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Britain’s Got Talent 2018: Jim Shelley reviews

How many of us could actually answer that perennial BGT question: why does a show called Britain’s Got Talent feature contestants who live in other countries – or travel round the globe, performing everywhere but here? (Usually Las Vegas if they are magicians.)

What percentage of the eight million viewers has a clue? Do you?

Even though we’re on our twelfth series now, it doesn’t really make sense.

From another world: Simon Cowell needed foreign successes like Baba Yega and Magus Utopia because our own acts were either so humdrum or excruciating on Britain’s Got Talent

Luckily, this week’s episode might have been a pointer.

Unfortunately, if you were British though, it wasn’t very positive.

The most likely explanation is that Britain had got talent, just not very much of it, or rather only humdrum skills.

Simon Cowell needed star performers like the underwater escapologist, acrobat, and comic turn from Canada, Los Angeles, and Japan in the previous two shows to jazz things up.

When the audience wanted something with international quality that was provided by 16 year-old opera singer Amy Marie Borg (from Malta) and dance troupe Baba Yega (from Belgium). They expected something exciting. Cowell gave them ‘fantasy illusionists’ Magus Utopia from the Netherlands.

New vibe: They expected something exciting. Cowell gave them ‘fantasy illusionists’ Magus Utopia from the Netherlands

New vibe: They expected something exciting. Cowell gave them ‘fantasy illusionists’ Magus Utopia from the Netherlands

‘It was like a scene from a MOVIE!’ Alesha Dixon cooed about their version of Cirque Du Soleil collaborating with Tim Burton. ‘Because the costumes, the acting, everything was so slick!’

Simon Cowell agreed because he knew full well ‘slick’ meant… money.

‘I like that big ambition. And I think magic is getting bigger and bigger and bigger, so this is great timing,’ he told them, not even pretending anything else mattered.

‘Why did you come to Britain’s Got Talent?’ he asked.

‘We love the UK. And we didn’t perform so much here yet,’ said their spokesman. Unlike 30 other countries…

Outlandish: Cowell approved of Baba Yega too, telling them: ‘Aliens have never won the show before so we welcome you to Britain’s Got Talent'

Outlandish: Cowell approved of Baba Yega too, telling them: ‘Aliens have never won the show before so we welcome you to Britain’s Got Talent’

Cowell approved of Baba Yega too, telling them: ‘Aliens have never won the show before so we welcome you to Britain’s Got Talent.’

The dance troupe was unusual but in fact they were from Belgium.

As luck would have it, in 2016 they had won Belgium’s Got Talent and finished second in the final of the German series.

The British acts were mundane and thoroughly unspectacular compared to Baba Yega and Magus Utopia.

Without them the episode would have resembled the type of line-up you’d find in a holiday camp – not comprised of professional entertainers but guests chancing their arm or having a laugh.

Revealed: As luck would have it, in 2016 they had won Belgium’s Got Talent and finished second in the final of the German series 

Revealed: As luck would have it, in 2016 they had won Belgium’s Got Talent and finished second in the final of the German series 

Martin Westgate for example was a duty manager in a retail outlet whose gags were so groan-inducingly lame people were smiling more in disbelief than amusement.

Jadoo’s Jingles were equally embarrassing and amateurish.

Seven women from Berkshire, they announced they would be performing ‘an American tribal-style belly dance’ but just walked round in circles with swords on their heads, not doing anything with their bellies, interesting or otherwise.

Even David Walliams, who normally likes such eccentric novelty nonsense, buzzed them off immediately, sighing: ‘Sorry I was losing the will to live!’

Boring: Seven women from Berkshire, they announced they would be performing ‘an American tribal-style belly dance’ but just walked round in circles with swords on their heads

Boring: Seven women from Berkshire, they announced they would be performing ‘an American tribal-style belly dance’ but just walked round in circles with swords on their heads

After 55 year-old Londoner Jon Davison performed an almost stationary tap dance with a fake leg Walliams felt the need to reassure the other judges: ‘We can get through this together!’

The Ratpackers were nice guys but nothing particularly special.

‘You were a breath of fresh air!’ Alesha Dixon cried, which was the last thing they were, given that their rendition of ‘New York New York’ was sheer nostalgia – the type of standard ersatz Swing we had enough of from Robbie Williams.

Old school: The Ratpackers were nice guys but nothing particularly special

Old school: The Ratpackers were nice guys but nothing particularly special

Over the top: The judges got totally carried away about Mandy Mullen

Over the top: The judges got totally carried away about Mandy Mullen

The judges got totally carried away about Mandy Mullen.

‘I don’t get why you’re not already a comedy superstar!’ declared David Walliams when her likeably homely brand of magic (drawing pictures on pieces of paper etc) was more suited to families on holiday: CBeebies at best.

The other three British acts were eccentric to the point of being vaguely disturbing.

Humanimals were two dancers wearing body paint to resemble a rather risqué female zebra and randy male monkey. When they started shaking their tails at the judges, even David Walliams prudishly pressed his buzzer.

The discovery that the ape was a 45 year-old man (Alex) and the twerking zebra (Kate) 27 only confirmed your feeling there was something slightly unsavoury and Not Quite Right about it. (It wasn’t natural – for animals or humans.)

Weird: Humanimals were two dancers wearing body paint to resemble a rather risqué female zebra and randy male monkey

Weird: Humanimals were two dancers wearing body paint to resemble a rather risqué female zebra and randy male monkey

Lexie and Christopher were only 10 but the way they performed their Latin ballroom routine and talked on stage was eerily grown-up – like a follow-up to the Rick Moranis movie where it was not the kids but two adults who had shrunk.

‘How did you guys meet?’ asked David Walliams, who also seemingly finding it difficult not to treat them as a couple closer to 20 than 10.

‘Well there’s a website…’ explained Lexie casually. ‘And if you’re both in the same category then you’re a match!’

Presumably this wasn’t as alarming as it sounded – like a junior version of Tinder.

Pint-sized: Lexie and Christopher were only 10 but the way they performed their Latin ballroom routine and talked on stage was eerily grown-up

Pint-sized: Lexie and Christopher were only 10 but the way they performed their Latin ballroom routine and talked on stage was eerily grown-up

‘Christopher, is she the boss in this relationship?’ wondered Walliams.

‘She thinks she is,’ quipped Chris as suavely as a mini Warren Beatty.

David Walliams then asked which song they were dancing to.

‘My Future Husband – because he’s my future husband,’ Lexie declared, sounding not so much like a schoolgirl with a crush, more a potential stalker (albeit a small one).

‘Ooh he’s like: I’m not sure about that!’ observed Alesha Dixon, when Christopher’s expression remained determinedly gloomy.

But Lexie was adamant they would marry, totally ignoring it when he insisted: ‘she’s just annoying.’

Sweet: ‘My Future Husband – because he’s my future husband,’ Lexie declared, sounding not so much like a schoolgirl with a crush, more a potential stalker (albeit a small one)

Sweet: ‘My Future Husband – because he’s my future husband,’ Lexie declared, sounding not so much like a schoolgirl with a crush, more a potential stalker (albeit a small one)

‘They were like Barry and Yvonne from Hi-Di-Hi!’ David Walliams exclaimed as Lexie and Christopher left the stage.

Given that they were only ten years old this wasn’t necessarily a good thing but slightly creepy.

There was something almost unnaturally wholesome about the act that closed the show too.

Predictably 43 year-old Tim Goodacre and his boy Jack (12) won a standing ovation, made Amanda Holden cry (or pretend to), and received the golden buzzer from Simon Cowell – more for being ‘adorable’ than their singing.

Squeaky clean: There was something almost unnaturally wholesome about the act that closed the show too

Squeaky clean: There was something almost unnaturally wholesome about the act that closed the show too

Alesha Dixon unwittingly summed them up best when she joked ‘you’re by far the coolest father and son act we’ve ever had!’

This was so obviously the basis of their appeal it was hard to shake off the suspicion that appearing with his son as a duo was just a brilliant gimmick Tim had thought of to disguise his limitations.

The harsh reality was neither Tim nor Jack would have gone through if they’d been solo contestants. Their voices weren’t that good and their composition about being ‘The Lucky Ones’ was so soppy it made The Waltons look like the Mansons.

Simon Cowell certainly fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

Sensational: Predictably 43 year-old Tim Goodacre and his boy Jack (12) won a standing ovation, made Amanda Holden cry and received the golden buzzer from Simon Cowell

Sensational: Predictably 43 year-old Tim Goodacre and his boy Jack (12) won a standing ovation, made Amanda Holden cry and received the golden buzzer from Simon Cowell

‘I love that song!’ he told Tim, having run on stage to celebrate sending them straight into the final. ‘It reminded me of me and my boy.’

Well it would do. This was clearly the idea – for Cowell and every dad who loved his son.

There was something slightly Mini-Me about the way Jack’s jeans, t-shirt, and even his acoustic guitar, were identical to his father’s.

The way Tim talked about how close they were you almost assumed he was going to reveal that he was a single parent and Jack an only child.

Cute: There was something slightly Mini-Me about the way Jack’s jeans, t-shirt, and even his acoustic guitar, were identical to his father’s

Cute: There was something slightly Mini-Me about the way Jack’s jeans, t-shirt, and even his acoustic guitar, were identical to his father’s

In fact Tim told the judges: ‘I play music but I’m a full time dad to Jack, Lily, Gabrielle, and Kimberley.’

You wondered how they felt about his VT earlier, seeing him gushing: ‘I’ve always wanted to be a dad. When you find out you’re having a son you go: ‘yes! Finally someone who will understand me!’

I’m not sure that’s really the point of parenthood but still… His daughters probably ‘understand’ him more than he thinks.

Proud dad: I’m not sure that’s really the point of parenthood but still… His daughters probably ‘understand’ him more than he thinks

Proud dad: I’m not sure that’s really the point of parenthood but still… His daughters probably ‘understand’ him more than he thinks



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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