Britain's Got Talent (series 5)

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Britain's Got Talent
Series 5
Broadcast from 16 April – 4 June 2011
Judges Amanda Holden
David Hasselhoff
Michael McIntyre
Louis Walsh (London auditions)
Simon Cowell (live shows)
Presenter(s) Ant & Dec (ITV)
Co-presenter(s) Stephen Mulhern (ITV2)
Broadcaster ITV
ITV2 (Britain's Got More Talent)
Jai McDowall
Origin Ayr, Scotland
Ronan Parke

The fifth series of Britain's Got Talent began on ITV 16 April 2011 and ended on 4 June 2011. The winner of the show was Jai McDowall, who received £100,000 and a place at the 2011 Royal Variety Performance. The judges were Amanda Holden, David Hasselhoff, Michael McIntyre and Simon Cowell. Cowell only attended the live shows as he was busy launching The X Factor USA. Hasselhoff missed the auditions in London and was replaced by Louis Walsh. The show was hosted by Ant & Dec on ITV, while Stephen Mulhern presented Britain's Got More Talent on ITV2.

Auditions took place in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, and Birmingham. Liverpool also hosted auditions for the first time. This was the first year that both Britain's Got Talent and Britain's Got More Talent were shown completely in high definition, as in series 4 only the live shows were shown in HD, while Britain's Got More Talent remained in standard definition throughout.


For the first time since Britain's Got Talent began, there was a permanent change to the judging panel. In October 2010, Piers Morgan announced he was leaving the show due to hosting his new talk show Piers Morgan Tonight in America and he was unable to do both.[1] In December 2010, Simon Cowell confirmed that he would only be present at the live shows as he would also be busy in America launching The X Factor USA. Therefore, comedian Michael McIntyre and former America's Got Talent judge David Hasselhoff were added to the panel with Amanda Holden.[2] There were also guest judges planned for the auditions due to the success of the guest judges on The X Factor,[3] but no guest judges appeared. Hasselhoff was unable to attend the London auditions, so The X Factor judge Louis Walsh took his place.[4]


Auditions took place in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, and Birmingham. Liverpool also hosted auditions for the first time. The auditions started in London between 4 and 6 January and continued on 13 and 14 January in Manchester and 18 January in Glasgow. Auditions also took place on 21 January in Liverpool, 25 and 26 January in Cardiff and 30 and 31 January in Birmingham. During the Liverpool auditions, Michael McIntyre won an award in The British Comedy Awards for Best Male Comic. He received the award in a live video message.[5] During the Cardiff auditions, Ant & Dec won an award in the National Television Awards for "Most Popular Entertainment Presenters". They gave their winning speech in a live video message and asked Simon Cowell to collect their award.[6] In March, Cowell stated that he wanted extra auditions as he thought that the current judges had failed to find the next Paul Potts or Susan Boyle. Cowell was keen to cast the show's nets even further and trawl through thousands of online videos on YouTube in the hope of discovering talent. An insider told the Daily Star: "Cowell's announcement is going to turn the show on its head."[7] Studio auditions for the successful YouTube acts were held on 3 April in Birmingham.[8]

Episode 1 was broadcast on 16 April. Auditions started off in Liverpool and Birmingham.[9] Episode 2 showcased Manchester, Glasgow and a YouTube audition.[10] Episode 3 featured London auditions.[11] More Manchester auditions were shown during Episode 4 along with Cardiff and Birmingham auditions.[12] More Manchester auditions were broadcast during Episode 5, along with more Liverpool and Glasgow auditions.[13] Episode 6 featured more Cardiff, Manchester and London auditions.[14] Episode 7 was due to be broadcast on 28 May but was pushed back to 29 May due to the Champions League Final being played on that day (the 28th). Episode 7 showcased acts from all the cities where the auditions were held. It also featured the judges making decisions on whom to send through to the semi finals.


For the first time ever on Britain's Got Talent, some of the acts were asked to perform again as the judges were having difficulty coming to a final decision on whom to send through to the semi-finals.[15] However, Lorna Bliss originally did not get through, but she was called back by David Hasselhoff.

The live shows started on Monday 30 May.[16] Simon Cowell joined the panel along with Hasselhoff, Holden and McIntyre. The live shows had a £1 million revamp.[17] Holden and the cast of Shrek the Musical performed on Tuesday's results show,[18] whilst Avril Lavigne appeared on Wednesday's results show,[19] Jessie J on Thursday's semi-final, and JLS and Diversity on Friday.

The rules relating to judges' votes in the results show changed from previous series. In the past, the decision as to which act was sent through to the finals was made by the three judges (from which there would always be a majority). With four judges, if there was a two-way tie the act with the second highest number of votes from the public would be sent through to the finals, otherwise the judges' decision would stand.


Key      Winner      Runner-up      Third place      Finalist      Semi-finalist (lost judges' or public vote)
Name of act[20] Age(s)[citation needed] Genre[citation needed] Act[citation needed] From[citation needed] Semi Position reached
Abyss 17–28 Dancing Street dancers South London 3 Semi-finalist
Angela & Teddy 64, 12 Animals Dog tricks Swindon 3 Semi-finalist
Antonio Popeye 47 Miscellaneous Eye-popper / Dancer Romford 5 Semi-finalist
Bruce Sistaz 19, 27 Acrobatics Martial artists Essex 1 Semi-finalist
Celtic Colleens, TheThe Celtic Colleens 8–30 Dancing Blacklight Irish dancers Crawley 5 Semi-finalist
Circus of Horrors, TheThe Circus of Horrors 18–54 Performing Extreme variety show Various 3 Semi-finalist
Dance Angels Elite 8–24 Dancing Dance troupe Cardiff 4 Semi-finalist
David & Karen 39, 27 Magic Magicians Leicester 2 Semi-finalist (lost judges' vote)
Donelda Guy 66 Animals Dog trainer / Canine freestyle Portsmouth 1 Semi-finalist
Edward Reid 35 Singing Comedy singer Leeds (originally Coatbridge) 4 Semi-finalist (lost judges' vote)
Enchantment 17–51 Acrobatics Acrobatic circus troupe Various 2 Semi-finalist
Follow the Right Path 14, 13 Singing Rap duo Bristol 5 Semi-finalist
Gay & Alan 56, 59 Music Handbell players Oxford 3 Semi-finalist (lost judges' vote)
Girls Roc 22–25 Performing Variety dancers London and Kent 1 Semi-finalist
Herbie Armstrong 66 Music Singer / guitarist Hampshire 2 Semi-finalist
Jai McDowall 24 Singing Singer Ayrshire 4 Winner
James Hobley 11 Dancing Contemporary dancer Redcar 3 Finalist
Jay Worley 17 Singing Singer Beddau 3 Semi-finalist
Jean Martyn 59 Music Organist Staffordshire 2 Finalist
Jessica Hobson 19 Music Singer / keyboardist Sheffield 4 Semi-finalist
Joe Oakley 19 Acrobatics Trial biker Nottingham 1 Semi-finalist (lost public vote)
Les Gibson 41 Comedy Impressionist Liverpool 3 Finalist
Lorna Bliss 32 Dancer Britney Spears impersonator London 2 Semi-finalist
Marawa 28 Acrobatics Hula hoop artist London (Originally Melbourne, Australia) 5 Semi-finalist
Mexican Mayhem 59, 4 & 3 Animals Trained chihuahuas Chingford 4 Semi-finalist
Michael Collings 19 Music Singer / guitarist Plymouth 5 Finalist
Michael Moral 21 Dancing Breakdancer France 5 Semi-finalist
Mr. & Mrs. 44 & 55 Music Singer/pianist and singer Coventry 5 Semi-finalist
Nathan Wyburn 21 Art Visual artist Ebbw Vale 4 Semi-finalist
New Bounce 12–16 Singing Singers London 2 Third Place
Out of the Blue 18–22 Singing A cappella singers Oxford 4 Semi-finalist
Paul Gbegbaje 19 Music Pianist Dagenham 1 Finalist
Pip & Puppy 20, 6 months Dog Act Opera singer with singing dog Bromsgrove 5 Semi-finalist (lost judges' vote)
Razy Gogonea 28 Dancing Breakdancer Manchester (originally from Romania) 5 Finalist
Ronan Parke 12 Singing Singer Poringland 1 Runner-up
Steven Hall 53 Dancing Comedy dancer Kendal 4 Finalist
Stuart Arnold 48 Comedy Terminator impersonator / impressionist Rhyl 1 Semi-finalist
Ted & Grace 92,21 Singing Grandfather / granddaughter singers Scunthorpe 1 Semi-finalist
Two and a Half Men 26–28 Dancing Dance trio London 2 Semi-finalist
Up & Over It 31 Dancing Hand dancers London 2 Semi-finalist
Wachiraporn Tirpak 27 Miscellaneous Entertainer Kings Lynn (Originally from Thailand) 3 Semi-finalist

Semi-finals summary[edit]

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

Key Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Buzzed out Crystal Clear app clean.svg Judges' choice
  Won the public vote
  Won the judges' vote
  Lost the judges' vote / public vote

Semi-final 1 (30 May 2011)[edit]

Artist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Finished[21] Result
Cowell Holden McIntyre Hasselhoff
Girls Roc 1 Fire Act 7th – 1.0% Eliminated
Donelda Guy 2 Dog Act 5th – 4.0% Eliminated
Stuart Arnold 3 Terminator Impersonator/rapper Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 8th – 0.4% Eliminated
Paul Gbegbaje 4 Pianist Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd – 15.1% Top 3 (Won judges vote – split decision)1
Bruce Sistaz 5 Martial Artists 4th – 6.2% Eliminated
Ted & Grace 6 Singing Duo 6th – 2.5% Eliminated
Joe Oakley 7 Extreme cyclist/ stunt performer Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 3rd – 9.2% Top 3 (Lost judges vote – split decision)1
Ronan Parke 8 Singer 1st – 61.6% Top 3 (Won public vote)
  • ^1 The judges vote was a split-decision. The earlier public vote was deferred to and it was announced that Gbegbaje had the second highest number of votes from the public, so went through to the final.

Semi-final 2 (31 May 2011)[edit]

Artist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Finished[21] Result
Cowell Holden McIntyre Hasselhoff
Two and a Half Men 1 Comedy dance act 4th – 15.4% Eliminated
Enchantment 2 Acrobatic Circus Troupe Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 7th – 1.8% Eliminated
Herbie Armstrong 3 Singer/guitarist 5th – 5.2% Eliminated
Lorna Bliss 4 Britney Spears Impersonator Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 8th – 1.5% Eliminated
New Bounce 5 Boy band 1st – 34.3% Top 3 (Won public vote)
Jean Martyn 6 Organist Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd – 20.8% Top 3 (Won judges vote)
David & Karen 7 Illusionists 3rd – 16.5% Top 3 (Lost judges vote)
Up & Over It 8 Table based hand dancers Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 6th – 4.5% Eliminated

Semi-final 3 (1 June 2011)[edit]

Artist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Finished[21] Result
Cowell Holden McIntyre Hasselhoff
The Circus of Horrors 1 Extreme stunt/ variety performers 6th – 4.0% Eliminated
Jay Worley 2 Singer 4th – 7.8% Eliminated
Angela & Teddy 3 Dog act 7th – 1.2% Eliminated
Abyss 4 Street Dance troupe 5th – 4.5% Eliminated
Wachiraporn Tirpak 5 Entertainer Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 8th – 0.7% Eliminated
Les Gibson 6 Impressionist 1st – 38.1% Top 3 (Won public vote)
James Hobley 7 Contemporary dancer Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd – 33.0% Top 3 (Won judges vote)
Gay and Alan 8 Handbell Players Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 3rd – 10.7% Top 3 (Lost judges vote)
  • It was announced by Simon Cowell that a twist would be revealed during Thursday's live semi-final.

Semi-final 4 (2 June 2011)[edit]

Artist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Finished[21] Result
Cowell Holden McIntyre Hasselhoff
Dance Angels Elite 1 Dance Troupe 6th – 2.3% Eliminated
Jessica Hobson 2 Singer/pianist 5th – 4.7% Eliminated
Mexican Mayhem 3 Trained Chihuahuas Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 8th – 0.4% Eliminated
Out of the Blue: Class of 2011 4 Acapella singing group 4th – 11.8% Eliminated
Nathan Wyburn 5 Visual Artist 7th – 1.0% Eliminated
Jai McDowall 6 Singer 1st – 42.9% Top 3 (Won public vote)
Steven Hall 7 Comedy dancer Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 3rd – 13% Top 3 (Won judges vote)
Edward Reid 8 Comedy singer Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd – 23.9% Top 3 (Lost judges vote)

Semi-final 5 (3 June 2011)[edit]

Artist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Finished[21] Result
Cowell Holden McIntyre Hasselhoff
Marawa 1 Hula Hoop Artist 7th – 1.1% Eliminated
Pip & Puppy 2 Opera singer & singing dog 3rd – 12.0% Top 3 (Lost judges vote)
The Celtic Colleens 3 Blacklight irish dance troupe 4th – 8.1% Eliminated
Mr. & Mrs. 4 Singers/pianist Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 9th – 0.3% Eliminated
Follow the Right Path 5 Rapping duo 6th – 5.6% Eliminated
Antonio Popeye2 3 6 Eye-Popper Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 8th – 0.6% Eliminated
Michael Moral1 7 Bodypopper 5th – 6.8% Eliminated
Michael Collings 8 Singer/guitarist Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd – 29.5% Top 3 (Won judges vote)
Razy Gogonea 9 Bodypopper 1st – 36.0% Top 3 (Won public vote)
  • ^1 – It was announced by Cowell on the results show for semi-final 4 that due to the high standard of Michael Moral's performance, he was being invited back to take part in the fifth live semi-final.
  • ^2 – In Antonio Popeye's performance, Jedward were used as backing dancers/singers. Lipstick, the Jedward song which Popeye danced to, was the Irish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest three weeks earlier, which significantly affected the ratings of the fifth audition show, whilst getting its best UK ratings in over a decade.
  • ^3 – Antonio Popeye became the first and only semi-finalist that all the judges buzzed in this series.

Final (4 June)[edit]

The live final was held on Saturday 4 June. Each of the ten acts performed in front of the judges and vying for the public vote. Jackie Evancho and Nicole Scherzinger performed on Saturday's final. Evancho performed on the main show whereas Scherzinger performed on the results show.

The results were revealed one by one from tenth place up to fourth place. This left the top three from whom, Ant & Dec revealed the third place finisher. This left the two with the highest public vote and the final result was then revealed. The winner (Jai McDowall) was then invited to sing again before being joined by family and friends on-stage to celebrate the victory.

  3rd place
Order Finished Percentage[21] Artist Act
1 7th 5.4% Steven Hall Comedy dancer
2 5th 7.7% Michael Collings Singer/guitarist
3 9th 2.6% Les Gibson Impressionist
4 8th 3.5% James Hobley Contemporary dancer
5 6th 5.8% Paul Gbegbaje Pianist
6 2nd 26.7% Ronan Parke Singer
7 10th 2.0% Jean Martyn Organist
8 1st 29.1% Jai McDowall Singer
9 4th 8.4% Razy Gogonea Bodypopper
10 3rd 8.9% New Bounce Boy band

Guest performers: Jackie Evancho – "Nessun dorma" and Nicole Scherzinger – "Right There"


Episode Date Official ITV1 rating[22]
Weekly rank[22] Share (%) Official ITV1 HD rating[23]
Total ITV1 viewers (millions)
Auditions 1 16 April 9.74 3 40.5[24] 1.11 10.85
Auditions 2 23 April 9.15 3 41.5[25] 0.90 10.05
Auditions 3 30 April 9.27 1 39.9[26] 0.95 10.22
Auditions 4 7 May 10.20 1 42.2[27] 1.01 11.21
Auditions 5 14 May 8.61 3 32.0[28] 0.84 9.45
Auditions 6 21 May 9.81 1 42.2[29] 0.96 10.77
Auditions 7 29 May 9.88 1 40.4[30] 1.19 11.07
Semi-final 1 30 May 10.59 4 41.9[31] 1.27 11.86
Semi-final 1 results 9.92 6 38.2[31] 1.00 10.92
Semi-final 2 31 May 9.30 10 40.5[32] 1.01 10.31
Semi-final 2 results 8.97 15 35.8[32] 0.78 9.75
Semi-final 3 1 June 8.93 16 41.8[33] 1.06 9.99
Semi-final 3 results 7.47 17 28.9[33] 0.68 8.15
Semi-final 4 2 June 9.20 12 43.2[34] 1.00 10.20
Semi-final 4 results 9.23 11 39.1[34] 0.80 10.03
Semi-final 5 3 June 8.98 14 43.3[35] 1.03 10.01
Semi-final 5 results 9.36 9 42.3[35] 0.98 10.34
Live final 4 June 10.79 2 47.0[36] 1.43 12.22
Live final results 11.35 1 49.3[36] 1.27 12.62
Series average 2011 9.51 N/A 37.7 1.01 10.40


Low quality of performances[edit]

During the semi-final, a high number of acts were buzzed by the judges. Some of the acts were questioned by Cowell, who had not been present for the auditions, about why they got through. In a more recent interview, Ant and Dec mentioned this had been a poor series of the show.[37]

Herbie Armstrong[edit]

Northern Irish contestant Herbie Armstrong caused controversy after it was revealed he had previously appeared on Top of the Pops and had chart success with Yellow Dog and Fox, and had played in Van Morrison's band.[38] Armstrong defended his decision to compete, stating "I was always the back room boy before. Besides it’s called Britain’s Got Talent, not Newcomers Have Talent".[39]

Jessica Hobson[edit]

During the fourth semi-final, judges Cowell and Hasselhoff slated Jessica Hobson's performance, causing her to burst into tears on stage.[40] She complained that she had had no say in her choice because producers has selected the song and how it was to be performed, but was quickly ushered off by Ant and Dec after her protest.[41] Several viewers took to social networks forums and Twitter to complain that Hobson had been "set up" by Cowell and producers. However, Britain's Got More Talent presenter Stephen Mulhern defended the programme, claiming "The producers want the show to be right and they want performers and the auditionees to be the best they can be. So they'll help them, they'll support them, they'll guide them".[42] Hobson has since appeared on The Voice UK.

Ronan Parke[edit]

During the semi-finals, a blog, claimed to be by an executive at Syco, said that the show was fixed for Ronan Parke to win, that Syco had been grooming him for two years and that he had already been signed to the record label. Parke's mother dismissed the claims as "laughable". Cowell reportedly called in police to investigate so the blogger could be tracked down, and police confirmed: "An allegation of malicious communications was made to Kensington and Chelsea police. The allegation is being considered."[43] Syco released a statement saying, "There has been speculation on the internet that Britain's Got Talent finalist Ronan Parke was known to and worked with Syco/Sony Music before entering the show. There is no truth in this story whatsoever. Ronan first came to Syco/Sony's attention when he entered this year's competition."[43]


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  38. ^ Britain’s Got Talent contestant causes controversy because of chart hits
  39. ^ Herbie steps forward into the spotlight
  40. ^ Return of Mr Nasty: Simon Cowell makes 19-year-old singer cry on Britain's Got Talent as singer Jai and dancer Steven go through
  41. ^ Jessica Hobson’s dad hits out at Cowell
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