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Series: Britain's Got Talent
Britain's Got Talent
is an ITV Talent Show
where people perform talent acts with the aim of winning a public vote and perform in front of HM The Queen
(for the second series HRH The Prince of Wales) at The Royal Variety Show
. Each contestant performs in front of three or four judges. The judges have three/four buzzers and can push them if they want the act to stop. All buttons pressed- the act stops. Tolerated primarily for the ridiculous and often hilariously bad auditions and the inevitable scathing responses.
The judges here are/were:
- Simon Cowell (2007-present); THE Mean Brit, even in his own country; sat out the auditions in the 2011 series but returned for the 2011 live shows and onwards
- Amanda Holden (2007-present); comedy actress and model (Google Image Search will generate underwear)
- Piers Morgan (2007-2010); former editor of the Daily Mirror; left after the 2010 series to build his career in America
- Morgan is dubbed "Piers Moron" by Private Eye as Ian Hislop has a long-standing feud with him, was actually sacked by the paper after running pictures purporting to show Iraqis being abused by British troops. That were in fact mocked up — in the UK. Military commentators spotted errors very quickly.
- Morgan is probably the least popular man on British TV. Stephen Fry — the most cuddly man in the world — defined "countryside" as killing Piers Morgan on I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, and angry environmentalists say of Jeremy Clarkson "but he did punch Piers Morgan".
- Kelly Brook (2009); model and actress (Google Image search is probably NSFW). She was briefly a judge for season three, but four judges was found to be impractical and she was made redundant.
- Louis Walsh (2010-present); one of Cowell's co-judges on The X Factor; not a regular judge on this show, but occasionally shows up when one of the other judges is ill or otherwise busy
- David Hasselhoff (2011); former America's Got Talent judge
- Michael McIntyre (2011); stand-up comedian
- Alesha Dixon (2012-present); singer, recently defected from Strictly Come Dancing
- David Walliams (2012-present); comedian and actor
The two hosts of the show are Ant And Dec
The show also airs a spin-off, Britain's Got More Talent
, after each episode of the main show on ITV 2
. This show is hosted by magician/presenter Stephen Mulhern
and focuses more on the backstage elements of the show, with a stronger emphasis on comedy.
Has a Trans Atlantic Equivalent
in the form of America's Got Talent
, which debuted first in 2006 due to issues with the British pilot.
This show contains examples of:
- Anticlimax - Many viewers reacted with outrage at the producers' decision not to allow dancers Michael Moral and Razy Gogonea both through to the semi-finals (initially they only put the latter through) on the grounds that their acts were too similar. Eventually, Simon Cowell intervened and personally had Moral invited back to the last semi-final to let the public decide who was the better act. When the episode aired, Moral put in a sloppy, amateurish performance that saw him finish third-bottom in the night's voting, while Gogonea's showstopping performance saw him through to the final, where he finished fourth overall.
- Aside Glance - Stephen Mulhern does these on ''Britain's Got More Talent", mostly along the lines of "Have you ever wanted to see... (aside glance) No? Me neither." It may sound repetitive, but they are quite funny when you see his face.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: David is this: he acts like a campy, goofy poof a good deal of the time, but when it comes to judging, he gives genuinely fair critiques to contestants and is more balanced than the harsher Simon or the nicer Amanda and Alesha.
- Camp Straight - David Walliams, the happily married judge who likes to refer to "my Simon" and championing Camp Gay acts such as the Show Bears and the Sugar Dandies.
- Canon Discontinuity - Two acts in the first season were put through in auditions, and then put through to the semi-finals, but mysteriously vanished from the line-up before the live shows started, replaced by two previously eliminated. Both turned out to have dubious legal dealings, and were quietly kicked off the show. In fact, at no point was their departure ever mentioned on screen, so viewers were left a bit confused.
- Neil Horan, a former priest who infamously ruined a marathon by running out on the track (and was convicted for it), not only auditioned, but passed. Needless to say, the judges had no idea who he was, and once they found out, he was removed (again, quietly) from the running for the semi-finals.
- Determinator - David J. Watson, the only person to date who has auditioned for the show on four separate occasions. He first appeared in 2008, where he did political impersonation act that was hilarious for all the wrong reasons, then showed up again in 2010 where he performed a bizarre mix of Incredible Hulk and Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. His appearance in 2011 saw him try to pull off "magic trick" that didn't really amount to anything more than a high school science experiment. In his most recent attempt in the 2013 series, he brought back up in the form of two collegues, one of whom seemed not very enthusiastic in being there. His act involved a small comedy sketch where David pretends to drill through a wall and into a person, who then 'comically' spins around. This was achieved by having one guy arc the top half of his body over the wall, and then the other guy waves a pair of fake legs. It was as bad as it sounds. Only David Walliams seemed amused.
- Drag Queen - Simon Cowell half-jokingly asked auditionee Tracy Lee Collins to come back in a dress. He did, and the results were pretty awesome, actually.
- Distracted by the Sexy - Simon on a regular basis. Anytime there is a pretty woman on stage he can't stop grinning, and the cameras show him blatantly checking them out. So much so there is a video called Britain's Got Pervert...
- Lampshaded by the other judges multiple times.
- Are you an attractive male who is not wearing a shirt? Congratulations! You've just earned Amanda Holden's undivided attention. (If you're attractive enough, the shirt can stay on, and you'll still have her undivided attention.)
- Epic Fail - James Boyd's act was to try to beat the world record for the number of Ferrero Rocher chocolates eaten in one minute. The record was seven, and he managed... four. To make it an even more spectacular failure, Ant tried the same act backstage and beat him by eating five in the same amount of time.
- Boyd returned one year later to attempt the world record for most After Eight mints eaten without using his hands. The record was eight, and after seven months of practice, he managed... five. Mostly because he didn't prepare all of his mints beforehand. Ant tried his hand again, and actually tied the record of eight!
- As his time was running out, Boyd began using his hands. That's right, Boyd cheated and STILL failed.
- Fangirl - If you're a attractive young man without a shirt on, expect a yes from Amanda.
- Lampshaded by Ant & Dec with the martial arts duo Strike from season 2, who mentioned that Strike had, among other things, "...a judge who fancies the pants off them." Actually, come to think of it, Amanda's fangirling over Strike was lampshaded by just about everybody.
- One male act in the 2010 series actually striped off completely naked, and Amanda's reaction was precisely as enthusiastic as you'd expect. Despite the act in question having probably his best ever chance of getting through to the semi-finals, with Louis Walsh standing in for Simon, he wasn't voted through.
- Hopeless Auditionees
- Inept Talent Show Contestant
- Lame Pun Reaction - One pun earned an impressionist the rare honour of being buzzed off before even being allowed to perform his act. He nonchalantly walked out on to the stage wearing a custard doughnut on his head, and when Piers questioned what it was doing there, the contestant replied "I've just been to the hairdressers, and I've got my hair in a bun." The judges showed their appreciation of this joke by all hitting their buzzers at once, and the hapless contestant left without having done a single impression.
- Manipulative Editing - A specific example: Part of the reason the Susan Boyle story was such a runaway success was the brilliant editing of the clip that introduced her. For the first two minutes, she is set up as a classic Hopeless Auditionee: they seem to find the most unflattering shots of her (the very first one we see is her biting into a sandwich); the background music is a slow, lumbering oom-pah-pah melody; she herself seems rather... quirky ("And that's just one side of me!", followed by a shimmy), if not quite as deluded as most Hopeless Auditionees. If anything, the viewer would feel pity for this poor old woman who is about to embarrass herself on national television. And then, of course, she sings. Re-watching the audition (as many, many people did) gives the opening an entirely different tone: Boyle's unusual self-confidence is now perfectly understandable, and her quirks therefore seem more endearing. But it's clear that the editing is actually setting her up as the underdog: note the very large number of cynical reaction shots (one of these, the "girl at 1:24", actually gained notoriety because of this), and the way the goofy music suddenly disappears when Susan delivers her most heartfelt line: "I've always wanted to perform in front of a large audience". Needless to say, it all worked like a charm, and it became one of the biggest pop culture stories of 2009.
- Ms. Fanservice - Amanda Holden
- The Mean Brit - Simon AND Piers. Granted, Piers is a little less negative than on America's Got Talent.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: However, Simon tends to be nicer to younger contestants, while Piers sometimes gives otherwise hopeless acts a chance to continue before pressing his buzzer.
- Mundane Made Awesome - On the side of the contestants in the defense of their usually poor acts. In a meta sense, the need to play Lux Aeterna or some derivative of otherwise epic music at EVERY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY!
- Name's the Same - In addition to the aforementioned David J. Watson, another David Watson auditioned in 2009, this time performing a singing act. Unfortunately, this David Watson was about as good at singing as the first one was at doing impressions. There was one difference between the two however, as David Watson the singer took his failure with good humour and said he still enjoyed the experience, while David Watson the impressionist (and later magician and Dancing Hulk) always seems genuinely shocked when no-one likes his acts.
- In addition, there's the 2008 dancing auditionee David Williams who was far from pleased with Simon's comments and the 2012 judge David Walliams (which is a stage name; his real name indeed being David Williams).
- Odd Couple: Simon Cowell and David Walliams.
- Refuge in Audacity: In the "Interval Pub Games" sketch in Britain's Got More Talent (2012), the winner in the pub game between Ant and Dec becomes the "Top Ranker". Now, understanding what other word ranker sounds like, everyone proceeds to repeatedly chant "Ranker!" at the winner.
- Now in the most recent series, "Fairground Fantasy" (2013), the title is changed to the "masterater". It becomes especially fitting in the semi-finals which involves celebrity guests milking a prop cow competing to get the most milk out of it, an alternate title being "Massive Yanker."
- The Runner Up Takes It All - Susan Boyle has a multi-platinum album, and everybody just assumes she won Series 3 thanks to Memetic Mutation, but...
- Having said that, Diversity, the actual winners of that series have still had one of the best careers out of any BGT finalist to date. It probably safe to say that had the runner-up of that series been anyone except Boyle, this trope wouldn't have applied.
- Seinfeld Is Unfunny - Frequently invoked by the judges, particularly with regard to dance groups. Even otherwise competent acts can get buzzed off near-instantly if they're regarded to be too similar to a previously successful act.
- Trans Atlantic Equivalent - America's Got Talent.
- Sturgeon's Law: A rare case where this ISN'T a bad thing. It could be argued that this is why the show is tolerated by audiences. They primarily want to see the crap acts, with the REALLY good stuff being a bonus.
- What the Hell, Hero? - After chanting, "OFF! OFF! OFF!" for the entirety of one (very bad) act, the audience booed loudly at Simon Cowell when he gave a damning review of the act. He turned to them and pointed out their blatant hypocrisy.
- The judges (excluding Simon, obviously) have had these moments, as well. A notable example happened during Mike Henderson's audition. Henderson's act was balancing upside down on sword handles while picking up a knife with his teeth. Piers buzzed while Henderson was inches above the blade. Seconds after the buzz, it appeared to many like Henderson was about to fall onto the blade, however it was part of his act. Amanda shrieked, left her seat and turned towards the audience, unable to watch. Once the act was over, she quickly confronted Piers, calling him irresponsible. Simon remarked to Henderson, "I think Piers nearly killed you." Kelly asked Piers if he did it on purpose, and he replied that he "couldn't even see the sword near [his] mouth" and then apologized to Henderson.