List of Britain's Got Talent finalists (series 5)

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The fifth series of Britain's Got Talent was broadcast on ITV between 16 April and 4 June 2011. After initial rounds of auditions, forty semi-finalists were chosen to perform across five live shows, with eight appearing in each of the semi-finals. The act from each show who received the highest number of public votes went through to the final automatically. They were joined by either the second or third placed act, with the four judges declaring who they wanted to go through. In the event of a tie, the second finalist was determined by the public vote.

Each of the acts performed again in the final on 4 June 2011. Jai McDowall won the competition after finishing with the highest number of public votes. Ronan Parke finished in second place, with the difference in the votes being 2.5% between the first and second place contestants. Singing group New Bounce finished in third place, followed by dancer Razy Gogonea and singer/guitarist Michael Collings. Paul Gbegbaje (6th), Les Gibson (9th), Steven Hall (7th), James Hobley (8th), and Jean Martyn (10th) were the other finalists.

Jai McDowall[edit]

A Scottish singer who works as a support worker. He won the competition beating bookies favorite Ronan Parke.

Ronan Parke[edit]

A Singer from Essex. He was the ultimate favorite to win the competition.

New Bounce[edit]

New Bounce (ages 12–16) are a boy band made up of Mitchell Zhangazha, Kuan Frye, MJ Mytton-Sanneh and James Anderson whom all met working as the Young Michael Jacksons on the hit West End Show, Thriller Live at the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, a show that also briefly featured 2009 contestant Shaheen Jafargholi.

They first recorded together as a group at Brick Lane Studios and Dean Street Studios along with fellow performer Kieran Alleyne, for the official Thriller Live! tribute to Michael Jackson, Speechless under the direction of the Thriller Live musical supervisor John Maher and the songs producer, Dave Loughran.

They auditioned with "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars (aired on 7 May 2011). However, after a few lines, they were stopped by judge Amanda Holden who requested them to sing a different song. They then proceeded to sing "All My Life". They received a much better response. Judge David Hasselhoff stated that the lead singer Zhangazha was flat all the way through the first song, but they were great on the second. Amanda Holden also praised their second performance. Michael McIntyre felt that although he thought the second song was better, was worried if the other judges were patronising them. Holden gave them a yes vote, while McIntyre gave them a no. Hasselhoff also gave them a yes but advised Zhangazha to work on his vocals. They made it through to the next round. The judges were unsure if they were going to put him into the semi-finals. The judges re-auditioned them against girlband Be Minor (who made the semi-finals the following year), with New Bounce emerging on top and making it through to the semi-finals.

In the live semi-final on 31 May, they performed "Price Tag" and gained a much better response from the audience - with Hasselhoff giving them a standing ovation. Simon Cowell (who was only present for the live shows) said: ‘Let me tell you something. This is the first time in two days where I’ve seen something, an act, which I genuinely believe will actually be successful in the real world. I love these four guys. I saw your audition, it was very dated and it felt like your parents were kind of controlling you. This time it felt like you’d chosen the song. I loved the song, I loved your version of it. A few vocals were out but it doesn’t matter, it’s live TV. Let me tell you something, you right now are the ones to beat. Congratulations.’ Hasselhoff gushed how ‘unbelievable’ their semi-final performance was as McIntyre took back his initial reaction to them in the audition stages, admitting he had been wrong to be the only judge giving them a no. Holden concluded by stating that JLS had some competition.[1] They gained the highest number of votes in their semi-final with 34.3% of the vote.

In the final on 4 June, they performed "Ain't No Sunshine". Simon Cowell said "I genuinely think this is a group that would work in the real world., The whole idea is to find somebody who can have a career, a future. I see this happening with you guys. You are nice guys, you’re fun, you’re ambitious. Everything that I would hope to find on a show like this." Amanda Holden said "You are so now and so cute and you sound fantastic together." Michael McIntyre said "That was sick… You have literally gotten better again. You were sensational." David Hasselhoff said "You guys have gotten better and better and better. I love your song choice tonight. You could have a career for 50 years together, you are just starting out." They finished in third place with 8.9% of the vote.

After the show, they performed on the Britain's Got Talent tour along with the other finalists.

It was reported in August 2011 that member James Anderson had split from the group to pursue a solo career. He was in talks with Atlantic Records.[2]

Razy Gogonea[edit]

Razy Gogonea (born 3 June 1982)[3] is a breakdancer from Romania.

He auditioned with a routine from The Matrix. The judges described his audition as almost 'unhuman'. He received three yeses. However, the judges were unsure if they were going to put him into the semi-finals. The judges re-auditioned him against fellow dancer Michael Moral and Gogonea won the dance-off. He performed again during the semi-final on 3 June. He was the outright winner of the semi-final, with 36% of the public vote. He performed again in the final on 4 June, and included tricks with fire and ended up coming 4th place with 8.4% of the public vote.

Michael Collings[edit]

Michael Collings (born 7 January 1990) is a father of one from Plymouth. When he was younger, he sang in competitions with his sister, but gave up when he met friends that were into different types of music. When he was 16, Collings heard a song on the radio and said he wanted to sing and play guitar; he bought an old guitar and taught himself to play. He stated during his BGT audition that he had been living in a trailer park but had moved out later.[4]

He auditioned for Britain's Got Talent (aired on 16 April 2011) to make a better living for him, his fiancée and their son, performing "Fast Car" and receiving a rave response from the judges, particularly for his 'unique husky voice'. The audition was noted for the judges having pre-judgements of Collings, particularly due to his dress sense. He made it through to the next round and subsequently the semi-finals. His performance's airing resulted in the original version by Tracy Chapman re-entering the UK Singles Chart at number 4 the following week.[5]

In the semi-final on 3 June, Collings sang Paul Weller's "You Do Something to Me" and was praised by the judges, with Cowell stating that he didn't need 'gimmicks'. Hasselhoff gushed that Collings ‘blew him away’ and said that he is like a ‘young Chris Rea’. He was voted into the top three and faced the judges' choice (with Razy Gogonea already through). Cowell appeared to have difficulty choosing between Collings and singing dog act, Pip and Puppy, but all four judges voted to send Collings to the final. In the final, he sang "Fast Car" again, and ultimately finished in fifth place with 7.7% of the vote. Collings' audition became YouTube's fifth most-played video of 2011.[6] He performed on the Britain's Got Talent live tour along with the other finalists.

On 7 November 2011, Collings released his cover of "Fast Car" as a single.[7]

Collings stated in an interview in April 2013 that he was asking for donations to go towards funding for an album as remained unsigned (which has proved successful).[8] It was claimed that the pressure that Collings was under had caused his relationship to break up. He concluded by saying that he wouldn't do BGT again. He said that he intends to record the album mid-year, and put out an EP called 'It's Not You' which is available on iTunes. He stated that he would like to have a higher profile as a musician, though was happy with his current situation.[9]

As of November 30th, 2016, his audition has gained just over 36 million views on YouTube.

Paul Gbegbaje[edit]

Paul Gbegbaje is a pianist. He stunned the judges by the fact that he had only been playing the piano for about 5 years. He stated that he was bullied at school because he brought the Bible into school instead of a Playbook, and that he was religious.[10] He performed his own composition. In his semi-final appearance on 30 May, he performed a medley of songs.

He was subsequently voted into the top three in his semi-final, where the judges were split between him and trialbiker Joe Oakley to choose the second place in the final with Ronan Parke already through. The judges' vote was 2-2, so the earlier public vote was referred to. It was revealed that Gbegbaje had more votes. In the final, he performed his own song which he said "defined him as a person". He finished in sixth place with 5.8% of the vote. He performed on the BGT live tour, and collaborated with fellow finalist Ronan Parke for 'Make You Feel My Love'.

Gbegbaje also provided piano backing for Ronan Parke's first single 'A Thousand Miles'.[11]

Steven Hall[edit]

Steven Hall is a comedy dancer from Kendal, Cumbria. He auditioned in Manchester with a dance routine to numerous songs such as Twist Again, then Thriller, The Birdy Song, YMCA, Austin Powers, MC Hammer’s You Can’t Touch This, Flashdance’s What A Feeling and Riverdance. He received a rave response from the judges and audience, and gained three yes votes from the judges and made it through to the next round and subsequently the semi-finals.

In the semi-final on 2 June, he again performed a medley of numerous songs and dance moves. Amanda Holden thought it was ‘better than the audition’ and although it was all very ‘tongue in cheek’ she thought Hall was a ‘really good dancer.’ Simon Cowell confessed that he enjoyed Hall’s compelling act and added that he thought the public may warm to him. Hasselhoff stated that while he thought it was entertaining, he didn't deserve a place in the final. McIntyre disagreed, stating that Hall may be the person who can equal Diversity.[12]

He landed in the top three - with eventual winner Jai McDowall already through to the final, it was down to the judges to choose the second place between Hall and singer Edward Reid. Hall was sent through over a 3-1 majority, but viewing statistics revealed after the series ended show that had it been a split decision, Reid would have been in the final.

In the final on 4 June, he danced to songs such as "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" and "The Club Is Alive. He finished in seventh place with 5.4% of the vote. He performed on the BGT tour along with the finalists after the show.

He was snapped up by Butlins, and quit his job as a telecommunications engineer in early 2012.[13][14]

James Hobley[edit]

James Hobley (born 14 June 1999) is a ballet dancer. He was born in a seaside town of Redcar in Teesside, England. He was one of the twins in the family who was diagnosed with autism. He studied freestyle disco and ballet and was offered a free scholarship. Hobley started dancing career at 8 years old, and entered many competitions and won many awards and trophies.

His success story was filmed as part of a TV documentary on BBC Three, titled Autism, Disco and Me. In December 2009, Hobley auditioned for Sky 1's Got to Dance but his audition was not shown.[15] In 2011, he applied to be on Britain's Got Talent and the producers accepted him through to the main audition stage. His audition was aired on 7 May 2011, dancing to "Cry Me a River", and the judges were quoted to have said that he was "inspirational". Ultimately, he was successful in the audition stage, gaining three yes votes from the judges and entering the semi-finals.

In the live semi-final on 1 June, Hobley danced to "Happy" and again received a positive response. With Les Gibson already through to the final, it was down to the judges to pick between Hobley and bell ringers Gay and Alan for the next place in the final. He was sent through to the final by a 3-1 vote.[16] He appeared in the final on 4 June 2011 and finished in eighth place with 3.5% of the public vote.

Les Gibson[edit]

Les Gibson is an impressionist from Liverpool who has been professionally impersonating people for 13 years. He began doing impressions aged 11 and used to work as a carpenter.

In his audition, he did a routine from I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, doing impressions of I'm a Celebrity and Britain's Got Talent hosts Ant & Dec, as well as Alan Sugar, Ross Kemp and Coronation Street character Kevin Webster. He made it through to the next round and the semi-finals.

In the live semi-final on 1 June, he performed a routine of The Apprentice, again impersonating Ant & Dec, Alan Sugar, Ross Kemp and Kevin Webster, while also including impressions of Gordon Ramsay and Louis Walsh. He won the semi-final with 38.1% of the vote.

In the final on 4 June, Gibson performed a routine from Celebrity MasterChef, with impressions of MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace, Louis Walsh, Dermot O'Leary and Britain's Got Talent judges Simon Cowell, David Hasselhoff and Michael McIntyre. He was criticised by some of the judges who claimed that the performance wasn't as good as the semi-final performance, and that the script was also poor.

He finished in ninth place with 2.8% of the public vote. Recently, a story was put out that Gibson's grandfather was the world-famous performer Leslie Hutchinson.

Jean Martyn[edit]

Jean Martyn (born 20 June 1951) is an organist from Staffordshire. A graduate of Trinity College London and the Guildhall School of Music, Martyn has had a long career as a pianist, theatre organist, Wurlitzer, and church organist.

She finished in last place in the final with 2% of the vote.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
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  3. ^ "Britains Got Talent 2011 - Semi Final 5 - Razy Gogonea (With Judges Comments)". YouTube.
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  5. ^ "Britain's Got Talent helps Fast Car speed into chart". BBC News. 24 April 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Michael Collings & Rebecca Black Top YouTube Charts". Metro. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Michael Collings Press release Fast Car release". MIG Management. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
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  15. ^ Littlejohn, Georgina (30 December 2009). ""He's gifted dancer": Davina McCall defends decision to allow an autistic boy to audition for her new talent show". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
  16. ^ "Redcar's James Hobley makes Britain's Got Talent Final". Gazette Live. Retrieved 2011-06-02.

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