Britain's Got Talent (series 3)

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Britain's Got Talent
Series 3
Broadcast from 11 April – 30 May 2009
Judges Simon Cowell
Amanda Holden
Piers Morgan
Kelly Brook (Manchester auditions)
Presenter(s) Ant & Dec (ITV)
Co-presenter(s) Stephen Mulhern (ITV2)
Broadcaster ITV
ITV2 (Britain's Got More Talent)
Winner:
Diversity
Diversity 2009.jpg
Origin Dagenham, England
Runner-up
Susan Boyle
Chronology
2009

The third series of Britain's Got Talent was broadcast on ITV from 11 April 2009 to 30 May 2009. Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan returned as judges. Ant & Dec returned as hosts with Stephen Mulhern coming back to present Britain's Got More Talent. Kelly Brook was originally announced as a new fourth judge, reportedly being offered £200,000 for the role,[1] but was fired after just six days, having acted as a judge in Manchester only, just one of the five audition venues. According to Cowell, the reason given for sacking Brook was because the producers decided the format was "too complicated" with four judges.[2]

Auditions took place in Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, London and Cardiff. One of the most notable performances for the series was by Susan Boyle, a 48-year-old woman from Blackburn, Scotland, during the auditions. Boyle sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical Les Misérables. The performance earned a unanimous "yes" vote and resounding astonishment from the judges.[3] Her performance helped lift the show to a launch record of 11.2 million viewers. Within five days of her initial appearance, YouTube recordings of the event had collectively generated more than 100 million views. Boyle also attracted widespread international media coverage.[4][5][6][7][8][9]

The series was won by street dance troupe Diversity, with Susan Boyle finishing second and saxophonist Julian Smith finishing third.

Judges and presenters[edit]

Initially, it was announced that Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan would return as judges for the third series of Britain's Got Talent, along with the addition of new judge Kelly Brook.[10] However, it was later announced that Brook was to leave the panel after just six days working on the show.[11] It was reported that Cowell felt "very bad"[12] following Brook's exit and that he had offered her a job in another role on the show.[13] It was also reported that Brook would receive her full £100,000 fee for appearing on the show.[14][15] According to Cowell, the reason given for sacking Brook was because the producers decided the format was "too complicated" with four judges. She has since been referred to as a "guest judge" at only Manchester.[16][17][18]

Ant & Dec returned as hosts of the main show on ITV.[19] Stephen Mulhern also returned as host of the sister-show Britain's Got More Talent.

Auditions[edit]

The application process took place throughout January and February 2009. First the judges visited Manchester for three days where they saw a total of 120 auditioners. They then visited Glasgow for a day, viewing a total of 40 auditioners. They then headed back down south to England, and to Birmingham for three days, watching a further 120 auditioners.

The next stop was London, where the judges saw a total of 128 acts over three days from Wednesday 28 January to Friday 30 January. Finally, the judges went to Cardiff for a day on Monday 3 February, where they saw 40 auditioners attempt to win their vote. Auditions were also to be held in Newcastle, but were cancelled just days beforehand.

Semi-finalists[edit]

On 23 May, the 40 semi-finalists selected from the almost 200 successful auditions in the First round Call-Backs were revealed.[20]

Key      Winner      Runner-up      Third place      Finalist      Semi-finalist (lost judges' vote)
Name / Name of act Age(s) Genre Act From Semi Position reached
2 Grand 12 and 76 Singing Grandfather and granddaughter singing duo Doncaster, England 4 Finalist
Aidan Davis 12 (11 at audition) Dancing Street dancer Birmingham, England 5 Finalist
The Barrow Boys 18–27 Dancing Wheelbarrow dancers Devon, England 3 Semi-finalist
Ben and Becky 18,16 (17,16 in audition) Dancing Ballroom dancers Essex, England 3 Semi-finalist
Brit Chix 23–26 Music Rock band Boston, England 4 Semi-finalist
Callum Francis 12 Performing Musical theatre performer Hertfordshire, England 4 Semi-finalist
Darth Jackson 37 Dancing Darth Vader and Michael Jackson impersonator Birmingham, England 1 Semi-finalist
DCD Seniors 14–21 Dancing Dance troupe Cardiff, Wales 5 Semi-finalist
Diversity 13–25 (12–25 in the audition) Dancing Street dancers Dagenham, England 1 Winner
DJ Talent 30 Singing Rapper London 2 Semi-finalist
The Dreambears 29–34 Dancing Comedy dancers London 5 Semi-finalist
Fabia Cerra 35 Dancing Burlesque dancer Oxford, England 4 Semi-finalist
Faces of Disco 24,30 Comedy / Dancing Comedy dancers London 1 Semi-finalist
Flawless 20–31 Dancing Street dancers London 2 Finalist
Floral High Notes 43,46 Singing Opera singing and flower arranging Stockport, England 3 Semi-finalist
Fred Bowers 73 Dancing Break dancing pensioner Loughborough, England 4 Semi-finalist
Gareth Oliver 28 Comedy Ventriloquism Calderdale, England 2 Semi-finalist
Good Evans 6–42 Singing Singing family Coventry, England 5 Semi-finalist
Greg Pritchard 24 Singing Countertenor/Male Soprano Usk, Wales 5 Semi-finalist
Harmony 14,16 Singing Musical theatre performers Essex, England 3 Semi-finalist
Hollie Steel 10 Singing Singer Accrington, England 5 Finalist
Hot Honeyz 16–25 Dancing Dancers Maidstone, England 2 Semi-finalist
Jackie Prescott and Tippy Toes 40,2 Dancing / Animals Dog dancing Oxford, England 4 Semi-finalist
Jamie Pugh 38 (37 in the audition) Singing Singer Cardiff, Wales 2 Semi-finalist
Julia Naidenko 24 Dancing Belly dancer London (originally Latvia) 1 Semi-finalist
Julian Smith 40 (39 in audition) Instrumentalist Saxophonist Halesowen, England 4 3rd Place
Kay Oresanya 31 Singing Human "saxophonist" Glasgow, Scotland (originally Nigeria) 3 Semi-finalist
Luke Clements 36 Miscellaneous Fruit Juggler Cornwall, England 5 Semi-finalist
Martin "Gos" Matcham 35 Instrumentalist Guitar player Dover, England 5 Semi-finalist
MD Showgroup 9–17 Dancing Street dancers Liverpool, England 3 Semi-finalist
Merlin Cadogan 35 Stunts Escapologist, Juggler, Breath Holder Devon, England 2 Semi-finalist
Natalie Okri 10 Singing Singer London 1 Semi-finalist
Nick Hell 26 Stunts Freak show/stunt performer Sunderland, England 1 Semi-finalist
Peter Coghlan (aka Mama Trish) 48 Performer Drag act Stafford, England 2 Semi-finalist
Shaheen Jafargholi 12 Singing Singer Swansea, Wales 3 Finalist
Shaun Smith 17 Singing Singer Lichfield, England 2 Finalist
Stavros Flatley 13,40 (12,40 in audition) Comedy/Dancing Comedy Dancers London (originally Cyprus) 3 Finalist
Sue Son 24 Instrumentalist Electric Violinist London 1 Semi-finalist
Susan Boyle 48 (47 in audition) Singing Singer Blackburn, Scotland 1 2nd Place
Sugarfree 16–23 Dancing Street dancers Gravesend, England 4 Semi-finalist

Semi-final summary[edit]

The "Order" columns lists the order of appearance each act made for every episode.

Key Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Buzz Crystal Clear app clean.svg Judges' choice   Won the public vote   Won the judges' vote   3rd place/ Lost the judges' vote

Semi-final 1 (24 May)[edit]

Artist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Finished[21] Result
Cowell Holden Morgan
Diversity 1 Street dancers Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd – 36.2% Top 3 (Won judges' vote)
Sue Son 2 Electric violinist Eliminated
Darth Jackson 3 Darth Vader/Michael Jackson impersonator Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Natalie Okri 4 Singer Crystal Clear app clean.svg 3rd Top 3 (Lost judges' vote)
Julia Naidenko 5 Belly Dancer Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Nick Hell 6 Freakshow/stunt performer Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Faces of Disco 7 Comedy dancers Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Susan Boyle 8 Singer 1st – 52.1% Top 3 (Won public vote)

Semi-final 2 (25 May)[edit]

Artist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Finished[21] Result
Cowell Holden Morgan
DJ Talent 1 Rapper Eliminated
Merlin Cadogan 2 Escapologist Eliminated
Hot Honeyz 3 Dancers Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Jamie Pugh 4 Singer Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Peter Coghlan (aka Mama Trish) 5 Drag act Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Gareth Oliver 6 Ventriloquist Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 3rd Top 3 (Lost judges' vote)
Shaun Smith 7 Singer Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd – 37.1% Top 3 (Won judges' vote)
Flawless 8 Street dance troupe 1st – 38.7% Top 3 (Won public vote)

Semi-final 3 (26 May)[edit]

Artist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Finished[21] Result
Cowell Holden Morgan
Harmony 1 Musical theatre performers Eliminated
Kay Oresanya 2 Human saxophone Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Ben and Becky 3 Ballroom dancers Eliminated
Shaheen Jafargholi 4 Singer Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd – 26.3% Top 3 (Won judges' vote)
The Barrow Boys 5 Wheelbarrow dancers Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
MD Showgroup 6 Dancers Crystal Clear app clean.svg 3rd Top 3 (Lost judges' vote)
Floral High Notes 7 Opera singing and flower arranging Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Stavros Flatley 8 Comedy Dancers 1st – 50.4% Top 3 (Won public vote)

Semi-final 4 (28 May)[edit]

Artist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Finished[21] Result
Cowell Holden Morgan
Sugar Free 1 Dancers Eliminated
Jackie Prescott and Tippy Toes 2 Dog act Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Callum Francis 3 Musical performer Crystal Clear app clean.svg 3rd Top 3 (Lost judges' vote)
Fred Bowers 4 Break dancer Eliminated
Brit Chix 5 Rock band Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Julian Smith 6 Saxophonist 1st – 56.7% Top 3 (Won public vote)
2 Grand 7 Singers Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd – 24.6% Top 3 (Won judges' vote)
Fabia Cerra 8 Burlesque dancer Eliminated

Semi-final 5 (29 May)[edit]

Artist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Finished[21] Result
Cowell Holden Morgan
The Dreambears 1 Comedy dancers Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Good Evans 2 Singers Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Luke Clements 3 Extreme Juggler Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Hollie Steel 4 & 7 Singer Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd – 26.0% Top 3 (Won judges' vote)
Martin Matcham 5 Singer and guitarist Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Eliminated
Aidan Davis 6 Dancer 1st – 50.6% Top 3 (Won public vote)
DCD Seniors 8 Dancers Eliminated
Greg Pritchard 9 Countertenor singer Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 3rd Top 3 (Lost judges' vote)

Final[edit]

Key   Winner   Runner-up   Third place
Order Finished[21] Percentage of votes
[21][note 1]
Artist Act
1 8th 3.6% Flawless Dance troupe
2 7th 3.8% Shaheen Jafargholi Singer
3 5th 6.5% Aidan Davis Street dancer
4 10th 1.0% 2 Grand Singers
5 6th 3.9% Hollie Steel Singer
6 4th 16.3% Stavros Flatley Greek/Irish comedy dancers
7 9th 3.4% Shaun Smith Singer
8 2nd 20.2% Susan Boyle Singer
9 1st 24.9% Diversity Dance troupe
10 3rd 16.4% Julian Smith Saxophonist

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Out of nearly four million votes. [1]

Ratings[edit]

Show Date Official ITV1 rating
(millions)[22]
Weekly rank[22] Share
Auditions 1 11 April 11.21 1 45.1%[23]
Auditions 2 18 April 12.95 1 50.6%[24]
Auditions 3 25 April 13.21 1 52.3%[25]
Auditions 4 2 May 11.30 1 47.2%[26]
Auditions 5 9 May 11.98 1 48.4%[27]
Auditions 6 16 May 11.09 1 41.0%[28]
Auditions 7 23 May 12.62 2 51.1%[29]
Semi-final 1 24 May 12.93 1 49.2%[30]
Semi-final 2 25 May 14.66 3 51.6%[31]
Semi-final 3 26 May 13.56 5 49.9%[32]
Semi-final 4 28 May 13.11 6 51.2%[33]
Semi-final 5 29 May 13.84 4 57.3%[34]
Live final 30 May 16.36 2 71%[35]
Live final results 18.29 1 67.6%[35]
Series average 2009 13.36 2 (2.14) 52.4%
  • The auditions 6 episode took a large dip in numbers due to the BBC showing the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009.
  • The final peaked at 19.19 million (71.6%) making it the most watched non-sporting event since a 2003 episode of Coronation Street. Overall, the final was the fifth most watched programme of the century.
  • The series officially averaged 13.36m (52.4%), making it the most watched British reality series of the 21st century. It easily surpasses the previous record of 10.51m (42%) gained by the fifth series of The X Factor.

Controversies[edit]

Performance order[edit]

Although the show denies that the three judges influence performance order,[36] the production company has never confirmed that order is random or based on any objective criteria. The lack of objective criteria is underlined by Morgan's comments four few days after the final: "I think Flawless were unlucky to have gone on first. If they had gone last it may have been different. They're both amazing dance groups. Diversity were just very lucky."[37]

Fabia Cerra[edit]

Auditionee Fabia Cerra, a dancer, sparked complaints after her performance in the audition stages was criticised as being unsuitable for a family audience. Cerra undid the top half of her clothing, revealing her breasts, covered with tassels, although the editing of the program included two Union Jack flags as graphics to completely cover her exposed breasts. Despite this, both the producers of the show and ITV received 40 complaints.[38]

Fred Bowers[edit]

Elderly breakdancer Fred Bowers, who did make into the live semi-finals, was also reported to have made disability claims for his leg, despite having no obvious major problems with it. Since the story emerged in the media, Bowers vowed to pay all the money owed back if he was found to be in the wrong. He died in 2012.[39]

Natalie Okri[edit]

Natalie Okri's performance of Jamelia's "Superstar" in the semi-final was criticised by Simon Cowell for being a bad choice of song. After reaching the Top 3 with dance troupe Diversity in the first semi-final, Okri cried on stage after Simon Cowell chose to put Diversity through to the final instead of her. Following this, Lily Allen called the show, saying Cowell's decision, "bordering on child cruelty". After the show, Okri and her mother complained that the song choice was made by the producers and they had been given no choice but to accept.[40]

Susan Boyle[edit]

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) became concerned by press reports about Susan Boyle's erratic behaviour and speculation about her mental condition, and wrote to remind editors about clause 3 (privacy) of their code of press conduct.[41] The day after the final, Boyle was admitted to The Priory, a private psychiatric clinic in London,[42] TalkbackThames explained "Following Saturday night's show, Susan is exhausted and emotionally drained." Her stay in hospital attracted widespread attention with the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, wishing her well.[43]

Hollie Steel[edit]

In the fifth and last semi-final, contestant Hollie Steel broke down, crying uncontrollably during her performance of "Edelweiss" and was unable to continue singing. After initially being told by Ant & Dec that there was not enough time for her to restart her performance, Simon Cowell over-ruled and she sang the song from scratch again after street dancer and fellow finalist Aidan Davis, complete with judges' comments. She also beat rock opera singer Greg Pritchard in the judges' vote on the basis of her bravery, which was again seen as unfair. Steel has been the only act allowed to restart throughout the entire series, and the time that was found for her second performance forced later acts to be rushed into smaller time slots, which may have hampered their performances as a consequence.[44]

Jamie Pugh[edit]

Welsh pizza delivery man Jamie Pugh was branded as a fake following his Cardiff audition. When Cowell asked him if he had ever performed in public, a seemingly nervous Pugh replied that he had not. It later emerged that he had previous West End experience, with videos exposed by The Sun showing him singing in front of an audience at Her Majesty's Theatre. [45] Amanda Holden later regretted her decision to put him through to the next round, claiming: "He got on my tits. I didn't think he was genuine. I didn't believe his emotion and I hated his voice. He sounded like a car starting. We all said, 'Yes' to him on the day so I feel terrible for saying it, but my heart's not in that performance. He's just a very weak Paul Potts. I didn't like it."[46]

References[edit]

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  45. ^ Exposed: Britain's Got Talent star Jamie Pugh has already performed in the West End
  46. ^ Holden says Jamie Pugh is 'fake'