Good day to you all, and welcome to a special Britain’s Got Talent edition of TTWTWB as we look at the acts that have made it to the final, and preview who has a chance of winning. As always we start with a theme, and this week we have a song I heard somewhere this week, but honestly cannot remember where. Still, it’s an absolutely bewitching song, and it moves me in a way not many songs have ever done (see how I bare my soul to you people?!). It’s ‘Use Somebody’ by Kings of Leon.
Before we get underway, I do feel it important to mention that as Coronation Street has been indefinately suspended in the wake of the terrible events in Cumbria this week, I won’t be discussing any Soaps until Coronation Street resumes. My thoughts and prayers go to the friends and family of the victims, and although it’s a miniscule gesture in the scheme of things, out of respect I don’t wish to make light of any fictional events that fall in dangerously close territory to the real life tragedy.
The Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Finals were the talk of the town this week, and while the number of outstanding acts is significantly lower this year in comparison to previous years (as evidenced by the number of ‘joke’ acts that serve only to boggle the mind present), the acts going through are making for a very interesting lineup for the Final and one which is very difficult to call.
Out of those finalists, as popular she is and as enjoyable as it is to see a nice experienced performer get her time in the sun, Janey Cutler is probably the weakest link. Tina and Chandi really pulled it together in their Semi-Final after an audition which while full of potential was disjointed. Christopher Stone I don’t see having the broad appeal needed to win, and Twist and Pulse while impressive and entertaining lack the gravitas. Tobias Mead is wildly popular, but I don’t know if a solo dancer can produce the variety needed to offer a complete enough performance.
That leaves us with the 3 child acts, comedian-impressionist Paul Burling and acrobatic dance act Spellbound. Spellbound have the most obvious credentials as an incredibly impressive group of performers, and as this stage I’d say are slight favourites to win. Paul Burling is perhaps not the most polished performer, but his impressions are recognisable, don’t rely on catchphrases and perhaps most importantly his act is custom made for a brief TV slot, so it’s very well paced and doesn’t lose it’s way as so many similar acts can. It would certainly be refreshing for a ‘different’ (non-singer or dancer) act to win, and would keep the show true to it’s variety roots.
The X-factor (pun intended) in this competition though is the massive popularity of the young acts. Liam and Connected both got through on the judges’ decision, so unless they can really produce in the final, their popularity is behind that of the winning acts. All of this brings us to Kieran Gaffney who is my official call to win this series of Britain’s Got Talent.
I was unsure of how they would turn a drummer into a viable act, but no worry, as they cued up the Tommy Lee tilting platform (I hope they break out the drumkit on a rail travelling out over the crowd in the Final!) and gave him lights and pyro to complete the image. Watching the clip above again, and the crowd reaction to the announcement he was going through says it all, it was probably the largest crowd pop of this series, and a good indicator of where it could go.
Most of all, let’s all just take comfort in the fact Kevin Cruise didn’t get through.
But we’ll see what the public vote decides on Saturday night! In the meantime, we have a week of TV to preview, so we’d better get moving!
We have three big highlights this week, and with the World Cup in South Africa just around the corner, they all fittingly have an African theme, although one of the two is more by luck than design I feel.
Our first of the three is Kicking Ahead: The Power of Sport, which focuses on Uganda’s involvement in the Fifa Football for Hope campaign, which will run non-competitive matches alongside the main tournament. Sport has always been a great equaliser, and with all the negative press that can surround big money names and the fans at large tournaments, it’s fantastic to see a project like this getting coverage. The project itself is aiming to ‘facilitate refugee reintegration and to ensure tolerance and understanding between and within war-conflicted communities’ through the interaction these matches will bring about. With the larger goals too of war prevention, conflict resolution and mine awareness and post-trauma management, there really isn’t enough good that can be said for the event in general. This should truly be a very eye opening and rewarding programme to watch. More information on Football for Hope is available here.
Second is out incidental African themed show, Tribal Wives. It’s a fairly simple premise, a married woman from the UK spends time living in a tribe, observing and participating in their customs, to see the vastly different world a married woman from that trive lives in. The show itself varies in quality based on the attitude and personality of the participant, but as with Kicking Ahead, this show is nothing short of a huge dose of reality when you see the lifestyles of the tribes, and as such is a show you can’t fail to take something away from.
Our final highlight of the week comes in the shape of a BBC 4 show making it’s debut on BBC2. South Africa Walks features Julia Bradbury of Countryfile fame (who is President of The Ramblers, the Association for the support of Walker’s rights in the UK) walking four different treks around South Africa to gain fresh insight on various aspects of the country. It might not be as groundbreaking as some documentaries, but it promises to be an enjoyable travelogue that will give extra insight on the places the World Cup takes place in and around.
Those three highlights however are definately somewhat tempered by the appearance of three hideous lowlights acting like a stone tied to the waist of the schedules, dragging them down…Let’s follow them!
Currently residing in the “Huh, that’s STILL on!?” file is Scrapheap Challenge. I can’t really explain this since the show has plummeted downhill since the departure of Robert Llewelyn as host. I presume it’s still a decent ratings grabber on a Sunday teatime, but it is definately past it’s best now, surely there are fresher ideas on the table for this part of the schedule?
I briefly mentioned this show in passing during last week’s running commentary, saying that it looked terrible. Having seen more previews of Father & Son I can now officially say that this looks like the worst drama ITV have churned out…well, since their last terrible drama. Horribly overblown and melodramatic, it features Dougray Scott who has to be casting accusing looks at his Agent, and Sophie Okenedo who’s stock is plummeting very rapidly with this following the extremely disappointing Mrs Mandela. Both of these actors are far too talented to be in an ITV drama anyway, make sure to miss this so we don’t get any other series following the pattern.
Those two lowlights though pale in comparison to our final lowlight for the week. Yes, Big Brother is back for it’s last ever series. Whereas there is a case to be made for rejoicing in it’s downfall, there is a horrible subplot going on here. You see, as it’s the last series, the Producers have gone all out overloading the show with gimmicks on top of the existing hype. If these are succesful in popping a decent rating for the series, don’t be shocked to see another channel pick up Big Brother, inflicting more awful television upon us. I’ve told the story many times, but just in the event Big Brother does end here, let me recount to you what went wrong. The original plan for the show was that it would have a five year run, and after that would take a break for five or so years. During this time the Producers would be able to come up with fresh ideas, the show wouldn’t get worn out, fans would be longing to see it return, and any ideas that were rehashed would be at least five years old so they wouldn’t feel played out. However the Executives got greedy, saw the huge advertising revenues that were bought in and pushed to have the show stay on. When the Producers expressed their displeasure at this, they were told they were replaceable, and so they conceded and the show remained on the air. The ideas quickly ran dry, and the show has since increasingly had to rely on gimmicks and shock tactics with barely functioning ape-people competing on the show to drum up publicity. Herein lies the reason I am dreading this series so much. If it was so terrible when they used a lot of gimmicks, how awful is it going to be when they flood the show? To be honest, this one can’t end soon enough. Davina McCall really deserves better too.
That maudlin appraisal finishes me off for the week. Keep your eyes on the site for the latest One Word Comic Reviews amongst other things (my M*A*S*H column is nearing completion, honest!) Send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below and remember to always stay safe.