The umpteenth series of Britain’s Got Talent began with a man wielding a paper and comb, the better to murder a Stevie Wonder classic, and went downhill from there. The judges, of course, voted him through. Plus ça change, folks.
Amanda Holden, sporting startlingly thick eyebrows borrowed from the corpse of Luciano Pavarotti, was as always next to Simon Cowell, a man so confident in his appearance he remains defiantly determined to cling onto his Gnasher’s minge hairstyle no matter what his stylist tells him.
The audience sat back and waited to be enthralled. What would this year bring – another SuBo?
The short (and indeed long) answer was an emphatic no. A female contortionist wrapped her ovaries round her ears. Alesha Dixon looked shocked to see a couple on roller skates do some rollerskating. Perhaps she thought they’d come on to split the atom? A Welsh (of course) choir came onto the stage. “There’s a huge sense of community,” confided the choir master, not surprising given that the choir numbered 162 members and thus could be said to be the size of a small, well, community. They all held battery-powered candles and warbled loudly. “That was so moving,” wept Alesha. “We could be looking at this year’s winners,” added a dry-eyed Simon. The choir looked stunned at such a pronouncement, unsurprisingly as by my reckoning, if they win the competition each choir member could be looking at a massive £1543 each. It’ll be goodbye Matalan fake candles and hello to the real thing from Marks and Spencer!
There was the usual gaggle of deluded pet owners, including a man with a Yorkshire terrier who ran off when his owner started playing a mouth organ and a woman trying to make her chicken perform an agility act (not a euphemism). One dog spoke. Simon Cowell looked as thrilled as a pop mogul can when he realises he has just found a replacement for Zayn Malik.
A girl from Hull sang and wasn’t very good. Her brother came on and wasn’t much better, but the judges, and to be fair, the audience, reacted as though they’d just heard the love child of Will Young and George Michael expertly tackle Pie Jesu. It was all very dull. Where were the loons carving a grape into the face of Giles Coren? Why was there no aged Goth taking an axe to a pineapple balanced on the toe of his pensioner girlfriend? Maybe they would be on next week.
Finally, we were building to the big finish of the first show of the series. Which act would be worthy of the uplifting chords of a Diana Ross and the Supremes song swelling emotionally in the background? It turned out to be the Ruby Red Performers, from Withernsea in East Yorkshire. The judges looked blank. “It’s near ‘Ull,” explained Ruby.
Dressed as 1950s cleaners, the women pretended to, er, clean, whilst removing their Marigolds and overalls in order to reveal ill-fitting underwear. “I actually feel really emotional,” cried Amanda. “There you are, standing in your pants. It’s great.” Ruby and co were dreadful and have no chance of winning, but good on them anyway.
What’s up next week – a chihuahua in suspenders singing I Will Always Love You? Here’s hoping.