / I answered through gritted teeth, she’s just turned two!” Resident comic David said: “I think comedy songs are actually really hard to pull off, to get belly laughs throughout, and you did. You’re a real talent.” Simon felt she was “endearing” and “lit up the room”.
Vardanyan Brothers (4 yeses) – Episode one concluded with the death-defying stunt to end all death-defying stunts. The Vardanyans, who were born in Armenia and live in Russia, began their gymnastics display with one performing a headstand on top of the other’s own noggin. However, things took a terrifying turn when they performed the move again with swords, balanced tip-to-tip. The crowd shrieked in horror, and Simon even ducked behind Amanda. “I almost was gonna say you can’t do this,” he admitted. “This is the most dangerous act I’ve seen on a Got Talent show.”
Ron (4 nos) – Having previously featured dancing stormstroopers, tonight BGT welcomed a singing Dalek to its stage. While Boogie Storm managed to reach third place, cyborg Ron’s robotic cover of ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ failed to amuse the judges and got him buzzed off. “I just worry you’re cheating and using a vocoder. You’re the best Dalek we’ve seen today,” laughed David. “Strangely, I think there’s an audience for this,” added Simon.
The Golden Buzzer
Flakefleet Primary School (David’s Golden Buzzer) – A series opener wouldn’t be complete without a Golden Buzzer moment, and tonight’s came when headteacher Dave took to the stage with the 4 to 11-year-old choir from Flakefleet Primary School. “Some are amazing singers, some are just enthusiastic,” he joked. Fulfilling member Megan’s dream of appearing on BGT, the kids sang a cover of Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ in a range of wacky outfits while bouncing inflatable globes over the audience. Dave even took off his suit to reveal a Union Jack-emblazoned onesie underneath.
The gang huddled together in celebration, with some even began crying – but they weren’t the only ones in tears. After drying his eyes, a visibly emotional David hit the Golden Buzzer, sending the school straight through to the live shows and leaving them swimming in confetti. “You’re just one of the most joyous things I’ve ever seen. You’ve made our hearts soar today,” he said. “It’s what you want your childhood to have been like, just full of unbridled joy.”
Which of tonight’s acts impressed you the most? Vote for your favourite in our poll:
Britain’s Got Talent continues next Saturday at its usual time of 8.00pm on ITV.
Stephen Mulhern presents spin-off Britain’s Got More Talent straight after the main show each week on ITV2.