So Britain’s Got Talent is finally over. Yet again, the nation allowed itself to be sucked into Simon Cowell’s hype and bullshit machine only to find that the entertainment was on par with your average episode of 64 Zoo Lane on CBeebies. The bastard.
Is BGT fixed? Are there all manner of shenanigans that go on behind the scenes in terms of contestant recruitment and ‘grooming’? I fucking well hope not – because if THAT was the best that could be conjoured up with the deployment of careful manipulation, then Britain’s Got Problems.
We knew we were in trouble from the very beginning. The judges emerged on to the stage, holding hands as usual, apart from The Hoff (now 67% Max Headroom) that is. No hand-holding with Michael McIntyre from Michael Knight – alerting us to the probable fact that the jittery non-funnyman has sweaty palms.
Then there was a graituitous and unnecessary lingering camera shot that crawled slowly up Amanda Holden’s legs. All I could think was ‘Ugh – Les Dennis has probably had his tongue there. And Neil Morrissey.’
But the show isn’t about the judges, it’s about the stars-in-waiting, and these are apparently the ten most talented newcomers in the nation right now. Brace yourselves...
STEVEN HALL: This man has to be stopped. Looking like a cross between Larry David and a sex offender, his act is simply to prance about and mime to some of the hits of the day. Actually, if we do need to stop him, let’s just get the contents of his hard drive examined. Ironically, for a silent act, Steven had lost his voice, and there was a terrifying moment as he stood with Ant & Dec where I swear a look flashed across his face that screamed ‘This is it – I’m going to get my cock out on live telly. Here we go...’. Fortunately, he didn’t.
This man has to be stopped. Looking like a cross between Larry David and a sex offender
MICHAEL COLLINGS: The GCSE Guy Garvey, Michael sat down and reprised his cover version of Fast Car that had got him through the auditions. Essentially, he took a boring song and made it annoying. Cowell’s incessant bigging up of this tuneless scrote this week has been mystifying – fortunately the voting public saw right through it and Collings has already been erased from Britain’s collective memory. Expect to see him in a hi-vis bib on the BGT arena tour, checking tickets.
LES GIBSON: Fuck-a-doodle-doo – where to begin with this bloke? Les seems to have pioneered a new style of mimicry where he doesn’t feel the need to try all that hard to sound like the person that he’s impersonating. Like a kind of loose, jazz brand of impersonation. Helpfully, he announces their name so that we know who we’re meant to be listening to. His workmates will tear him apart when he goes back on Monday morning. He’ll probably also get a one-off ITV special in a few months, like that no-mark from last year.
JAMES HOBLEY: Newcastle United midfielder Alan Smith in tights. Boring. Next.
PAUL GBEGBAJE: The shy pianist. I wasn’t sure if that was his surname or the order that he played the notes in the finale of his act. Sadly, while Paul was hunched over his piano, I was hunched over a carton of barbecue spare ribs – and they were way more compelling than he was. If Paul could have made his eyeballs pop out as he played, he’d have been a shoe-in to win.
RONAN PARKE: Little Mister Controversy. Depending on who you believe, this kid is a singing marionette who has been quietly groomed by Cowell for the past two years or just some kid who sings at parties hosted by ex-Norwich keeper Bryan Gunn now and again. Either way, nothing weird going on here. Simon let me down on this one – I expected him to say “For legal reasons, I cannot offer an opinion”, but no, he waxed lyrical about his waxy new Justin Bieber clone instead. Amanda stumbled her way through a sentence that almost came out as "From the moment we set eyes on you... erm, in that audition... not, erm, in 2009 or anything." We’re watching you Cowell – know this.
JEAN MARTYN: The wild card – could this piano-punching advert for HRT win the thing? No – she came dead last, in spite of heartily singing along to the tunes she was destroying, even though there was no microphones within 20 feet of her. She’s probably got one of those special phones with massive buttons at home. Notably, Jean was the only female in the line-up, which automatically makes her Britain's Most Talented Woman – doesn’t it?
JAI MCDOWALL: Nothing remarkable about this bloke, a scruffy light opera singer – a Paul Pisspots if you will or a Roughell Watson. Nothing remarkable until he stands sideways on and you notice that he has a nose that looks capable of opening a tin of beans. Now that would have been an act.
RAZY GOGONEA: Dancing, body-popping, mild contortion, a sleep inducing penultimate act. Oddly, Razy announced that he’d only had two hours sleep the previous night, trumping Michael Collings, who confessed that he’d had five hours shut-eye. It is believed that Jean Martyn hasn’t slept since 1983.
NEW BOUNCE: Last but not least, it’s one of the most highly-rated acts, with some vaguely racist comparisons to JLS being bandied about wherever they go. On the night, it looked like someone had built a time machine & reimagined the Jackson 5 without that kiddy-fiddling, dead one in the line-up. As Simon said about New Bounce afterwards: "You guys are perfect – after all, this show is about me finding someone I can exploit and make a massive short-term profit from." OF COURSE HE DIDN’T
There it was then, the ten most talented newcomers in the land, and while we waited for the votes to be counted, we were treated to some opera-singing kid from America who might not have been a human being actually. If she is, in less than seven years from now, she'll be waving a gun around in an Iowa motel room, accusing an invisible friend of hiding all the dope. I guarantee it.
So, as we all wondered if it would be New Bounce or Ronan who won, the whole thing spun right off its axis as JAI FUCKING McDOWALL was announced as the winner. No one seemed to know what was going on, and the winner himself looked thoroughly embarrassed about it all, probably feeling like Lyle Lovett did when he got Julia Roberts to marry him.
It’s twelve hours later as I type this and I’m still not quite sure what happened. This is like when Greece won Euro 2004 – it’s completely and utterly off the map. What happened? Did Cowell respond to the allegations that it’s all a fix by fixing it to make it look like it definitely wasn’t a fix? I don’t even know who I am any more.
All I do know is that Jai is a shoe-in for the lead role in 'Barry Manilow - The Opera' and I’ll just have to cling to that for now...
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