A musical theatre boyband and an illusionist became the first two acts to make the final of Britain’s Got Talent 2014 after they won through against seven others in the first semi-final.
Singing group Collabro won the public vote and, after the show’s judges were split 2-2 between Canadian conjurer Darcy Oake and impressionist Jon Clegg, Oake went through on the public vote.
Just 45 acts made it through to the live semi-finals from the thousands who applied and the hundreds who auditioned, and they are battling it out on the ITV1 show for the prize of £250,000 and a spot at the Royal Variety Performance.
Judge Alesha Dixon said of Collabro: “That was perfection, I love you guys.”
Fellow judge Amanda Holden said: “Every single one of you has got the most beautiful tone to your voice. I think we could be looking at the winners of Britain’s Got Talent.”
And show supremo Simon Cowell said: “Britain really has got talent, congratulations.”
Oake disappeared from underneath a blanket on a platform on the stage and reappeared down below, causing Cowell to say: “It’s really difficult to guess how you did that, you’ve got an incredible stage presence, and it’s believable.”
Holden said: “You are such a pro, you did that like you have your own show.”
And Dixon said: “I think you’re brilliant.”
Clegg delighted the audience with his impressions, which included hosts Ant and Dec.
Cowell said: “It was fantastic, you had the audience in the palm of your hand. It was clever, normally I don’t know who half the people are, your Dec was brilliant, seriously good.”
Dec complained: “I don’t know why you do me so camp.”
There was controversy over Christian Spridon, a waiter living in London who had won the support of judge David Walliams earlier in the competition. Walliams chose him as his golden buzzer act.
Spridon performed The Weather Girls’ I t’s Raining Men, leading Dixon to say: “It was so out of tune it’s ridiculous.”
Holden said: “The Eurovision Song Contest was about two weeks ago. You probably would have done well in that competition, I don’t consider you are going to do well in this one.”
Cowell said: “You are a nice guy but that was by far the worst vocal we’ve ever had in this competition, and that says a lot for David’s taste.”
But when Walliams told Spridon “You are a born star. Alesha made a career miming”, Dixon saw red, telling her fellow judge ” Excuse me, you are barking up the wrong tree there” before pouring a glass of water over his head.
Walliams later said: “I was nearly electrocuted, so for me it was a tough night.”
Another group of acts will try to impress viewers when the second live semi-final takes place at 7.30pm tonight.