Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Britain’s Got Talent Tour 2008, Brighton, 9th June 2008

Britain's Got Talent 2008What do you expect to see when you go to a production featuring the finalists from a TV talent show?

Well personally I expected to see the artists performing throughout the show.

I certainly did not expect half the show to be taken up by repeating the TV transmissions of Britain's Got Talent onto a large screen at the back of the stage.

We see enough repeats on TV without paying good money to go to the theatre to see even more. These long winded repeat sections were screened at the beginning of the show, before every single act and just before winner George Sampson came on it just went on and on and on.

With tickets starting at around £30+ booking fee this simply is taking the p***. Many families had paid extortionate prices (£100+) for touted tickets so their kids could see their favourite acts. For that they get a mainly repeated TV show.

Disgraceful !!

Well in between the repeat transmissions there was, thankfully, some entertainment from the finalists and a couple of the semi-finalists.

Here we go then.................

TV's Britains Got More Talent host, Stephen Mulhern, introduced both the acts and the TV repeats in his usual light hearted, comedic, way.


Trainee lawyer Suleman Mizra and PC World employee Madhu Singh kicked off the evening with their Michael Jackson dance act.

Predictably, the act was a near replica of their TV routine. But that's not to say it wasn't entertaining and it went down very well with the Brighton audience.

My only thoughts on Signature is that I wonder what else they are capable of ?.... there's only so long that a couple of Michael Jackson dance routines will keep the public amused.

Kate and Gin

.......Perhaps "One girl and her dog" could be their TV show?

I love Kate and Gin and judging from the audience reaction so did Brighton. What Kate Nicholas has achieved with her beloved border collie Gin is simply amazing.

It is one of those acts that looks even more amazing live than on TV. We were seated some distance from the front and it still looked wonderful.

I have heard people say that it's cruel to the dog, that Gin looks distressed.

That is absolute rubbish ! The trust and love between woman and dog is reflected in a flawless performance. Gin seems oblivious, not just to the loud music, but also to a sell-out huge audience.

Besides - does a guide dog enjoy leading a blind person around all day? Do police dogs enjoy jumping through hoops of fire at a public display? Drug sniffing dogs - do they get job satisfaction? Does a sheep dog not get bored with herding sheep into pens? Huskies might get sick of pulling sledges and what if St Bernard's refused to pull skiers out of avalanches because they don't really like the snow?

As you may have gathered I don't accept that Gin is distressed and that actually the opposite is true. If she didn't like it she'd run off and simply refuse to perform.

So to the people who knock Kate - get a life - and put things into perspective. It's a fantastic act and Gin is a credit to Kate's love and training.

The Cheeky Monkeys

Boy aren't these cute youngsters entertaining? Charlie Dixon and Krista Hyatt don't just have that ahhhh how sweet factor about them but they also have the cheekiest banter to go along with it. Oh and it just so happens that as a dancing duo they work perfectly together.

Having danced to a number from Grease it is not surprising that they got one of the biggest cheers of the night.

If you want to see just how cheeky these monkeys are just watch my short back stage video in this blog.

Andrew Muir

..... Or for those that can't remember him - the singing plumber.

This guy actually has a really good voice and that was reflected in a superb Brighton performance.

In fact I'd go as far as to say that his performances this evening were better than anything we saw on TV.

However there may be a reason behind this. In one of the tabloids after BGT's Andrew said he didn't sing his best because he'd been allocated a song that wasn't his type of music. Whereas others were left to sing what they want. It's a fair point and, as always, leads to suspicion that winners and losers may be predetermined in these TV shows.

Anyway a great performance from Andrew for the paying theatre goers!


The modern dance troupe don't really do anything for me.

In fact I am slightly mystified how they actually made it through to the final ahead of similar troupe Flava.

Flava appeared to be much more professional in the interpretation of the music.

I didn't enjoy Nemesis TV performances and I found the show performance to be quite repetitive and boring.

Tracy Lee Collins

OK he (or is that she?) wasn't a finalist but a popular semi-finalist in BGT.

However he is variety entertainment at its very best and putting him against one or two of the acts here tonight I think the guy deserved a finalist position.

So Tracy, keep putting on that frock and keep belting out those hits. I think Britain has not seen the last of Mr (Miss,Ms?) Collins by any means.

It was good to see you at Brighton Tracy !

Anya Sparks

Do I really have to give this some lineage here?

OK I'll be brief - Anya was also not a finalist.

Perhaps under equality laws you have to have a certain number of untalented people in a talent show?

I don't know.

For those who don't know though her act is impersonating a big wobbling blue blancmange............... I think she calls it dancing.

Enough said other than the fact it was a waste of another couple of minutes on top of all those repeats and I wasn't the only one who said "oh nooooo..." as she wobbled on.

Andrew Johnston

At 13 years old, Andrew quite clearly has a great singing voice.

Whilst he is young though it was quite clear that just like on TV Andrew's biggest downfall was still his nerves.

For a brief glimpse of how uncomfortable and nervous he was just look at my backstage video and pictures. From Krista Hyatt to George Sampson all the kids apart from Andrew appeared to have got more used to the new fame. Andrew still appeared to approach every action with trepidation.

From what we saw at Brighton these nerves were still reflected in the singing. The performance was good but I wouldn't describe it as great.

Andrew is young, but he has a long way to go to be the next Paul Potts. His fellow finalist Faryl Smith (who is one year younger) is light years ahead of him in terms of confidence.

Hopefully Andrew will get used to the fame very quickly and his confidence will flourish.

Faryl Smith

I am not really an opera fan.

But when this incredible 12 year old opens her mouth to sing, as Amanda Holden said on TV, "it gives you goose bumps".

Her voice is awesome, her confidence clear for all to see. You could almost hear all the non opera lovers saying "wow". Especially when she performed her part of Walking In The Air (from The Snowman) in the duet with Andrew Johnston.

This is where one of those BGT voting oddities comes into play. How the hell did Andrew Johnston who is very good but nowhere near as great or confident as Faryl actually beat her.

Actually I think as talent goes she has the most to offer of the lot. But maybe, this year, they didn't want a female Paul Potts.

I can't help feeling this because throughout the TV show time after time we heard presenters say "I think this year the winning act is going to be a non-singing act."

This was said on so many shows, I cannot see it as being coincidence.

I feel for Faryl the future holds some very big things indeed.


Daniel and Liam are a sort of Chippendales with kung-fu.

The well choreographed martial arts experts performed their well rehearsed routine apparently flawlessly.

Whether they did or didn't perform perfectly could never be judged from audience reaction as immediately they threw their tops off all you could hear was hysterical screaming (from girls I think)

I don't know what the future holds for these extremely fit individuals but whatever it is female fans are something they wont be short of.


It was reported in the live TV shows that Escala actually mimed to a backing track.

I have to wonder if this was the same on tour?

Especially as, at Brighton, one of the girls instrument strings quite clearly broke. This was early on in the performance and not only did she carry on playing with the string flying all over the place but the quality of the music seemed to be unaffected in the slightest.

If they do mime it's a shame. They must be able to play as I thought they started playing at weddings and other events.

But no matter how good they are or are not I cannot really take them too seriously.

Nobody seems to have mentioned that they are remarkably similar to Bond both in looks and style. This fact has hardly been mentioned.

From comments overheard at Brighton I heard comments, mainly from men, like "I only came for Escala". I'm not too sure if that was anything to do with any musical talent though?

George Sampson

And so we arrive at George Sampson, the 14 year old, street dancing, winner of Britain's Got Talent 2008.

From a purely personal point of view I don't think George was the most talented finalist, the teenage (particularly female) vote may have been effective in the win, but there is no doubt he is very entertaining, confident,determined and personable. However it was good to see a nice lad win.

Sadly considering he was the winner George's appearances were minimal. He performed a small part of a Thriller routine with Signature and Nemisis. He also, as expected, performed his Singing In The Rain dance which appeared to go ok except the rain seemed to start a little late!

Not typical of Sussex where in the last couple of years we've been lucky to see the rain stop!

I am sure ahead lies a long career in dance and entertainment for the young Mr Sampson.

And so we left The Brighton Centre with mixed views. The entertainment on the whole we had enjoyed but with half the show being a TV repeat we felt financially fleeced.

Then we tried to leave Brighton....... I say tried because the rear of The Brighton Centre was absolutely packed with a huge, mainly female crowd, screaming not just for George but for anybody they could spot.

It was utter chaos. The Brighton Centre are used to crowds but I don't think they were ready for this. There is a public road at the back and it just remained blocked, security staff just didn't seem to have any idea what to do.

Traffic couldn't pass and nobody could get to the car parks - including us. So I just joined the crowd and filmed a little footage in the dark of the finalists at the window to add to a little footage I had obtained prior to the show.

Would we go next year? Not if it involves watching TV repeats again!

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