List of Britain's Got Talent finalists (series 3)
The third series of Britain's Got Talent airing on ITV between 11 April 2009 and 30 May 2009. Street dance troupe Diversity were announced as the winners, while singer Susan Boyle was the runner-up and saxophonist Julian Smith came in third place. This is a list of the ten finalists of the series.
Diversity are a street dance troupe based in London. Formed in 2006, the group consists of friends from east London (Dagenham and Leytonstone) and Essex (Basildon), including three sets of brothers and four other members. Some are still at school or university, but also have jobs of their own.
Diversity, ranging in age from 16 to 28, consists of leader and choreographer Ashley Banjo and the following other members: Jordan Banjo (Ashley's younger brother), Sam Craske, Mitchell Craske, Perri Kiely, Warren Russell, Ike Ezekwugo and Terry Smith. Original members Ian McNaughton, Jamie McNaughton and Matthew McNaughton have since left the group. Ashley said that "from the age of 14, I started to teach myself routines". They also have a Twitter account which was originally named "DiversityBGT", but was then changed to "Diversity_Tweet". They are currently managed by Ashley's mother.
Susan Magdalane Boyle (born 1 April 1961) is a Scottish singer from Blackburn, West Lothian. In her audition, she sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical Les Misérables, was broadcast on 11 April 2009. This performance was widely reported and tens of millions of people viewed the video on YouTube. Boyle was "absolutely gobsmacked" by the strength of this reaction. Since the appearance, Paige has expressed interest in singing a duet with Boyle, and has called her "a role model for everyone who has a dream". Boyle's rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" has been credited with causing a surge in ticket sales in the Vancouver production of Les Misérables. Cameron Mackintosh, the producer of the Les Misérables musical, also praised the performance, as "heart-touching, thrilling and uplifting".
She was one of 40 acts that were put through to the semi-finals. She appeared last on the first semi-final on 24 May 2009, performing "Memory" from the musical Cats. In the public vote she was the act to receive the highest number of votes and go through to the final. She was the clear favourite to win the final, but ended up in second place to dance troupe Diversity; the UK TV audience was a record of 17.3 million viewers.
Boyle left the clinic five days after her admission and said she would participate in the Britain's Got Talent tour. Despite health worries, she appeared in 20 of the 24 dates of the tour, and was well received in cities such as Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dublin, Sheffield, Coventry, Birmingham and London. The Belfast Telegraph stated that "Despite reports of crumbling under the pressure..., she exuded a confidence resembling that of a veteran who has been performing for years".
Julian Smith (born 21 April 1969), also known by his stage name Joolz Gianni, is a saxophonist and music teacher from Halesowen. He has made guest appearances alongside artists such as Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet), Gwen Dickey (Rose Royce) and Hamish Stuart (Average White Band), and has performed on national television together with Chris Rea, M People, and Dina Carroll. In 2003, he released a solo album, Chilled 2 the Sax, which features Acker Bilk, Dina Carroll, and Ola Onabule. Some of his tracks also appear in the multi-platinum selling The Classic Chillout album series from Sony Music.
Smith received a standing ovation occurred after his audition. During the judges' remarks, Simon Cowell stated, "...there could be something special about you Julian". With the public voting the fate of all the contestants, Smith advanced to the semi-final round of competition which took place on 28 May 2009. In the final on 30 May, Smith placed third with 16.4% of nearly 4 million votes. He toured with The Stylistics in 2010 and is currently on tour with Diversity.
Stavros Flatley are a Greek father and son comedy dance duo consisting of Demetrios (45) and Michalakis Andreas (aka Lagi) Demetriou, (16). They performed on the Royal Variety Performance in 2012.
Aidan Davis is a self-taught street dancer from Birmingham. At his audition numerous references were made between him and previous winner George Sampson.
Hollie Steel is a singer. She caused controversy when she broke down mid performance at the semis but was giving a second chance and progressed to the final.
Shaheen Jafargholi is a singer from Swansea, Wales. He performed Who's Loving You by The Jackson 5 at his audition and the final. His performance was viewed by Michael Jackson, who then invited him to perform with him on his UK tour. Jackson, however, passed away before the tour began so Shaheen performed his rendition of Who's Loving You at his memorial service in Los Angeles.
Flawless are a dance troupe.
Shaun Smith (born 17 December 1991) is a singer from Lichfield. He is also a devoted sportman.
In his first audition aired on 9 May 2009, Smith performed “Ain’t No Sunshine”. This lead to rave reviews from the judges, with Simon Cowell stating “You are like Mick Hucknall – but good looking”. He received three yeses and made it through to the next round, and subsequently the semi-finals.
In the semi final on 25 May, he performed U2's "With or Without You", again getting praise from all three judges. It was left to the judges to vote for either him or ventriloquist Gareth Oliver to go through to the final as the second place. Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden opted for Smith, while Piers Morgan opted for Gareth Oliver.
In the final, he performed Ain't No Sunshine again. He finished in ninth place with 3.4% of the vote.
He performed on the Britain's Got Talent live tour after the show finished. Just after the tour finished, Smith was asked to perform in front of Prince Charles at Clarence House for the Prince's Trust alongside Julian Smith.
2 Grand are a grandfather and granddaughter singing duo from Doncaster. The duo consists of Sallie Lax (born 25 June 1996) and John Neill (born 2 November 1932). They auditioned in January 2009 in Manchester, singing "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. The audition was televised on 16 May 2009. Amanda Holden commented that the pair 'surprised her, I wasn't expecting that to be that good'. Kelly Brook (a guest judge during the Manchester auditions) called the performance 'adorable' and Piers Morgan states that 'this competition is all about people like you, you came out here and totally charmed this audience'. Simon Cowell, who buzzed during the performance, put a slight dampener on things: "I love the relationship between the two of you. But it's like putting seven sugars in your coffee, it's a little bit too sweet." The duo were put through to the second round by the judges, and were chosen as one of the 40 semi-finalists.
In the semi-final on 28 May 2009, 2 Grand sang "Somewhere Out There" from the film An American Tail, reducing Holden to tears. Holden said "What a fantastic performance, well done both of you. The reason I love doing this show is because everyone can watch it." Cowell said "I don't know what's happened to me tonight. I liked the kid acts, I liked the saxophone players and I liked you two. Your wife would be very proud of what you did tonight." Morgan said "I would personally absolutely love it if you were in the final." Julian Smith made it through to the final with the public vote, leaving the judges to choose between 2 Grand and musical theatre performer Callum Francis. Referring to John's advancing years, Simon said: "Based on the fact one of you doesn't really have much of a second shot at this, I'm going for 2 Grand". Holden said "I am going with my heart and I am going with 2 Grand", therefore securing a place in the grand final.
In the final, on 30 May 2009, 2 Grand again sang "A Whole New World". Cowell said "You're one of those acts you will to do well. I think you've gone as far as you're going to go. I don't think you're going to win, but there are more talented acts but I love you too." Holden agreed, but said she was pleased for the pair. Piers Morgan also gave highly positive comments. The duo received the lowest percentage of votes in the final, finishing 10th place.
During June and July 2009, 2 Grand appeared in Britain's Got Talent – The Live Tour 2009 with most of the other finalists from the third series. The rehearsals were held at the Apollo Theatre in Hammersmith. The tour opened at Birmingham, England on 12 June 2009, and finished on 5 July 2009 at Bournemouth. During the live stage shows, 2 Grand performed as a duo and also in combination with other artists such as Hollie Steel, with whom they performed "Edelweiss" in Newcastle.
They regularly keep in contact with fans on Twitter @2GrandOfficial.
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