One of the many reasons we love BGT is the consistency of judges – unlike X Factor’s laughable annual fiascos, Talent is settled with its four spontaneous, entertaining adjudicators. But that’s not to say judges can’t miss sessions.
That’s what unravelled on tonight’s fourth auditions show. After Simon ran late (traffic? Pah! He was having a bath) we saw comic David’s mum step in and give the buzzers a go – and she wasn’t afraid to use them. Amusingly relaxed, she gifted air ping-pong players and Blue Bag Ladies alike with the dreaded crosses – whether there was praise cut from in between we don’t know, but from what was shown, she was cutthroat and didn’t display any first-time nerves.
She did grant kind words to Sam and Hector, two young gymnasts who balanced on each other’s heads and performed wavy dance routines perfectly in-sync. Acrobatics hasn’t had a stellar moment since Spelbound, so the love-in it got tonight was pleasing – we also met Spartan Resurrection, who were likened to Game of Thrones after demonstrating their dramatic bench-based dexterity.
The finest moment of the night was reserved for Ben Blaque, who introduced us to the scoped crossbow. Armed with his sexy sidekick, he popped balloons facing front and back, nicking Amanda’s smartphone for a spot of reverse-firing. Simon even got in on the act – though his only job was to ring a bell, signalling a complex network of crossbow arrows to launch across the stage, arriving eventually at an apple. Phew! Wasn’t as close a call as the cowboy kid back in 2014, though.
Lest we forget the golden buzzer moment – Ant and Dec legged it from the wings to send Jasmine Elcock flying into the semis. That girl can certainly sing – but we found operatic five-piece Vox Fortis more unique. A tiny criticism – more variety acts getting golden-buzzed would render proceedings even more entertaining than they already are. Of course, the judges & hosts choose their golden buzzers, and if they enjoy singers, they should go for it.
Let’s put aside that suggestion though – because again, what we got tonight was a gargantuan helping of fun and top-notch talent. BGT hasn’t felt this traditional, warm-hearted and varied in a long time – and it’s our favourite Saturday night pastime.