We've laughed, we’ve cried and we’ve been amazed by this year’s Britain’s Got Talent auditions but now it’s time to start picking a winner.
Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Bruno Tonioli have chosen their favourites and every night this week they’ll battle it out to get through to the grand finale (Sunday June 4).
We’ve seen dogs, dance troupes, magicians and singers but only the public can choose who will take the £250,000 prize and win the chance to perform at The Royal Variety Performance
Here we talk to our favourite contestants…
TRAVIS GEORGE, 22, SOUTH WALES
Since his powerhouse rendition of Stars from Les Misérables, Travis George has been overwhelmed with attention from his brand new fan base.
The singer and actor, 22, thrilled the judges when he conquered his nerves to belt out his spine-tingling performance.
Now, he’s preparing for the finals, but admits he’s slightly distracted by requests for selfies and hugs – and he’s even had marriage proposals!
“Since my first audition aired, it has been surreal, getting messages every day from lovely people, being recognised wherever I go, asked for hugs and selfies and even marriage proposals!” says George. “The most notable change though is on the inside, I feel much more confident and am happier. The love that has come my way has been unbelievable, I cannot thank everyone enough.”
Travis hopes to use Britain’s Got Talent to boost his fledgling showbiz career. He loves singing and acting on stage but warns musical theatre producers he’s not a natural dancer thanks to his size 15 feet.
“My career ambition is to simply make my living from performing. I want to grasp all the opportunities I can. Musical theatre encompasses both my loves – acting and singing,” says Travis. “I would not want to shy away from trying anything new – but dancing though is not my forte. A big chap in size 15 shoes is not necessarily great for tap dancing!”
Travis’ musical heroes are Josh Groban, Bryn Terfel, Alfie Boe and Michael Ball – and he’s honoured to be mentioned in the same breath as Paul Potts, who won the first ever series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2007.
Travis – who has acted in The A Word and Casualty – was visibly shaking with nerves during his first audition but after the reaction from viewers, he’s hopeful he’ll be less jittery if he appears in the live finals.
“After being so far out of my comfort zone at the earlier auditions, the amount of love and support I have received from people should give me the courage to combat my nerves if I get through to the next round” says Travis, who just wants to make his mum Debra proud.
Travis also reveals that while being autistic can complicate matters, it can be helpful in some ways. “Being an autistic performer entering BGT is nerve wracking, but is for everyone,” says Travis.
“I have made sure that the necessary support is around me and try to focus on the positives. Learning words to songs, scripts is one of the positives I find comes with my autism. Now that I have experienced the huge audience and panel at the judges auditions, I feel much more prepared for the semi-finals, though nerves are inevitable.”
Whether he wins or loses, Travis will have enjoyed the ride. He says, “The whole experience so far has been just tremendous, I have loved every single second.”
JOANNE AND NATHAN
Dancers Joanne and Nathan wowed viewers with their routine to Shakira’s Try Everything – after learning to dance together during the 2020 Covid lockdown.
Joanne, 28, taught Nathan – who has Down’s Syndrome – to dance over video calls where he would wear different coloured socks to learn the steps.
“When we first started dancing together, we went into the pandemic,” explains Joanne. “Teaching students online is a whole different world so Nathan wore one sock that's red and one blue and that helped us learn.”
As well as his fancy footwork, Nathan wowed the judges with his shimmy and was thrilled by their praise. So is Bruno Tonioli still Nathan’s favourite judge? “Yes! He’s nice, he’s awesome, he’s a darling,” says Nathan, 25.
Now they’re learning a new routine in the hopes of making the live shows. “We like the paso, we like the tango and the rhumba so we have lots of tricks up our sleeves if we’re lucky enough to get through,” shares Joanne.
ABI CARTER SIMPSON
Primary school teacher Abi Carter Simpson is writing new music with her ukulele in case she gets through to the live final – and her lyrics might mention the judges.
The singer, 30, from West London hopes to make the audience laugh with her references to Simon, Alesha, Amanda and Bruno.
“I'm scribbling away, there will definitely be a personal touch in there and some jokes,” reveals Abi. “A little bit of fun is good and when I did it in my first audition it got a lovely response so I might refer to the judges at some point.”
In her first audition, Abi made Simon groan when she appeared with a ukulele, but Abi loves the instrument and hopes to make it cool again.
“I bought the ukulele because I thought I was going to be an amazing guitarist and then I realised the guitar is a huge step above!” says Abi. “So I stuck with the ukulele, which you can basically stick in your pocket!”
As well as viewers, Abi is being cheered on by the kids in her year six class. “The support of the school has been amazing,” says Abi. “I still can’t believe it.”
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