It’s Spring. The birds are singing, the flowers are blossoming, and Britain’s favourite talent show steamrolls back into town. Yes, Britain’s Got Talent returns for its eleventh series this Saturday (8pm, ITV) so what better way to celebrate than explore YouTube’s favourite ever BGT auditions? The following performances are the global cream of the talent crop, so brace yourselves for greatness (and nostalgia)…
10. Boogie Storm: 58 million+ views
Those pesky stormtroopers divided the TV audience last year, but won over YouTubers proving series 10’s most viral audition. The group Gangnam Style’d, Whip Nae’d and Beyonce’d their way to Simon Cowell’s coveted golden buzzer. Because what’s more satisfying than watching the anonymous warriors wow the Dark Lord himself?
9. Forbidden Nights: 64 million+ views
Initially tucked away on ITV2’s Britain’s Got More Talent, these hunky strippers’ audition hit the big-time online. This multi-layered prank saw 27 year-old Lewis masquerade as a dull pop singer before his microphone seeming to break. An inevitably awkward silence leads to the most energetic stripping we’ve seen, and it happens right in front of the judges’ – and an ecstatic David’s – eyes. With abs like those, no wonder punters from all corner of the Earth flocked to watch it.
8. Bonetics: 67 million+ views
Because YouTube viewers love nothing more than a good cringe, cue Bonetics – perhaps the most twisted (literally) contortionist the show has ever seen – taking the seventh spot. Even Cowell couldn’t help bury his head in his hands as 17 year-old Junior dislocated his shoulder twice in around 10 seconds.
7. Darcy Oake: 81 million+ views
Possibly our favourite audition of 2014, the hunky Canadian audition summoned doves from nowhere, duplicated bird cages into two and undid a cage full of doves to reveal a human being hidden within. It was, in our view, the most iconic magic moment ever. But Darcy isn’t the top illusionist on the list…
6. James More: 84 million+ views
…that accolade goes to series 7’s James More, just a fraction ahead. After all, who needs doves or women in cages when you can watch a hankie fly itself towards Ant and Dec, or the best fake sword-pierce ever? James’ tricks and style proved a hit in the live shows too, with his semi-final performance sporting 23 million views.
5. Jonathan and Charlotte: 85 million+ views
The flagship moment of series 6, other than Pudsey taking on Mission Impossible, was no doubt when shy, self-doubting Jonathan wowed everyone with his powerhouse opera duet. Singing partner Charlotte was strong too, but Simon wasn’t so sure – not that its 85 million viewers seemed to mind.
4. Natalie Okri: 100 million+ views
At just 10 years old, Natalie proved that you’re never too young to nail an Alicia Keys classic. We’re sure the audition’s success has as much to do with her adoreableness as her voice, but this performance was a hit – and even her semi-final performance notched up a little over 20 million views.
3. Calum Scott: 103 million+ views
What a surprise success story Calum’s been, eh? Series 9’s most viral performance earned Calum Simon Cowell’s golden buzzer, 103 million audition views and a UK hit single that stayed in the charts for 48 weeks. Who saw that coming when his terrified self first introduced himself to the nation?
2. Bars and Melody: 160 million+ views
Yep, another one of pesky Cowell’s golden buzzers in the charts – and this one’s a doozy. A talented vocalist teaming up with an anti-bullying rapper created one of BGT’s most unprecedented viral hits ever, with 13 year-old Leondre’s inspirational bars connecting with millions of kids around the globe. They’re still going strong, with a global fanbase to boot – the official ‘Hopeful’ music video sports north of 76 million views.
1. Susan Boyle: 206 million+ views
Of course. How could it be anyone else? Scottish Susan, famously dubbed ‘SuBo’, practically invented the entire art of the viral video – and propelled Britain’s Got Talent to its most-watched series ever. Not only did her YouTube audition score 200 million viewers, her inclusion in the final – where she missed out to Diversity for series 3’s top spot – peaked with almost 20 million viewers. Wowsers.
So there we have it. Will anyone in the upcoming series make the list? We’ll have to wait and see.
Who was your favourite BGT YouTube hit? Are there any others that deserved to hit the big-time? Let us know at @CelebMix!